Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/271

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267
JEWISH PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

I am not here concerned with any of those characteristics except the psychopathic ones. If they are endowed with exceptionally great mental gifts, it is beyond the scope of this paper to consider them. What I now propose to show is that they suffer from constitutional mental inferiorities, or psychopathic tendencies to a degree entirely out of proportion to the occurrence of such infirmities among the general population. First we will consider our own country. As fully two thirds of the Jews in the United States are in New York, it will be unnecessary to go out of that state to procure the evidence. In the year ending September 30, 1909, out of a total of 5,222 admissions to all the New York State hospitals for the insane, 488 were Jews.[1] While these statistics do not show the total number of Jews insane from all causes to be greatly in excess of the ratio which they bear to the general population, they plainly indicate that they do not fall below the general average, and when we come to analyze them in detail we find that they show a disproportionate number of cases due to constitutional mental inferiority. Taking those insanity groups which in all classifications are universally admitted to be due to bad heredity, the total number among the non-Jews was 2,297 or 48 per cent, of the total number of non-Jewish admissions. On the other hand, 65 per cent, of the Jewish insane belonged to the constitutionally inferior groups.[2]

 
Table of Admissions to the Manhattan State Hospital for the Insane
Classified by Race and Nature of Psychosis for the
Year ending September 30, 1908[3]
 
Psychoses Irish Jewish German U.S. Italian Negro
Senile psychoses 9.80 2.87 6.70 7.14 3.70 9.8
General paresis 7.59 14.05 20.10 17.46 9.87 29.41
Alcoholic psychoses 27.69 .32 11.85 11.90 8.64 7.82
(Dementia præcox) 13.48 27.47 14.95 16.66 23.44 13.72
(Manic-depressive insanity) 16.66 28.43 12.89 18.25 13.58 9.80
Epileptic psychoses 2.20 1.59 4.64 3.17 4.93 3.92
Other psychoses 22.58 25.27 28.87 25.42 35.84 25.53
Total number of each race 408 313 194 126 81 51
 

The practical freedom of this race from the alcoholic psychoses is a matter of common knowledge. Now alcohol was responsible for over ten per cent, of the insanities admitted to the New York state hospitals for the year ending September 30, 1909. But the Jews admitted for alcoholic psychoses for the same period constituted less

  1. Twenty-first Annual Report of the State Commission in Lunacy, Statistics of the Insane, tables 4 and 14.
  2. These percentages are deduced from tables 4 and 14, Statistics of the Insane, State of New York, 1908-09.
  3. De Fursac and Rosanoff, quoting Dr. Kirby in "Manual of Psychiatry," p. 6.