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Davies-Jones, C.W. (1920). A Case of War Shock Resulting from Sex-Inversion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:240-244.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:240-244

A Case of War Shock Resulting from Sex-Inversion

C. W.S. Davies-Jones

I propose to quote from the notes of a case — not so much from the point of view of discussing the actual conditions present, as of a means of putting before you some of the main points in the technique of Psycho-Analysis, which I consider to be fairly well illustrated therein.

The patient is a young man of twenty-six years of age, of more than average intelligence, and distinctly showing a well-marked degree of the "Artistic Temperament". He complains of a terror of "Something" lurking in the dark, especially in his bedroom, from which he has been compelled, at times, to rush out in a state bordering upon panic. He has never been able to sleep without a light on for more than two years. Subsidiary symptoms are forgetfulness and inability to concentrate.

In treating the case, I resolved to begin with an analysis—the patient proving to be unsuitable for approach by hypnosis. In the preliminary discussion, the patient connected the occurrence of the symptoms, somewhat vaguely, with the following war experience:—

During the Somme Battle, while near Delville Wood, he remembered noticing the unburied head of a soldier which he had frequently to pass. In doing so, he always avoided looking at the face which—to quote his own words—"Bore an expression of extreme horror and disgust", and thereby greatly impressed him. One night, however, despite his usual precautions not to approach the head too closely, he felt his foot tread upon it, and was instantly filled with a great revulsion of feeling, as he felt what he imagined to be the brains "Squelching" around his foot.

At the outset, the case would appear to present the ordinary features of "War Shock".

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