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(1913). The Modern Treatment of Nervous and Mental Diseases: Edited by William A. White and Smith Ely Jelliffe. Published by Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia. Two volumes; pages 1683; price $12 net.. Psychoanal. Rev., 1(1):119-120.

(1913). Psychoanalytic Review, 1(1):119-120

Book Reviews

The Modern Treatment of Nervous and Mental Diseases: Edited by William A. White and Smith Ely Jelliffe. Published by Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia. Two volumes; pages 1683; price $12 net.

This work marks a distinctive point in the literature of nervous and mental diseases. Neurology for many years had been stagnant, simply growing by accretions of new facts and not being revitalized by new viewpoints. The same thing was true, until a few years ago, of psychiatry, which was the most backward field in medicine, but which is now one of the most progressive. Under the influence of a comparatively few workers in neurology our fundamental concepts of the central nervous system are being slowly remodeled. Under the influence of many workers in psychiatry this whole branch of medicine has suddenly sprung to the fore-front of medical progress, and in the past ten years has developed a literature bewildering both in its complexity and in its quantity. Up to the present time no modern work in either one of these departments of medicine has adequately presented the results of this progress, except in so far as they applied to some relatively circumscribed problem. The present work is not only an effort to place at the disposal of the reader the recent accomplishments in these departments of medicine, but it is a further effort, and in this it is also distinctive, to place these newer facts before the reader with the object in view of serving as indications for therapeutic attack in individual problems.

The question of treatment in many nervous and most mental diseases has always been viewed from the standpoint of a profound pessimism. Nervous and mental diseases seemed, more than any other types, to be the very expressions of fate itself. It is the object of these volumes to combat this pessimism and to indicate lines of hopefulness which are too frequently lost sight of in the laissez faire attitude usually assumed towards these cases.

In considering the problem of treatment it is significant that the individual patient is no longer regarded as merely an empty shell. In this new work disease is not considered from the old-time standpoint that harks back to the middle ages, namely as something which armed cap a pie invades the organism from without, but is viewed as the result of the interaction between the organism and some inimical agency or agencies.

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