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June 30, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(9):687. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860260061027

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To the Editor:—  There is a lamentable tendency in current psychiatry to use the label constitutional psychopathic inferior almost with complete abandon. It seems that in many instances it even becomes a means of projecting on the victim of the diagnosis the prejudices and inferiorities of the psychiatrist.The very term C. P. I. implies a condition or state from birth, and yet many are so labeled who have never manifested any form of inadequacy until past maturity.Dr. W. C. Alvarez in his article Constitutional Inadequacy in The Journal, July 4, 1942, page 782, column 2, lines 25 to 27, states that "like the walls of a defective tire they are likely to hold well for some time before they blow out."No histologic, biologic or psychodynamic basis is given for this comparison of the human being to a tire.But what is more important than the lack of

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