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Hassall, J.C. (1915). The RĂ´le of the Sexual Complex in Dementia Precox. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(3):260-276.

(1915). Psychoanalytic Review, 2(3):260-276

The Rôle of the Sexual Complex in Dementia Precox

James C. Hassall, M.D.

The opposition which the present transitional period, from a purely descriptive psychiatry into a genetic, dynamic conception of mental disorder, has met, is based to a large extent upon the assertion, on the part of the critics, that they want more illustrative facts which will substantiate the theories advanced by the new psychiatry. It seems to me that much of the mist created by these contentions, sometimes brought forth in a spirit of search for truth and sometimes in a mere blind antagonism to things which are new, would be cleared away by a collection and publication of those instances, met with in daily psychiatric practice, which go a long way toward substantiating the various conceptions thus severely attacked. For this reason, it is our intention to give in this paper, together with a brief summary of the various theories in question, a few abstracts from cases in which sexuality, per se, held the center of the stage in the psychosis.

We need not and could not, if we wished, reiterate all that has been said for and against the socalled Freudian psychology. It has been stated, repeatedly and justly, that one can only reach a sympathetic attitude toward this new movement after considerable study, application and clinical experience; after an approach to one's clinical material with an open and unbiased mind. This paper is primarily and essentially to add to the mass of data already on record a collection of clinical material which we hope will serve to throw further light on this subject.

It is not possible in a short description to give even a very small part of the moments upon which any one phenomenon is dependent, because the connections are so frequently demonstrated by the patients, by the tone of the voice, attitude, blushing, trembling and hesitation.

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