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February 1963

The Acute Nervous Breakdown

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, and The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(2):197-207. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720080087012

The acute nervous breakdown interrupts people's lives and interferes with their social relations, work, and physical health to such an extent that the patient and his relatives have to seek expert help. Although the therapy of psychiatric conditions is unspecific and symptomatic, the physician's choice of method, timing, and place of treatment determines to a considerable extent the duration and the cost of the illness. Modern treatment methods have given the physician an opportunity to handle the vast majority of acute conditions in a matter of weeks without incurring the disabling side effects of prolonged hospitalization. The details of a combination of psychological, social, and somatic procedures as used on a psychiatric service dedicated to the management of acute conditions are presented in subsequent pages.

Case Material and Facilities  The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, has a 26

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