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Lewin, B.D. (1934). Towards Mental Health: The Schizophrenic Problem: By Charles Macfie Campbell, M.D. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933. v+110 p.. Psychoanal Q., 3:317-324.

(1934). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 3:317-324

Towards Mental Health: The Schizophrenic Problem: By Charles Macfie Campbell, M.D. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933. v+110 p.

Review by:
Bertram D. Lewin

For the 1932 Adolph Gehrman lectures in hygiene, the University of Illinois College of Medicine committee chose as a topic mental hygiene and as a lecturer C. Macfie Campbell. The lectures, presented here in book form, reveal the literary charm, didactic lucidity and persuasiveness that are always to be expected of Dr. Campbell.

These qualities fructify the beginning of the lectures where general medical hygiene is contrasted with mental hygiene. "The laboratory-minded physician", we are told, "who is apt to look upon the patient as the more or less incidental battleground upon which a fascinating conflict of impersonal [i.e., physicochemical, biological] forces is taking place … ignores the possibility that the technical methods which have been so productive in the field of internal medicine may have a strictly limited application in the field of mental disorder"—a point surely worthy of much didactic repetition before "an audience of faculty members, alumni, advanced students and undergraduates" in the field of medicine. This audience is called upon to consider that although "the laboratory study of a fanatical agnostic may reveal some anomalies in his biochemical equilibrium, to lay the whole weight of the explanation of his agnosticism on such anomalies and to ignore the fact that the agnosticism developed acutely after his wife had run off with a clergyman seems a mistake". From the self-evident the argument proceeds that this hypothetical desertion might lead to lack of interest, depression, alcoholism and other sequelæ. Having thus gained his audience's interest in the life situation antecedent to the beginning of a mental disorder, Dr. Campbell gives a general empirical definition of mental disorders (including hysterical and obsessive symptoms, morbid fears, delinquency, and "distorted personality" among them) and turns to schizophrenia to find exemplification for his remarks.


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