On the Pathology and Treatment of Hysteria

9780217736237: On the Pathology and Treatment of Hysteria

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1853. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI. TREATMENT. In considering the principles which may be laid down as guides in the treatment of hysteria, it is necessary first to decide how far the causes of morbid action are under the control of therapeutic agents; and whether these possess the power, either of removing them, or of counteracting their operation. And if the disease be examined under the simplest conditions of its existence, in the form of a wellmarked primary paroxysm, which has been suddenly produced by grief, or anger, or desire, in a previously healthy person, this will not be found susceptible of abbreviation by any of the means which are commonly employed on such occasions, and which are used rather to calm the anxiety of friends and bystanders, by an appearance of treatment, than from any assured belief in their efficiency. On the contrary, such a paroxysm will often increase and reach its acme during the sedulous application of burnt rags and stimulating vapours to the nostrils, and notwithstanding the continued administration of various medicinal agents; while, at the same time, it will frequently yield to the secretion of tears or urine, before any endeavours to influence its course by remedies have been commenced. It is said that cold enemata, or cold vaginal injections, will often terminate a paroxysm; but I have had no experience of their utility, and am not disposed to gain it; because in many cases their moral effect would be unquestionably hurtful. And if it be considered, that a certain amount of emotion will produce an attack in almost any woman, however healthy; the conclusion is almost inevitable, that we shall be disappointed in the action of tonics or other medicines, given when the disease is quiescent, with a view to diminish the excitability of the nervous sy...

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