This case report concerns a 31 year old man who suffered from a fear of enclosed places. During treatment for this claustrophobia the man recovered a memory from age 4 involving being trapped in a dark enclosed space. Subsequent information provided by the man's parents provided some degree of confirmation of his recovered memory. The man's claustrophobia subsided after recovering the childhood memory. An interesting aspect of the case is that prior attempts to recover a memory of a sexual nature (due to therapist suggestion) were not successful, suggesting the man was not unduly suggestible.
The author defines repression as an active process of making some part of the mental content inaccessible to memory. He believes it to be harmful when it has negative effects on one's adaptation to his environment. He states that although it is a common practice to tell patients to not think of unpleasant memories it is rarely beneficial to voluntarily banish these thoughts. He discusses cases of war neurosis, and the part taken by repression in each of them. He concludes that facing painful memories and thoughts should be encouraged and patients should be helped after "cessation of repression" for improvement in treatment.
The Doris Fischer case concerns a woman with multiple personalities dating back to the age of three. Some of the personalities were created from traumatic events, others the origins of are unknown. This case is remarkable because it involves a personality that is a subliminal co-conscious personality that can co-exist at the same time as another personality and can take over when necessary. Doris was under observation daily and hourly for almost four years. In all Doris is said to have five separate personalities. Each personality and the actions of each is discussed in detail by Dr. Prince.
Mason argues the importance of recognizing and studying alternating personalities. He describes the awareness of the secondary personalities for each other and the primary personality, using the case of Madame B. to illustrate. The author identifies conditions in which the secondary personality has been observed: 1) spontaneously, 2) under hypnosis, 3) while asleep, and 4) as a result of pathologic conditions of the organism. The origin of personality as either a "product of a power inherent in nature" or "as an expression of organism" is discussed. The author concludes with consideration of the legal accountability of persons with alternating personalities.
Dr. Ward discusses the case of 13 year old Mary Parker. Mary suffered from the measles at age 7, and epileptic attacks started at age 12. Various remedies, such as bleeding out and leeches are tried on Mary, none of which work. Mary's ailments increase to include headache, pain and pressure on her left side. She eventually begins to alternate between delirium and a sound state of mind. Mary's symptoms disappear with the onset of menses. It was concluded that Mary's symptoms were connected to epilepsy, but were hysterical in origin.
Several soldiers in Paris, France in 1918 were reported to be suffering from amnesia to escape punishment for deserting their units. All of the cases reported are of Native American soldiers. Three cases are discussed here they are all thought to have feigned amnesia. This conclusion was reached due to details being recalled that should not have been recalled. One case of amnesia that has been accepted as legitimate is also discussed.
Dr. Mayo discusses the 1831 case of Elizabeth Moffat, an 18 year old that took Unguentom Lytcee by accident, and then seemed to pass into a state of double consciousness. Ms. Moffat's normal state was dull and quiet, her other state was a of extreme excitement. The excited state and the dull state remembered nothing of what the other state had recently learned. Ms. Moffat eventually returned to her normal state full time. Dr. Mayo did not believe her to be faking the excited state.