« ÎnapoiContinuă »
that the patients were cared for by prisoners, or were in a common room with drunkards and tramps. Under such circumstances no attempt at medical care and nursing could be expected, and sometimes the most ordinary needs of the patients were neglected. At a jail in one of the larger cities, a woman was found by the nurse in a cell in which she could scarcely sit up, it was so small. 'Three walls were padded with some course material and the fourth, the front, was a grated door. There was no water section or available toilet facilities. The patient was entirely naked and was extremely filthy and dirty.' The village lockups in which the patients were found were sometimes apart from other buildings and little used. The patients in them were sometimes left alone for long periods, and a suicidal attempt and a fire started were among the occurrences reported. Reports of insufficient food, clothing and bedding, of cold, and of inattention to medical treatment and nursing are among those received. In one instance it was stated that the food was bread and water. One man was far advanced in tuberculosis and delirious. Another was very sick, without fire or sufficient clothing, and died two days after reaching the hospital. An epileptic was drenched with a bucket of water whenever he had a fit.
The worst feature of all in the case of the insane women confined in jails and lockups is the lack of provision for attendance by persons of their own sex. In a large number of instances, the reports indicated that they were left entirely to the care of men. The impropriety and danger of this to both the patients and their custodians can scarcely be exaggerated and accusations of sexual assaults by police officers or jail keepers have been made by some of the women. In this way innocent persons may be exposed to false accusations from which they might have no opportunity to defend themselves. In one instance the nurse found an insane woman entirely nude in her cell, and the only person to attend to her was a man who handed her food in at each meal. The detention of women without attendance by persons of their own sex is, to say the least, indecent, and one wonders why it is permitted even in the case of those accused of crime.” The only remedy would seem to be a State law governing the matter of the detention of alleged insane persons prior to admission and applicable to every part of the State, Where institutions for the insane are easily accessible or where general hospitals exist patients should be admitted to these institutions under emergency certificates. Jails and lockups ought to be absolutely forbidden to insane persons.
Space will not permit a consideration of the important work undertaken in the after-care of patients. It is gratifying to observe how rapidly agencies for this care are increasing in connection with many institutions for the insane. The excellent work done by the forty-one legally appointed visitors to the State hospitals is most interestingly told in their reports under the headings of their respective hospitals. No better method could have been devised to interest public-spirited and philanthropic persons in the institutions in their neighborhoods.
Bibliothèque de Psychologie Expérimentale et de Métapsychie. Directeur,
RAYMOND MEUNIER. (Paris: Bloud et cie.) As a result possibly of the success that has attended the series of volumes edited by Dr. Toulouse under the title of Bibliothèque internationale de psychologie expérimentale, it has been decided to publish the present series of brochures, eight of which lie before us. The volumes are considerably less ambitious, and are of correspondingly less scientific value, than those of Toulouse's series, though they would appear to be addressed to a similarly wide class (“professors, doctors, students, and cultivated laymen ”). The scope of them is broader, in that the so-called “psychical sciences” are included. Up to the present some four and twenty volumes have been advertised, by different authors. The value of the different units varies considerably, as will presently be indicated; this is, of course, almost always the case in a heterogeneous collection. Each unit costs i fr. 50 c., and comprises about 100 pages. No. 1. Les Hallucinations Télépathiques. By N. VASCHIDE.
This is a valuable and critical consideration of the subject of telepathic hallucinations. The author has collected a large number of independent facts from personal friends and acquaintances. These concern 740 instances of visual hallucination, 198 of auditory, 55 of olfactory, and 18 of tactile. His conclusions contradict the well-known ones formulated by Gurney, Myers, and Podmore, and he attributes this to the lesser reliability of the observations collected by these authors from strangers. He sees no reason to admit the existence of thought transmission or telepathy, and gives an analysis of the exact mental state under which such illusions arise, with the causes productive of them. No. 2. Le Spiritisme dans ses Rapports avec la Folie. By MARCEL VIOLLET.
