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The Journal of Neurology and Psychopathology, vol. vi, May, 1925.
ISAAC M. ALTSHULER: The Psychopathology of Lying. "Nature," says the author, "resorts to falsehood," and gives as examples the spider spinning a web, a fox doubling on its track to 'fool' the hound, and the creatures who ‘sham' death. Deception is a matter of self-preservation, an ego-urge. The child lies because it is physically weaker than the adult and by lying can develop a sense of security by bringing the grown-up to his own level of feebleness. The urge for lying is immense among children because they have so much in common with lower animals, and the pleasure in it is great because a great instinct (self-preservation) is gratified; lying is identified with self-preservation. The revolt of mankind against lying is explained on the ground that it reminds him of his feebleness. Imagination is the material of which a lie is composed; when the child grows up it acquires more experience of facts, "reality excludes imagination." Thus a child, having little experience, "lies apparently without reason." "When lying exceeds the permissible degree, we call it pathological lying." The author would dispense with the symptom-complex pseudologia phantastica' (he says it is found in "paranoia, imbecility, chronic alcoholism, psychoneuroses, hysteria and certain forms of sexual perversion") because it is so hard to differentiate from a 'normal' lie. There is no clinical evidence adduced to render this theory more acceptable than rival views which have the support of observation.
Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, vol. LXII, July, 1925. JENS CHR. SMITH: Atypical Psychoses and Heterologous Hereditary Taints. If heterologous hereditary characters are united, they will, in the descending line, entail the occurrence of a considerable number of psychoses, about one-half of which are purely segregated as the pure psychoses of the separate dispositions, i.e. as manic-depressive or schizophrenic as the case may be, whereas the other half present combinations of the various phenotypes in the theoretically imaginable ways. Perhaps the manic-depressive and the schizophrenic dispositions are not altogether mutually independent. The figures on which these conclusions are based are not large (19 family groups).
Annales Medico-Psychologiques, Douzième Série, Tome 1er, February, 1925.
P. GUIRAUD ET M. SONN: Délire systématisé avec hallucinations visuelles et considérations sur la psychologie des délires. In chronic delirium there is almost complete syncytium with fusion of proximate elements. A well-marked feature in the case described is the presence of psycho-sensorial phenomena of a visual nature. Sketches and drawings are made representing the images which appear to the patient. In chronic delirium visual hallucinations are relatively infrequent but do occur.
Ibid. March, 1925.
E. MINKOWSKI: Troubles mentaux, complexes et constitution. A fairly detailed clinical report of four cases to demonstrate the differentiation of the epileptoid and the schizoid from the epileptic and the schizophrenic. In the cases described there is no repression of the Oedipus situation; there is an absence of censorship; the patients speak about incestuous relationships with a certain naïve cynicism. Some interesting observations are made as to the possibility of psycho-analysis in these cases. The author points out that it is necessary to mark out the indications and contra-indications for psychoanalytic treatment. In these epileptoid conditions psychotherapy can do little more than alleviate the symptoms. The writer discusses the effect of reading Freud's Introductory Lectures which a patient (a schizoid where the obsessional symptoms were only incidental) stated had cured him. In fact there was no change and at the most the reading could have given him some intellectual comfort.
A. STAROBINSKY: Etats de dépression et carrière médicale. Poses the question whether nervous symptoms are commoner in the medical than in other professions. The question is answered by the auto-description of a neurasthenic doctor's sufferings-apparently a case of mild paranoia.
Ibid. April, 1925.
AUGUSTE WIMMER: Les troubles mentaux précurseurs de l'encéphalite épidémique clinique. Clinical histories of seven cases; when following an attack of influenza there ensued mental disturbances-in some cases melancholia and suicidal tendencies; in one case a marked loss of memory, in another apathy plus an anxiety state. The neurological symptoms appeared at varying intervals after the preliminary mental ones- -in one case not till five years later. The last case (apathy and anxiety) was followed, over a year later, by epilepsy.
Ibid. May, 1925.
H. COLIN: Charcot. A brief sketch of Charcot by the present editor of the Annales who was one of his pupils from 1887-1891 and was one of the weekly editors, with Jean Charcot and Blin, of the leçons du mardi. Charcot is presented as he appeared in family life among his friends and disciples.
PAUL COURBON: Charcot et la Psychiatrie. A summary of Charcot's chief services to psychiatry supported by quotations from his works.
