Treatment

As we begin our discussion of treatment, we should keep in mind what we learned in the preceding chapters, and consider the cure of psychasthenia from two aspects We will therefore have two well-defined objectives 1. Modify the cerebral mechanism through functional re-education. 2. Modify the mental state through psychological re-education. These two objectives are actually inseparable, and we are only making the distinction for the sake of clarity.

State of consciousness

To help patients get used to being conscious of their own thought processes, we ask them to perform a quick examination of everything they are feeling and thinking, of any ideas they might have, a number of times a day. This self examination may be carried out mentally or, in some cases, written down so that it can be analyzed by the treating physician. A written report has the added advantage of forcing patients to formulate their thoughts more precisely. Awareness is equivalent to the gnoti...

Physical effect of controlling actions

Now let's look at how controlled action affects psychasthenics. At first, it may seem as if this constant effort to concentrate and act attentively is completely abnormal, placing an added strain on patients and adding yet another unhealthy symptom to the list. However, what may be true for a balanced mind is not necessarily true for a non-controlled mind. Psychasthenic patients, therefore, can develop very useful habits through voluntary action. If their actions are carried out properly, they...

Reduction of reactive faculties

In normal persons, the brain is constructed in a way that allows it to react against any exterior influences that may disturb its functioning. Psychasthenic persons, on the other hand, are exaggeratedly impressionable. This condition is, relatively speaking, more pronounced when dealing with minor external influences than with major ones. We have, in fact, observed that these people seem able to bear the brunt of an intense psychological trauma, while becoming completely unbalanced by some...

The duality of the brain

Before beginning our study of cerebral control, it is very important that you understand how the brain functions, as far as perception, developing ideas, sensations and actions are concerned. There are a number of modern theories, but let's look at the simplest one, which accepts the existence of two different functional centers, called the conscious or objective brain, and the unconscious or subjective brain. We will use the former terms, with the understanding that neither provides a perfect...