söndag 5 september 2010

A CONVENIENT DIAGNOSIS

Ibland undrar jag var det som engelsmännen refererar till som despair slutar och vansinnet tar vid. I min nyligen införskaffade Encyclopedia of Sex Practice, anno 1937, propagerar man fortfarande för sjukdomen Hysteria, exemplifierad i följande 6 fallstudier. Fallstudier som i all enkelhet snarare beskriver en mycket sund desperat olycka. Jag antar att jag inte har mycket att tillägga, annat än att det verkligen är synd om människorna.


Case 1: A girl of twenty-five had severe haemorrhages from time to time, introduced by violent coughing, without any tubercular affection being present in the lungs. Highly intelligent and an efficient private secretary, the girls thoughts, emotions and volition were intensely engaged in the sexual sphere. She preferred effeminate men. The haemorrhages sometimes resulted in the discharge of half a pint of blood, so that her condition frequently appeared to be desperate. But several examinations, checked by a number of doctors, failed to reveal any organic trouble. After about nine months the girl established intimate relations with an author who showed a tendency towards effeminacy, each being violently attracted to the other in the erotic sense. From then on the haemorrhages completely ceased and never recurred during the next seven months (...)

Case 2: Frau T went for a short holiday to a mountain village. At her hotel she made the acquaintance of a family. One night, at about ten o'clock, when her friends had gone to a musical performance, Frau T decided to go up to bed. In order to do so she had to pass through a corridor, along which the apartment of the family was situated. She suddenly thought of the clothes rack she had seen during a previous visit in one of their rooms, entered, and took from the rack a blue silk raincoat, a blouse belonging to a fifteen-year-old girl and a skirt that went with it. She took these garments to her room, and took a great delight in them, without however intending to make use of them. She laid the clothes aside and later, when a
search was made for them she cut them up into small pieces, which she hid. However some buttons that were lying about betrayed her and she confessed everything to the policeman who was then called. Frau T says she took the clothes not because she needed them or because she had a mania for bedecking herself with fine things, but owing to an irresistable impulse which comes upon her particularly during her period. She did not intend to use the garments, and only took them because the process gave her sensual pleasure. The thought that the things would be missed excited her to the point of masturbation.
Case 3: In a small village the women, and particularly old
maids, had for several years been annoyed by anonymous letters making the grossest reflections on them. The authorities had a strong suspicion, and intended to arrest the daughter of a local landowner. However they first consulted a detective in a nearby city. As the detective interrogated the woman who had made the complaint and who recieved most of the anonymous letters it occured to him that she herself might be the culprit. He followed his hunch and found his suspicion confirmed. The woman was a severe case of hysteria.

Case 4: A young couple had been married for two years without engaging i
n sexual intercourse. The wife, who had studied medecine for a few terms, had discovered that the husband had a strong homosexual componant, but at first she had hoped that the genuine camaraderie that linked them together was a sufficient basis for a permanent harmonious "married" life. After a few months, however, she began to cry day and night, lost a great deal of weight, her arms and legs trembled, and her whole body twitched. She stayed in bed and said she could not walk. Suggestion and medicine proved useless. The only thing that calmed her was when the husband she loved placed his hand on her forehead. But even this contact caused the man a feeling of discomfort. Later, the woman suffered from violent fear; she frequently screamed, and this afforded her a certain relief. She refused to eat and was badly constipated, so that she had to be fed and relieved artificially. After six months her condition became so bad that the worst was feared. Then she read in a medical journal that the sexual tendency of a homosexual man could be changed by the grafting of masculine gerrminal glands; there was immediate improvement in her condition. Thus even the thought that there was a possibility of conquering the man she loved gave her relief.
Case 6: A bachelor of about fiftyfive was frequently visited by the daughter of a friend from the country, a woman of about thirty. One sunday, when the girl came to his flat, the man opened the door himself and suddenly kissed her on the lips. As she did not resist he laid her on the bed and indulged in all sorts of manipulations, which she permitted. After this the girl declared that the man must marry her, as he had robbed her of her innocence. The man tried to calm her, and explaining that she had not lost her innocence at all, he refused to marry her. The girl then had a severe attack of hysteria. She ran to her own and the man's relations, described everywhere in vehement language what had happened, wrote the man alternately ardent love letters and letters of abuse, and finally became so excitable that she had to be sent to an institution.

Case 7: A woman of thirty-six, who had been a widow for eight years, and was highly respected in the small town where she lived married a non-commissioned officer upon his return from captivity. The day after the wedding-night she showed symptoms of acute derangement. She declaimed aloud, addressed her second husband by the name of the first, and asked him, in the presence of others, to perform the sexual act with her again. She caressed his genitals in the sight of others, and was generally so excited that she had to be sent to an asylum. The man petitioned for divorce. But as soon as she learnt about this, the woman suddenly became sane and was released from the asylum. The hysterical attacks never recurred and the marriage was quite happy.


Ur The Encyclopedia of Sex Practice, ca 1937, Torch publishing co, p462-466, kapitel XI: Hysteria. Bilderna hämtade ur samma titel.

3 kommentarer:

Plipp sa...

Fantastiska bilder till sorgliga fallstudier. Vilken intressant bok (eller encyklopedi) du har funnit. Jag undrar om jag kan hitta den här i Dublin.

J sa...

abebooks, möjligtvis. Jag har plockat det bästa tror jag, jag skulle gärna hitta en 1800-tals studie i hysteria däremot.

I övrigt är titeln väldigt liberal, till och med under kapitlet perversions medger man att inget som ger samtliga medverkande njutning kan kallas perversion, vilket känns framsynt för anno 37.

Anonym sa...

Jag har läst och inte kommenterat. Från min mobil. Nu kommenterar jag alla. Love ya! Ma