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Unformatted text preview: n for the popular name of the "snakes." In alcoholic hallucinosis
the patient has delusions of persecution and hears voices accusing him of all kinds of wrong-doing. Very
frequently, as all the medical writers note, these voices are "conscience exteriorized"; that is, the voices say of
him just what he has been saying of himself in the struggle against drink. Then there is Alcoholic Paranoia, a
disease in which the main change is a delusion of jealousy directed against the mate, who is accused of
infidelity. It is interesting that in the last two diseases the patient is "clear-headed"; memory and orientation
are good; the patient speaks well and gives no gross signs of his trouble. As the effects of the alcohol wear
away, the patient recovers,--i.e., his character returns to its normal.
It becomes necessary at this point to take up a reverse side of our study, namely, what is often called the
influence of "mind over matter." Such cures of disease as seem to follow prayer and faith are cited; such
incidents as the great strength of men under emotion or the disturbances of the body by ideas are listed as
examples. This is not the place to discuss cures by faith. It suffices to say this: that in the first place most of
such cures relate to hysteria, a disease we shall discuss later but which is characterized by symptoms that
appear and disappear like magic. I have seen "cured" (and have "cured") such patients, affected with paralysis,
deafness, dumbness, blindness, etc., with reasoning, electricity, bitter tonics, fake electrodes, hypnotism, and
in one case by a forcible slap upon a prominent and naked part of the body. Hysteria has been the basis of
many a saint's reputation and likewise has aided many a physician into affluence.
Nor is the effect of coincidence taken into account in estimating cures, whether by faith or by drugs. Many a
physician has owed his start to the fact that he was called in on some obscure case just when the patient was
on the turn towards recover...
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- Spring '11