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Unformatted text preview: hing wrong was found and he was sent back to duty.
From that episode dates as typical an anhedonia as I have ever seen. Gradually he became sleepless and woke
each day more tired than he went to bed. The food displeased him, and he grumbled over what were formerly
trifles. He wearied easily, and nothing seemed to move him to enthusiasm or desire. He gave up friendship
after friendship, because the friends annoyed him by their noise and boisterousness. He dreaded the roar of the
guns and the shriek of shells with what amounted to physical agony. He brooded alone, and though not
melancholy in the positive insane sense, was melancholy in the disappearance of desire, joy, energy, interest
Fortunately the armistice came at this time. S. was examined and discharged as well because he made no
complaints, for he was anxious to get home. This was his one great desire. At home, with a nice bed to sleep
in, good food to eat and the pleasant faces of his own people, his "nerves" would yield, he had no doubt. But
he was mistaken; this was not the case. He became no better, and though he tried his old "job," he found that
he could not find the energy, enthusiasm or concentration necessary for success. He was then referred to the
United States Public Health Service, where I saw him, and he became my patient.
My first problem was to restore the power of sleeping. This I succeeded in doing by means that were entirely
"physical." With that accomplished, the man became hopeful of further results, and this enabled one to bring
about a desire for food, again by physical means, medicine, in short. The problem of awaking S.'s interest
simmered down to that of finding an outlet for his ambition. The Federal Vocational Board granted him the
right to take up a business course in a college. Though he found the study hard at first, he was encouraged to
keep on and told to expect little of himself at first. This is an important point, for if a man holds himself to a
high standard under conditions such as those of S., then failure brings a discouragement that upsets the
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- Spring '11