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December 1957

Neurodermatitis and Emotional Tension: A Study of a Specific Emotional State in Adult Patients

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;76(6):766-773. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550240084016

This is a report on a six-year research prompted by the question, "Is neurodermatitis precipitated by emotional tension?" The implied corollary of the question was also considered, "Is the dermatitis reduced on relief of such tension?"

The subjects of this investigation were adult patients with chronic disseminated neurodermatitis. Personality studies were summarized in two previous reports.1,2 The present report deals with fluctuations in the neurodermatitis in relation to fluctuations of emotional tension, a specific emotional state that is defined. The emotional reactions of the patients were utilized also as a means of comparing them with psychoneurotic and psychotic individuals.

The word tension is used in this study to represent that aroused state that occurs when emotional expression is blocked. In its physiologic aspect tension is a disturbance of homeostasis due to uncompensated vascular, muscular, and humoral changes incident to emotional excitement. In order to restore

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