Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/58

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actually a "mind diseased," and who have imperative need to be cured, if possible.

Yet, frequent as this kind of disease is, great as is the suffering, so often prolonged indefinitely, and so often full of hindrance and atrophy and danger, it yet remains a matter of very common observation, that anything like a full understanding and appreciation of its real significance, or a desirable possession of efficient skill in its management and relief, is almost as unusual now as it was when Lady Macbeth's "amazed" physician so fumbled in his answer to Macbeth's demand, "Well, well, well. . . . This disease is beyond my practise. . . . More needs she the divine than the physician," but consoled himself so complacently by adding, with by no means unfamiliar unction, "God, God forgive us all!" and thus justified Macbeth's, "Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it," with an unsuspected completeness!

Nevertheless, no matter how incompetent Macbeth's physician felt himself seriously to be, one now feels, especially in the presence of actual cases, that the acknowledged darkness respecting the more common conceptions of a "mind diseased," or more definitely, "mental pain," and all its invaliding consequences should not continue indefinitely to prevail; and also, with equal warmth, that with more accurate knowledge there ought to come a better and still better practical skill in dealing with it, both by way of cure and prevention. Much promise of this there certainly now is, especially in the rapidly accumulating reports of those who have recently devoted themselves to careful investigations of the varied substrata of consciousness, through certain ingenious yet well-considered processes known as "psycho-analysis"; through careful study of the effects of fright, whether experienced during waking hours or in natural dreams, and as recited by those who remember and are competent to give them form; through studies of autohypnosis, and various induced "hypnoidal" conditions and the records of what is thus revealed; to which may be added a like study of the contents of certain waking trance-like or semi-hypnotic dreamy states; the coming and going of "tunes in the head," and all the other distressing trains of "imperative" ideas and impulses ("obsessions"); as well as, possibly, an entirely new series of results to be obtained through photographic records of changes in facial expression—i. e., through accurate observation and interpretation of the "physiognomical (phiz) reflex" through all these, together with much other probable investigation along lines yet to be uncovered—all of which must before very long certainly add almost beyond calculation to our present knowledge of a "mind diseased" in itself, as well as of our means for its successful alleviation.

In connection with this, there undoubtedly appears something like an imperative duty on the part of all to help on these investigations and thus serviceably pave the way for practical application of what may thus be