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Psycho-neuroses Hysteria

As the derivation of the name indicates, psycho-neuroses are
functional nervous affections dependent on states of mind. They are
not necessarily originated by the mind, though they may be. Their
spontaneous occurrence as pure psychic phenomena, however, is rather
rare. There is practically always some slight physical cause. This may
be severe, for all diseases have neurotic accompaniments that disturb
the nerves involved and exaggerate the original symptoms. In most
cases the patient has no serious interest to divert his or her mind
from this occupation with self, and as a consequence the particular
feeling fills up the whole of consciousness, and as it is painful to
begin with, the pain, following Cajal's law of avalanche, may become
almost intolerable.

It is of primary importance to remember, however, that there is
practically always a physical basis for these curiously interesting
affections which are so difficult to treat and which have so often
proved the despair of physicians. While the attitude of mind must be
changed, the physical state itself must be corrected. These two things
must be secured at the same time, however, for attention to the
physical state without correction of mental attitude will usually only
emphasize the condition by calling further attention to the symptoms.
This is especially true of local treatment. The mind must, above all,
be treated and diversion of attention secured. Psycho-neuroses may
occur in connection with sensory or motor nerves. The patient may
either complain of intense pain in some part of the body for which
there is but a very slight basis, or may be unable to move certain
muscles, or there may be a combination of sensory and motor symptoms
with complaint of pain on movement. The painful conditions are most
important because they prove a source of worry and anxiety to the
patient's friends, as well as often of such annoyance at unsuitable
hours as deprives those near them of rest to a degree that may
undermine health.

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