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PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL RESEARCHES
STUDIES IN MENTAL DISSOCIATION

Boris Sidis, M. A., Ph.D., M.D.
with
William A. White, M.D., George M. Parker, M.D.

1908
Boston: Richard G. Badger

 

CHAPTER IX

RE-EMERGENCE OF DISINTEGRATED GROUPS AND THEIR FINAL DISSOLUTION

       THE broken-off chips and fragments from the main systems were not soon dissolved, but persisted for some time in the subconscious and now and then emerged into the patient's upper consciousness. More often they appeared in the hypnotic states, and also in the dream states, and at frequent intervals they reappeared in the fully waking states. The patient often complained that in his sleep the memories of his bad feelings came back and made him feel worse on awaking. In another of his dream states, a physician resembling Dr. N., about whom amnesia had been enforced, reappeared and gave directions bringing about a reinstatement of disintegrated mental systems. Fragments broken off some months ago and seemingly destroyed have been coming up, showing that it takes time before the complete dissolution of the constituents of an organized system actually occurs. In one of his hypnotic states, the patient suddenly referred to sensory troubles in the rectum, troubles that could be traced to a question put to the patient some ten months before.

        The unexpected emergence of fragments of disintegrated and subconsciously buried mental systems is not infrequent in the domains of the subconscious. A group which is almost completely forgotten and is regarded as dead, and has seemingly entirely vanished from life activity suddenly revives and comes to light again from the depths of subconscious regions. The mode of manifestation of these isolated broken-off chips of formerly extensive mental systems is very much of the same nature as found in the phenomena of fixed ideas, impulsive insanities, and psychic epilepsies. An isolated mental system suddenly emerges without apparent relation to the patient's mental life and brings about psychomotor disturbances often of considerable extent and of serious character. Many forms of attacks with characteristic auras of seemingly epileptic character can be traced to recurrent upheavals of such subconsciously buried fragmentary mental groups and systems.

        When such systems do come up, and it is of vital importance to bring up as many of them as possible so as to get rid of psychomotor disturbances and "attacks," the only way is to bring them into the clear light of consciousness and have them associated with antagonizing mental systems, thus re-establishing psychomotor equilibrium. The course of the process of dissolution of the depressed delusional mental states in this case of typical functional melancholia was from subconscious disintegration to conscious reintegration.

        The physician, the psychiatrist, who has also the practical aspect in view, will no doubt be interested to know that the patient is now in good condition,―his melancholic delusional state has completely disappeared and he has resumed his former vocation.

 

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