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One of the first patients referred to me was a woman whose rheumatoid arthritis had already produced many established deformities, but whose disease still smoldered. Many hours of application of what I had been taught and some of what I had not resulted in remission of the inflammation. I then called in a very competent surgeon whose skill corrected unstable knees and useless hands. Many hours of physical and occupational therapy later, the patient was still a hopeless invalid. There was no longer an organic basis for her disability; she doted on ill health, and enjoyed tyrannizing her husband, who had become her virtual slave. I had, of course, neglected to acquaint myself with the psychic needs the disease was serving.
Since then, many patients who have rheumatoid arthritis have been referred to me for consultation. The attending physicians often begged me to take over the total treatment; they pleaded
Ehrlich GE. The Psychosomatic Approach to Primary Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(4):631–632. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870040145044
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