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Macdonald, R.A. (1938). The Troubled Mind: By C. J. Bleumel. (Ballière, Tindall and Cox, London, 1938. Pp. 520. Price 13 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:509-510.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:509-510

The Troubled Mind: By C. J. Bleumel. (Ballière, Tindall and Cox, London, 1938. Pp. 520. Price 13 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
R. A. Macdonald

In a short preface the author of this book indicates that his purpose in writing it is to present a description of nervous and mental disease in simple terms, and to state some original theories concerning the nature of these disorders.

In order to do the former, he has called to his aid an immense number of short clinical histories. There are many who have a great liking for this form of description, but even the most avid seeker after illustrative material might well weary of such a succession. Particularly is this so since it is obvious that descriptive skill takes the place of any deep understanding of the mechanism of production of the fascinating symptoms so graphically presented.

The chapter on the Nature of Psychoneurosis, which, since little reference to them can be found elsewhere, presumably contains the 'Original Theories', illustrates this well. A good start is made by stating that psychoneurosis is both an emotional and physiological disturbance, and that the patient must be considered as a whole, and not as a collection of isolated symptoms. Thereafter, however, the 'theory' degenerates into a statement of the fact that people respond to stimuli in two ways, namely, to and from them. This platitude is dignified by new terms, the 'To-reaction' and the 'From-' or 'Stress-reaction', which henceforth take all the blame—the word is used advisedly—for neurosis and psychosis. Little explanation is given of why the neurotic patient uses the 'From-reaction', where reality suggests that the 'To-reaction' would be more appropriate.

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