H. CLAUDE ET G. ROBIN: L'indifférence et le negativisme schizomaniaques. Schizomania must be separated from dementia praecox with which it runs a danger of being identified if Bleuler's views on schizophrenia become accepted. The indifference and negativism shown in schizomania are very different, in motivation if not clinically, from what is seen in hebephrenic catatonia. In the latter there is absence of affect, in schizomania the affect is marked-it is a qualitative not a quantitative change. It is doubtful whether psychoanalysis, so often valuable in obsessional conditions, can help in schizomania, where the symptoms are a defence reaction against every attempt to get into touch with the external world; the condition is an outcome of the schizoid character.
M. D. EDER.
Journal de Psychologie, vol. XXII, No. 5, May, 1925.
P. JANET: Les états de consolation et les extases. The first part of the study of a patient who was seven years at the Salpêtrière and who presented a variety of mental states: doubts and obsessions, indifference, delirium, joy, ecstasy. The descriptions are partly obtained from observation, partly from the patient's (Madeleine's) own verbal and written statements. Side by side with motor inertia there was an extremely active phantasy. A complete drama is played; the whole life of a couple of persons, God and Madeleine, leading up to complete union with God: "I have no thoughts, no words, nothing but a cry: I love, I love, I love, I am loved, I am loved, I am loved."
A. VAN GENNEP: Le cycle cérémoniel du carnaval et du carême en Savoie. This is the first part of a detailed account of the customs of the Carnival ceremonies in Savoy, the result of a thirty years' study of life in this region carried out in every commune. The study begins with an exact geographical and chronological analysis of the varying ceremonies.
G. H. LUQUET: Le Motif du cavalier dans l'art primitif. A comparative study of the horseman as found in different parts of the world throughout history. Illustrations of the drawings of neolithic man from Spain, Cyprus, Hungary, etc. The resemblances and the differences between these drawings and those of children are briefly indicated as well as the differences between these and the drawings of the adult of civilisation.
C. CHAMIE: Remarques sur le problème de la mémoire. Recollection is not merely reproduction but a total transformation of what has been experienced. Memory can reproduce and transform. Man is better adapted to space than he is to time and it is his constant conflict with time that is the essential nature of mental activity.
Ibid. No. 6, 15th June, 1925.
P. JANET: Les sentiments de joie dans l'extase. A continuation of Madeleine's story during her state of ecstasy, showing that her joy and sense of complete well-being was entirely independent of the external world. Joy is usually associated with wealth, ease, power and health; it is difficult to reconcile this happiness, complete and sublime, with a life of misery and during the course of mental disease. Everything was a source of joy to the patient: all the senses, every movement of her limbs, gave unspeakable joy. Her direct sexual pleasure often found coarse expression. Recovered from the state of ecstasy, the poor woman was terribly ashamed and full of excuses. Aesthetic pleasures were likewise intensified as well as that of intellectual illumination. She understands everything: the problems of good and evil, "the metaphysical explanation of the Trinity, the meaning of the soul, just as well as the psychology of dreams and the principles of the higher mathematics." In sum, the ecstasy is characterised by complete immobility not due to paralysis but to withdrawal from the external world. This withdrawal brings about much depression and sadness. Internal activity is enormously increased: every representation, interpretation and the ceaseless talking all occur with intense belief in their reality. Madeleine comes to regard her intellectual activity, her sense of power and happiness, as a divine manifestation. (There are ten pages of Janet's text missing, owing to some error in binding; the abstract is therefore incomplete.)
H. WALLON: La mentalité épileptique. Describes the most general and constant mental characteristics of epilepsy for clinical diagnosis, bringing these
into relation with the physical conditions. Contrasted with the schizophrenic the epileptic is in contact with reality; he is ever struggling to realise his acts and thoughts. There is however as much inhibition as initiative. The cortical centres exercise their control. This cramping is also shown in the affective sphere; hence the fits of irritability. Motor expression is equally restricted; perseveration, an outcome of this, is specific to epilepsy. Wallon distinguishes. the epileptic condition from stereotypy and ectopraxia.
A. BOREL: Rêveurs et Boudeurs morbides. Clinical descriptions of children and adolescents characterised by morbid sulkiness and dreaminess. To be distinguished from schizophrenia; their characteristics are due to a congenital mental constitution-the schizoid, and not to any acquired psychical defect. The 'sulker' pretends indifference to his surroundings, pretends nonchalance even when a prey to the most intense affect. He may even refuse food and thus in many respects his condition resembles that of megalomania and stereotypy.
