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November 13, 1897

HYSTERIC ACCUSATIONS AND HYPNOTISM.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(20):1023-1024. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440460043007

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Abstract

Hysteric accusations are of perennial interest to physicians, albeit the lawyers occasionally suffer as much from these, and the clergymen even more. Cases of hysteric scandals are exceedingly frequent under the fostering care of the sensation-monger press, and are of late conjoined with crude popular notions of hypnotism, as they were during the hypnotic epidemic of half a century ago in the United States.

Dr. Brigham, of Utica, reported the following case (American Journal of Insanity, April 1848): A man was accused, by an hysteric lunatic, of an attempt to murder her. The delusional origin of the accusation was proven by Dr. Brigham, who also recognized the hysteric phase. The patient was hypnotized by a layman " mesmerizer," who did not believe the accusation. Her narration of the story during the hypnotic state varied decidedly from that given in the conscious state. The " mesmerizer," who regarded the woman as a lunatic,

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