A man who disappeared and was presumed dead by his family was found four years later living a different life with a different name. The author interviewed and received correspondence from several sources related to the incident. While living under an alias, the man was recognized, but did not remember anything of his previous life or family. Upon awakening to his previous identity following a period of stress, headaches, and a nap, the man recognized his family members, but remembered nothing of his alias. A physician provides a theory that the alternate personality may be related to a blood clot.
A man develops amnesia after he is accused of a crime. He forgets the last several years of his life once he is accused of the crime. Dr. Mayer analyzes the patient to decide if his amnesia is a conscious choice or an unconscious one. No definitive conclusion is reached.
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 author, Barkworth, compares actions done by people in hypnotic states. He distinguishes between mental or physical actions and voluntary, automatic or intuitive actions. Barkworth reviews several of these types of cases, occurring with or without hypnotism. A few of these cases also involve automatic writing. One case in particular involves a patient’s ability to learn music and perform it at a later time with or without the written music notes.
Dr. Bramwell conducted multiple experiments on multiple patients using hypnotism. In each of these experiments the Dr. hypnotized the patient and then suggested that they perform a certain task in a certain number of minutes. In most cases the patient was able to perform the task (or a close proximity) at the preappointed time (or a close proximity). The patient would have no recollection of why they felt the need to perform this task unless they were asked while hypnotized. The Dr. concludes that this was an unconscious measurement of time. Several other doctors either refute or agree with Dr. Bramwell’s conclusions.
Two cases are covered by Dr. Myers. The first case is of Louis V. He suffered from epilepsy, hysteria and paralysis after a great fright from a viper. His memory would occasionally relapse back to a previous time period. Later in life he would oscillate back and forth between two personalities. Each personality seemed to be controlled by a different side of the brain. The second case is that of Felidia X. She suffered from the presence of a second personality. She was able to function in both of these states due to being put into a hypnotic trance. Dr. Myers compares the two cases on the grounds of morals vs. biology.
Dr. Burnett discusses the case of a young man. The child was determined to be in the ministry at age five. Soon after this decision, the child started to suffer from various types of intense head pain, that lead to periods of a changed personality. As he grew, this also manifested itself with bouts of depression. A few episodes of violence also followed when the boy was under treatment at a sanatorium. After a session of intense mental suggestion, the patient no longer suffered from a dual personality or amnesia. He was then able to recall all actions of both sides of his personality. The article is followed by a discussion among several doctors about the case and similar ones they have encountered.
McDougall reviews Sidis’ book “Multiple personality.” The book mainly concerns the case of Mr. Hanna. He suffered from a complete loss of memory following an accident. He began to have brief snips of his past life, mostly through dreams. He eventually regained his previous memories and was able to also remember his “new” memories. Sidis stated that the case was one of psycho-physiological dissociation. McDougall does not come to the same conclusion of Mr. Hanna’s case as Sidis does. McDougall questions to what extent the treatment brought about Mr. Hanna’s recovery. McDougall briefly covers the other contents of the book.