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The reader will perceive that I have endeavoured to confine myself to a resume of the more prominent incipient symptoms of the various forms of cerebral and mental disorder. I could not enter more minutely into an investigation of these subjects without trenching upon materiel which will constitute the bases of two succeeding works: viz., one on Organic Affections of the Brain, and the second on Disorders of the Intelligence, Cerebro-Psychical in their nature.

In justice to the reader as well as to myself, I make this explanation, as an apology for the somewhat cursory manner in which I have been obliged to treat the more practical portions of my subject. I refer particularly to those sections of the treatise that relate to the medical treatment of incipient paralysis, apoplexy, softening, as well as other forms of organic cerebral disease and functional mental disorder.

It was impossible for me, without greatly enlarging this already too bulky volume, to enter, except in general terms, upon the consideration of the subject of therapeutics. If I had attempted to do otherwise, it would have been necessary for me to have excluded from the work much salient, illustrative, and relevant matter having a direct bearing upon the class of morbid phenomena under analytical investigation.

PREFACE. Vll

I am bound to confess that I fully and sensitively appreciate the many shortcomings and defects to be found in the following pages. It is not my duty, however, to point them out to the reader. His critical eye will no doubt soon detect all sins of omission and commission, and will, considering the vast extent of ground over which I have had to travel, make every allowance for them.

I sincerely trust that I shall not be exposing myself to the imputation of egotism, if I were to repeat what Goldsmith said in his preface to the "Vicar of Wakefield," —" There are an hundred faults in this thing, and an hundred things might be said to prove them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be dull without a single absurdity."

23, Cavendish Squabe, London, April, I860.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

Important aphorisms of Hippocrates in reference to the early treatment of disease—

Marshall Hall on the neglect of premonitory symptoms of disease of the brain—

General neglect of incipient cerebral symptoms—Attention paid to the early

symptoms of disease in other organs—Cases illustrating the neglect of incipient

symptoms—Insidious character of disease of the brain—Obscure cerebral symp-

toms—All affections of the brain have an incipient stage—Latent disease of the

brain—Diseases of the brain subject to general pathological laws—Neglected

affections of the brain—Cases of alterations of structure of the brain—Physiology

of the brain—Necessity of watching for incipient cerebral disease—Early treat-

ment of insanity—Unwillingness to recognise the existence of insanity—Im-

portance of early treatment ........ pp.1—23

CHAPTER II.

MOBBID PHENOMENA OF INTELLIGENCE.

All physical alterations of the brain modify its psychical functions—Effect of cerebral

disease on the mind—Emotional exaltation and excitement—Irresistible impulse

to suicide—Ennui not always a condition of mental inactivity—Early symptoms

of mental disorder—Disorders of the mind shown by alterations of thought and

conduct 24—29

CHAPTER III.

PBEMONITOBY SYMPTOMS OF INSANITY.

Ignorance of the nature of insanity—Poetical description of insanity by a lunatic—
What is insanity ?—Ignorance of the mental and nerve force—The extent of our
knowledge of the nature of mind and matter—Impossibility of defining insanity—
Suggestions for an improved analysis of morbid mind—Laws governing the
operation of thought—State of the mind between sleeping and waking—Insanity
and dreaming—Are intellectual problems solved during dreams?—Insanity a
waking dream—Pascal on dreams—Poetry, &c, composed during sleep—Sapidity
of mental action in dreams—Curious case—Resemblance of the phenomena of
dreams to insanity—In dreams the mind is often conscious of its creations—Lucid
intermissions during attacks of insanity—Singular temporary restoration to reason,

30—46

CHAPTER IV.

CONFESSI0N8 OF PATIENTS AFTEB RECOVEBING FROM INSANITY;

OB THE CONDITION OF THE MIND WHEN IN A STATE OF

ABEBKATION.

The autobiography of the insane interesting and instructive—Indivisibility of mind
—Can the insane accurately describe, after recovery, their previous condition of
disordered mind ?—Shakspcare the only correct delineator of insanity—Former
barbarous treatment of tbc insane—Pinel's efforts to ameliorate the condition of
the insane—Progress in the pathology and therapeutics of insanity—Symptoms
of insanity described by a lady alter recovery —Morbid suggestions in the
incipient stage—Cases of incipient insanity—Case of double consciousness—
Singular case of incipient insanity—Illusions of hearing—Hallucinations of sight
—Letters from patients after recovery—Confessions of the insane after recovery,

47—149

CHAPTER V.

STATE OF THE MIND WHEN RECOVERING FROM AN ATTACK OF

INSANITY.

State of the mind when passing out of an insane into a sane condition—Cases illus-

trating the phenomena—Doubts as to the reality of delusions among the insane—

Descriptions given by patients after recovery of their previous state of mind—

Singular case of recovery from attacks of insanity—The Rev. Mr. Watford's

account of his recovery from an attack of mental derangement . . 150—158

CHAPTER VI.

ANOMALOUS AND MASKED AFFECTIONS OF THE MIND.

Impossibility of defining insanity—Singular case of insanity—Insanity among

children—Symptoms of insanity—Undetected mental disease—Remarks by Dr.

Brierre de Boismont and• others on the insanity of early life—Insanity in the

United States of America—Statistics of insanity among children—Hereditary

predisposition to insanity—Incipient symptoms of insanity—Transformations of

character in the early stage of insanity—Exaggerations of natural states of

mind often indicative of insanity—Delusions—Diagnosis of insanity—Obscure

disease of the brain—Latent and unrecognised insanity—Serious results following

a non-recognition of insanity—I'seudo forms of mental disorder—Insidious

approach of insanity—Symptoms of latent insanity—Alterations of character and

disposition preceding attacks of insanity—Cases of morbid paroxysms of passion—

Temper disease—Curious case of disordered mind—Insanity shown in acts of

brutality—Concealed monomania—Moral character changed by physical injury—

Paralysis of the moral sense—Illustrations of moral idiutcy—Shakspeare's de-

scription of this affection—Latent case of monomania—Transformation of cha-

racter caused by physical disease—Effects of diseased brain on the character—

Meteorological influence on the mind—Effect of chloroform on the mind—Resem-

blance of mental phenomena caused by the use of chloroform to insanity—Curious

mental phenomena caused by the absorption of poison in the blood—Singular case

of hydrophobia affecting the mind—Influence of physical irritation on the mind—

Morbid views of religion—Extraordinary organic change discovered after death in

the membranes of the brain—Brutality and immorality—Cases of erotic monomania

—Speedy cure of a case of insanity—Singular case of concealed insanity—Reck-

lessness in monetary transactions exhibited in the incipient phase of mental dis-

order—Case of undetected insanity—Motiveless acts of brutality connected with

latent insanity—Homicidal insanity—Wail of the homicidal maniac—Duties of the

psychological expert—Importance of the testimony of experts in subtle cases of in-

sanity—Popular ignorance of insanity—Evidence in cases of alleged lunacy—Case

of Atkinson, the homicidal idiot—Danger of lunatics being at large—Decision of

juries in cases of insanity—Serious consequences of a wrong verdict in commis-

sions de lunatico—Anomalous defective state of the law of lunacy—Justice to

be tempered with mercy 159—224

CHAPTER VII.

THE STAGE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

Neglect of habits of self-inspection—Innato wickedness of the human heart—
Mysteries of the inner mental life—Consciousness of the approach of insanity

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