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Scott, W.M. (1944). Personality and Mental Illness: By John Bowlby. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1940. Pp. xii + 280. Price, 10 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 25:171-172.

(1944). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 25:171-172

Personality and Mental Illness: By John Bowlby. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1940. Pp. xii + 280. Price, 10 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
W. Clifford M. Scott

In this book evidence is given to confirm Kretschmer's theory of personality, a new classification of personality types is suggested, the literature published in English is reviewed and the personalities previous to illness of 65 patients, as scored on a test of 105 'traits' or attributes, are given, along with many descriptions of patients' illnesses. The view that transitions occur from normality to neurosis and psychopathy, and from both to psychosis is accepted. 'Healthy personality is simply one manifestation of personality, the neuroses and psychoses being others.' (P. 6.) Granted the general fact of 'gradation', the view is accepted that certain types of normality may break down by developing neuroses, which, if they worsen, may lead only to certain psychoses. The linear theory based on regression is not accepted.

The personalities of the patients have been compared quantitatively in terms of 33 schizoid traits (e.g. 'solitary', 'no friends', 'no sex', etc.), 45 non-specific (depressive) traits (e.g. 'steady worker', 'practical', 'cautious', etc.) and 27 non-specific (hyperthymic) traits (e.g. 'many friends', 'jolly', 'leader', etc.). Many of the traits are symptomatic (e.g. 'alcoholism', 'phobias', 'invalidism', 'homosexual', etc.). Such traits occur so frequently that it is stated (p. 189) that a different scale would be needed in any attempt to separate 'normal' instead of preneurotic or pre-psychotic personalities into types.

The 'syntonic' (Bleuler's term for 'cycloid') personalities of the manic-depressives (23 in number) have been subdivided into 5 types, partly descriptively and partly on the basis of the antitheses between good and bad temper, and between active, sociable, optimistic and their opposite. This leads to 5 sub-types named Cautious Obsessive, Cheerful Hyperthymic, Anxious Depressive, Quarrelsome Hyperthymic and Circular. The difference between Kretschmer's data and the author's may, he feels, be racially determined (p. 91). Although dynamic psychopathology is rarely mentioned, enough of Morton Prince's description of 'Sally Beauchamp' is quoted to substantiate the suggestion that a manic-depressive disorder may have had much to do with the alternation of her 'personalities'.

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