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September 25, 1954


Author Affiliations

University Hospitals, Cleveland 6.

JAMA. 1954;156(4):448. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950040154023

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To the Editor:—  This is in reply to a recent letter from Dr. John D. Campbell (J.A.M.A.155:511 [May 29] 1954) commenting on my article, "Psychiatric Observations in Neurocirculatory Asthenia," in The Journal for March 27, 1954, page 1054. I disagree with an approach that does not attempt to get to the fundamental causes. If there is a "hypersensitive autonomic nervous system," then one must find out what makes it so and not be content with the idea, really an illusion, that one has discovered something basic. My major thesis is that these autonomic symptoms, as well as the motor symptoms (weakness, easy fatigability, shortness of breath) that occur during anxiety states, are reversible when one finds the psychological factors, conscious or unconscious, and changes them. There is accumulating evidence in the literature that this can be done. Other diseases such as depressions and melancholia, in which

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