This volume is especially recommended to readers of this journal, for it deals with a problem particularly prominent in America, namely, the part played in the production of mental disorder by spiritism (often incorrectly termed spiritualism in English). The author sketches various types of mental disequilibration, and shows how such persons often instinctively seek the marvelous, the unreal, and the bizarre. These tendencies are only too greatly pandered to by the apostles of spiritism, frequently with disastrous results. The author relates in striking examples the mode of development of various hallucinations and delusions based on this mental trend. No. 3. L'Audition Morbide. By A. MARIE.
This excellent volume deals with the importance of defects of hearing in relation to general mentality. The part hypo-acusia plays in connection with defects of attention is so important that it should always be as far as possible remedied before any re-educative process is undertaken. Hyperacusia is then discussed and its importance in the production of hallucinations and delusions pointed out. A good account of some of the pseudoæsthesias (particularly colored audition) is given; and last, not least, a full bibliography of the whole subject. No. 4. Les Préjugés sur la Folie. By PRINCESS LUBOMIRSKA.
Five popular prejudices concerning insanity are here considered: the supernatural origin of insanity, the external appearance of lunatics, the contagiousness, the incurability, and the danger of insanity. These are described in a popular and sympathetic way and the facts on the subject oriented in their proper perspective. No. 5. La Pathologie de l'Attention. By N. VASCHIDE and RAYMOND
MEUNIER. This difficult problem is here dealt with in a rather one-sided and superficial manner. Most of the valuable recent work on the subject carried out in Germany is not referred to. The pathological variations of attention are grouped under three headings: defect, excess, and modification (hypoprosexia, hyperprosexia, and paraprosexia). The all important relation of the affective life of the individual to these variations is very inadequately dealt with. No. 7-8. Le Hachich, Essai sur la Psychologie des Paradis Ephémères.
By RAYMOND MEUNIER. Meunier, who has experimented much with haschisch, gives here a detailed review of its physiological and pharmocological features, appends an excellent bibliography. The most interesting part of the volume is that devoted to the therapeutic aspects. Meunier is opposed to the use of the drug in the treatment of insanity or of the various toxic deliria in which it has been employed, particularly in England. He strongly recommends, however, that it be used in cases of hysteria and allied states, in which it has a double value. First it increases the suggestibility of the patient and so permits the employment of psycho-therapeutic treatment in patients refractory to hypnotism or waking suggestion, and secondly it often reveals suppressed mental trends and deliria, the study of which is of the greatest value in prognosis (and, the reviewer might add, in treatment). No. 9. L'Evolution Psychique de l'Enfant. By H. BOUQUET.
Bouquet gives here a conventional and rather superficial account of the development in the child of the various mental processes. The volume is interestingly written, but contains nothing not already generally known. No book can contribute much to our understanding of the psychical evolution of the child that ignores the psycho-sexual aspect so completely as this does.
Travail et Folie. Influences Professionnelles sur l'Etiologie Psychopathique. By A. Marie and R. Martial After some preliminary remarks on the gradual evolution of medicine, and particularly of psychiatry, towards sociology, the authors proceed to discuss at length the influence of different professions in the evolution of
the psychoses. The volume is very documented and detailed, and the conclusions are not sufficiently definite to be of very great general interest. The authors lay stress on the special frequency of general paralysis amongst workmen.
ERNEST JONES (Toronto).
Les Folies Raisonnantes. Le Délire d'Interprétation. By SÉRIEUX and
CAPGRAS. (Paris: Alcan, 1909.) This is certainly one of the most valuable works that has issued from the French School of Psychiatry for many years. It is distinguished by the lucidity of its style and argument, by its thorough attention to detail and the clearness of its arrangement. It contains little that is really new, but is a valuable exposition of the subject of paranoia from the French point of view.