Ibid. No. 7, July, 1925.
H. DELACROIX: Remarques sur "Une grande mystique." Dom Joseph Sauton, a monk of Solesmes, sent a report on Mme Cécile Bruyère, the abbess of Solesmes, to the Inquisition in 1892. Sauton, who was a doctor of medicine, accused Mme Bruyère of being a spurious mystic; he classed her as a hysteric and found six mental diagnostic stigmata. The question of hysteria in relation to mysticism and the psychology of the mystic is examined and Sauton's psychology is criticised. It is not unusual to find mysticism or sober spiritual ideas coexisting with extravagant emotional manifestations1.
A. VAN GENNEP: Le cycle cérémoniel du carnaval et du carême en Savoie. A continuation of the article in the May number. The customs and rites of the different communes are considered from the ethnographical and psychological points of view. The writer's position is that no universal explanation is valid in the consideration of the rites and ceremonies of people in an advanced stage of civilisation. The comparative method in anthropology requires great caution and must be used with repeated reference to the facts.
R. VAUZELLE: De la comparaison chez l'enfant. The faculty of comparing things begins in very early infancy. The child's mind approaches every object submitted to him in obedience to a triple law: (1) a centrifugal impulse, (2) notice of the points of similarity, (3) basing some limited observations upon these resemblances.
Psychoanalytic Review, vol. XII, No. 3, July, 1925.
M. D. EDER.
SAMUEL D. SCHMALHAUSEN: Psychoanalytic Studies. I. The Nihilist Instinct in Man. Two instincts promote our dramatic interest in life: (1) instinct of self-continuance (embodying instincts of self-preservation and reproduction); and (2) 'instinct' of self-annihilation (embodying the instincts of curiosity and vanity); the driving force of the first is fear of death, of the second discontent with life...."The young man, warned away from danger, cannot restrain his mad desire to plunge in where wiseacres fear to experiment."... The author sees in the impulse of the swimmer to go out of his depth, the motorist to drive fast and the runner to breast the tape, though 1 [See book review: this Journal, vol. v, p. 248.-Edrs.]
the effort break him, evidences of a suicidal 'instinct.' II. Inhuman Nature. III. A Study in Human Nature. The article does not lend itself to abstracting because there is no common systematic way of thinking shared by author and reader, e.g. "illusion is the joy of worthwhileness" is expanded by the argument that war is an illusion but to the starved imagination it seems worth while, it braces to a vivid purposefulness-is in fact a great reality!
NOLAN D. C. LEWIS: The Practical Value of Graphic Art in Personality Studies. (I. An Introductory Presentation of the Possibilities.) Patients are encouraged to bring art productions for analysis, thus providing if not a 'royal road' (dream) at least a much neglected and useful path to their unconscious an avenue of projection. The content of the productions is expressed in three levels, manifest content, latent content and deductive or derivative meaning, and by means of this objectification much is "brought to consciousness with greater facility than through dream analysis." The material so revealed supports the concept of the collective or archaic unconscious, for though the patients cannot give luministic associations to many of the archaic symbols (snakes, sun, moon, sea, embryonic shapes, etc.) the meaning can be derived from a study of early manifestations of culture. The patient's failure to associate, his ignorance of the meaning of these symbols, indicates that the content of the unconscious is not the product of individual repression. In connection with the practical application of this technique of picture analysis, the author summarises: (1) that all art is basically a confession and is created from unconscious motives; (2) graphic productions share with the dream the dream-work mechanisms of condensation, displacement, dramatisation, secondary elaboration, etc., and being permanent records afford exceptionally favourable therapeutic opportunity; (3) nearly all patients with tactful encouragement are able to draw some sort of pictures (resistance to the analysis is frequently encountered, however, in the refusal to draw or in the spiteful destruction of the drawings); (4 and 5) the pictures show by labels the manifest content, on analysis the latent content; and (6) the transference. [We may add a further reflection: the psycho-analytical situation has one merit over ordinary discourse-it reveals the deep roots of the transferencelove and hate, anything which draws the analyst's attention from the undisturbed observation of the manifestations of the transference, whether it be the technique of picture analysis or of dream analysis, is a disturbance or blunting of the delicate sensitiveness of the psycho-analytical situation. This is the one essential point that the paper appears to miss.]