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November 12, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(20):1473. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500200043005

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Hypnotism has had its enthusiastic advocates for the treatment of almost every ill to which mortal flesh is heir, including even the mental and moral deficiencies. Its recommendation, therefore, for the cure of alcoholism is a perfectly natural one. We can not, however, support the belief apparently held by certain physicians that it alone, applied as a purely therapeutic measure, will be found to meet the claims of its advocates. There may be cases of periodical drinking, due to organic physical defects, often hereditary, in which hypnotic suggestion properly applied at just the right time might, like any other therapeutic measure, ward off or mitigate the attack. In such cases we have a physical disease, not an acquired vice, and the will power is ordinarily not necessarily defective during the interval.

Such cases are not hopeful ones, however, when well pronounced, under any merely medical treatment, hypnotic or otherwise. The

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