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recover, but a few go on to severe incurable mental disease.
I pass on, without regard for logic or completeness, to a personality type that we may call the anhedonic or
simpler a restless, not easily satisfied, easily disgusted group. Some of these are cyclothymic, over-emotional,
often monothymic but I am discussing them from the standpoint of their satisfaction with life and its
experiences. The ordinary label of "finicky" well expresses the type, but of course it neglects the basic
psychology. This I have discussed elsewhere in this book and will here describe two cases, one a congenital
type and the other acquired.
T. was born dissatisfied, so his mother avers. As a baby he was "a difficult feeding case" because the very
slightest cause, the least change in the milk, upset him, a fact attested to by vigorous crying. Babies have a
variability in desire and satisfaction quite as much as their elders.
Apparently T. thrived, despite his start, for as a child he was sturdy looking. Nevertheless, in toys, games,
treats, etc., he was hard to please and easy to displease. He turned up his nose if a toy were not perfection, and
he had to have his food prepared according to specification or his appetite vanished. Moreover, he had a very
limited range of things he liked, and as time went on he extended that list but little. He was very choice in his
clothes--not at all a regular boy--and quite disgusted with dirt and disorder. "A little old maid" somebody
called him, having in mind of course the traditional maiden lady.
As T. grew his capacity for pleasure-feeling did not increase. On the contrary his attention to the details
necessary for his pleasure made of him one of those finicky connoisseurs who, though never really pleased
with anything, get a sort of pleasure in pointing out the crudity of other people's tastes and pleasures. This
attitude of superiority is the one compensation the finicky have, and since they are often fluent...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11