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Menninger, K.A. (1936). Psychological Factors in Urological Disease. Psychoanal Q., 5:488-512.

(1936). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 5:488-512

Psychological Factors in Urological Disease

Karl A. Menninger

This paper is an attempt to investigate the contribution of emotional factors to pathological tissue alterations in the genital apparatus, particularly the prostate.

Urological afflictions are, of course, seen more frequently by urologists than by psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, and investigation of the psychological factors in these conditions is therefore, for practical reasons, rare. A man suffering with suppurative prostatitis, for example, is naturally impelled toward direct mechanical or chemical relief and neither he nor his urologist are likely to have much patience with the propsoal that psychological factors are involved in the illness. Their existence might even be conceded but their practical importance would certainly be discounted.

Our knowledge of anatomy, bacteriology and immunology is so much more complete than our knowledge of psychology that even this theoretical invasion of the urologists' field seems presumptuous, especially while thousands of urologically afflicted patients are being successfully treated every day without any particular consideration of psychological factors.

Notwithstanding this fact, the occasional glimpses obtained by the psychiatrist into the emotional factors pertaining to a specific instance of urological disease cannot but lead to conclusions, and tempt one to further speculations in the interests of furthering our understanding of this acknowledgedly undeveloped field.

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