The authors sharply distinguish paranoia from dementia paranoides on the lines generally accepted. To the reviewer there always seems something artificially schematic in the accounts generally given of this distinction, valid though it may perhaps be; also here the authors give an exaggerated idea of the ease with which it may be made in practice. The main subject of the book, the “delusional interpretation," is characterized by the following traits: (1) the multiplicity and organization of delusional interpretations; (2) the absence or penuria of hallucinations, their contingency; (3) the persistence of lucidity and of mental activity; (4) the evolution by progressive extension of the interpretations; (5) incurability without terminal dementia. The basis of the affection is the false interpretation of a true experience, and the subsequent working-up on strictly logical lines of an elaborate system. There is no diminution of mental activity, merely a deviation or perversion of it. As the authors wittily express it, “la paranoia est en quelque sorte pour l'état normal ce qu'est le paradoxe au regard de la vérité.”
This description is, of course, the classical one of paranoia, but the authors go further and subdivide this into two: (1) le délire d'interprétation, and (2) le délire de revendication. The latter class includes the cases in which ideas of revenge and persecution play the predominating rôle. The main thesis of the book is the legitimacy of separating these two classes, a proceeding to which on purely clinical grounds there seems no objection. The former group is then described in careful detail and the different clinical types that occur in it are excellently expounded.
An interesting, and on the whole adequate, historical account of the literature is given. Here the authors commit the invariable French fault of magnifying the perspective of the work done by their country. The work of all other countries is dismissed in about half the space devoted to French writings; one reference in English is given to sixty-five in French. In all justice it should, however, be said that the account of German teachings, condensed as it is, is admirably oriented and contains all the essentials.
The book may be warmly recommended as being well worth perusal by every psychiatrist who wishes to keep in touch with the trend of modern development.
ERNEST JONES (Toronto).
Diseases of the Nervous System for the General Practitioner and Student.
By ALFRED GORDON, A. M., M. D., etc. (Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's
Son & Co., 1908.) The author states in the preface that in preparing this book for the medical public he has had in view chiefly the general practitioner and the student, and that it has been his aim to give them a plain and practical account of diseases of the nervous system.
The author's ambition is a laudable one, but we fear his readers will still wish for some "plain and practical" work notwithstanding his efforts to supply one.
In many respects Dr. Gordon has succeeded in contributing in his book some things of value to those who seek for light on neurological problems, but these contributions are hidden too often in a mass of carelessly put together and poorly arranged statements.
Much that the author says is in such a condensed or fragmentary form that it is of little practical value,
The reader who is searching for plain and practical directions to aid in the diagnosis of a possible case of multiple neuritis with mental symptoms will find little satisfaction from the following brief reference to the possible occurrence of mental symptoms on page 275: "Finally psychic disturbances are sometimes observed. This is the so-called Korsakoff's psychosis. They consist chiefly of confusion with illusions of identity, loss of orientation, of memory. Delirium and hallucinations may also be present.” This is certainly neither a plain nor practical account of a somewhat common psychosis even for a work on neurology.
While the general practitioner or student would not be expected to resort to examination of the spinal fluid for diagnostic purposes, surely a work of the kind under consideration should mention the procedure in treating of tabes or paresis. Chapter twenty, comprising ten pages only, treats of paresis or general paralysis of the insane.
The brevity of the chapter alone would lead the reader to expect but little more than a mere hasty sketch of the disease—and such is the fact. The author starts out with the assertion that "it (paresis) is a postsyphilitic disease.” Is he prepared to sustain such a surprising assertion? Has he never seen cases of paresis with syphilis absolutely out of the question from an etiological point of view?
The clinical pictures in this chapter, as indeed in many others in the book, lack much in completeness, and the account of the pathological findings is by no means as full as it might be.
On page 422 the author has introduced an address delivered before a medical society on the “relation of accidents to functional nervous disease and psychoses; medico-legal considerations." This address is not in the