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May 1947

PSYCHOSOMATIC FACTORS IN DERMATOSES: A Critical Analysis of Diagnostic Methods of Approach

Author Affiliations


Dr. Cormia formerly served as Captain in the Medical Corps, Army of the United States.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;55(5):601-620. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520050003001

THE OBSERVATION of dermatoses in military personnel, especially combat soldiers, offers an unparalleled opportunity for study of possible psychosomatic factors. Army life differs from that prevailing in civilian communities by the frequency and intensity of situations that lead to basic conflicts. The rigidity of the environment does not permit modifications so necessary for the continued functioning of persons with borderline psychoneurotic or psychopathic personalities, while the replacement of the protection of familial or domestic life by an impersonal domination leads to frequent conflicts with authority. Moreover, the threat of combat to the basic instinct of self preservation results frequently in a permanent conflict, which can be solved only by the removal of a soldier from the threat of death or injury. In many instances a soldier solves his problem by the development of psychosomatic diseases, the cure of which is obtained only with extraordinary difficulty, because of an active desire

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