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Read, C.S. (1923). Benign Stupors: By August Hoch, M.D. (Cambridge University Press. 1921. Pp. xi+284. Price 14s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:220-222.
  

(1923). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 4:220-222

Benign Stupors: By August Hoch, M.D. (Cambridge University Press. 1921. Pp. xi+284. Price 14s.)

Review by:
C. Stanford Read

This is a posthumous work from the pen of one whose untimely decease was a great loss to the psychiatric world. The book was not quite completed, but, from copious notes left, his colleague Dr. MacCurdy has been enabled to present Hoch's observations in their entirety. Following the line taken by Adolf Meyer in regarding the so-called functional psychoses as psychobiological reactions, Hoch has strenuously avoided the conception of nosological entities and has developed individual study to endeavour to trace wherein lies the failure of adaptation. His previous work on the benign psychoses is well known and he has endeavoured to show that in the manic-depressive group, though elation and depression are the most frequent affects noted, there are not uncommonly others such as perplexity, anxiety, or apathy which are just as characteristic. Within these pages he demonstrates the importance and signification of a special syndrome centering around apathy or benign stupor. In text books on psychiatry the most sterile chapter usually has been that devoted to 'anergic stupor' as a special entity which was as devoid of any psychological meaning as the other psychoses described. Hoch has not only here given us the essential symptoms seen in the stupor reactions, viz: (1) More or less marked interference with activity, often to the point of complete cessation of spontaneous and reactive motions and speech; (2) Interference with the intellectual processes; (3) Affectlessness; (4) Negativism; but these are analysed and seen to be significant as definite reactions to emotional situations.

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