|• Main||• Contacts|
hysterical subject, the reason being, he remarks, that the unbalanced and
extravagant are refused admission to the cloister.
 Parent-Duchatelet, _De la Prostitution_, vol. i, p. 242.
 It may not be unnecessary to point out that here and throughout, in
speaking of the psychic mechanism of hysteria, I do not admit that any
process can be _purely_ psychic. As Fere puts it in an admirable study of
hysteria (_Twentieth Century Practice of Medicine_, 1897, vol. x, p. 556):
"In the genesis of hysterical troubles everything takes place as if the
psychical and the somatic phenomena were two aspects of the same
 Pierre Janet, _L'Automatisme Psychologique_, 1889; _L'Etat mental
des Hysteriques_, 1894; _Nevroses et Idees fixes_, 1898; Breuer und Freud,
_Studien ueber Hysterie_, Vienna, 1895; the best introduction to Freud's
work is, however, to be found in the two series of his _Sammlung Kleiner
Schriften zur Neurosenlehre_, published in a collected form in 1906 and
1909. It may be added that a useful selection of Freud's papers has lately
(1909) been published in English.
 We might, perhaps, even say that in hysteria the so-called higher
centres have an abnormally strong inhibitory influence over the lower
centres. Gioffredi (_Gazzetta degli Ospedali_, October 1, 1895) has shown
that some hysterical symptoms, such as mutism, can be cured by
etherization, thus loosening the control of the higher centres.
 Charcot's school could not fail to recognize the erotic tone which
often dominates hysterical hallucinations. Gilles de la Tourette seeks to
minimize it by the remark that "it is more mental than real." He means to
say that it is more psychic than physical, but he implies that the
physical element in sex is alone "real," a strange assumption in any case,
as well as destructive of Gilles de la Tourette's own fundamental
assertion that hysteria is a real disease and yet purely psychic.
 See, e.g., his substantial volume, _Die Traumdeutung_, 1900, 2d ed.
 _Sammlung_, first series, p. 208.
 _Studien ueber Hysterie_, p. 217.
 _Sammlung_, first series, p. 162.
 _Sammlung_, second series, p. 102.
 Ib. p. 146.
 _Sammlung_, first series, p. 229. Freud has developed his conception
of sexual constitution in _Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie_, 1905.
 As Moll remarks, Freud's conceptions are still somewhat subjective,
and in need of objective demonstration; but whatever may be thought of
their theories, he adds, there can be no doubt that Breuer and Freud have
done a great service by calling attention to the important action of the
sexual life on the nervous system.
 Gertrude Stein, "Cultivated Motor Automatism," _Psychological
Review_, May, 1898.
 Charcot's most faithful followers refuse to recognize a "hysteric
temperament," and are quite right, if such a conception is used to destroy
the conception of hysteria as a definite disease. We cannot, however, fail
to recognize a diathesis which, while still apparently healthy, is
predisposed to hysteria. So distinguished a disciple of Charcot as Janet
thoroughly recognizes this, and argues (_L'Etat mental_, etc., p. 298)
that "we may find in the habits, the passions, the psychic automatism of
the normal man, the germ of all hysterical phenomena." Fere held a
somewhat similar view.
 A.F.A. King, "Hysteria," _American Journal of Obstetrics_, May 18,
Page 4 from 5: Back 1 2 3  5 Forward