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(1925). Outlines of Psychiatry. William A. White Tenth Revised Edition. Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company. Washington and New York.. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(3):375-376.

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(3):375-376

Book Reviews

Outlines of Psychiatry. William A. White Tenth Revised Edition. Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company. Washington and New York.

This work of Dr. White's has been the leading textbook of psychiatry in the United States almost from its first edition. With each succeeding revision it has grown in favor and authority and now in its tenth edition, incorporating the most valuable of the recent advances in psychopathology and psychiatry it stands preeminent not only because of its grasp of the movement within the science of psychopathology and the art of psychiatry, but because of its author's singular facility for extracting from the many diverse studies in the field the kernel of their meaning and being able to present it in clear simple terms.

This faculty for clarity of expression of complex and subtle phenomena has given this work its great pedagogic value, while at the same time the author's daily contact, with mental disorders has given him an insight into psychological dynamics which few authors possess and even fewer the capacity to tell these intuitional aspects to others.

This edition incorporates some extremely interesting newer material which will render the work of even greater value to general practitioners who may seek for light in this to them almost unknown field. These features take up general problems of extra neural pathology showing the effects upon the various bodily systems of the inner drive. Thus the cardiovascular system responses to certain types of mental disturbance are most instructively shown. Why does the dementia precox type of individual tend to break down in his respiratory organs, and the paranoid type develop compensatory cardiovascular hypertrophies and go under by hemorrhagic or hyperplasic processes, etc.? This and similar aspects of an integral unity of so-called “body and mind” stamps this work as more than a treatise on psychiatry, but one that encompasses a truly neohippocratic ideal, namely, that psychical processes represent the essential dynamics of the human body, to which all other forms of energy exchange are adaptive reactions. In spite of all kinds of externally hindering processes, accident, infection, surmenage, etc., the human organism strives to carry out “purposeful aims,” conscious in part, immensely greater unconscious. This interactionism is registered in both metabolic and social behavior. When a break occurs in the former we speak of organic disease, benign or malignant, when in the latter we deal with syndromies of neuroses, psychoses or antisocial conduct.

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