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September 10, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XIX(11):323-324. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420110027006

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The Insanity of Egotism.  —An article has appeared in the North American Review, entitled "A Modern Form of Insanity," by Dr. H. S. Williams, which throws some interesting lights upon those indifferently understood persons "the cranks." Dr. Williams holds that the great majority of these unfortunates are diseased mentally. The disease has been termed " paranoia," and more than any other insanity is the result of an inherited mental instability. The progenitors may not have been insane, but they may have been nervously unstable from drunkenness or from some wasting disease. The offspring may be merely nervous; he may have epilepsy or chorea; he may be insane. At the best, he may usually, if properly educated, learn to understand himself and to live a sane and useful life. We have here to do, however, only with the cases in which a wrong environing influence aids in the development of a particular

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