By Lilian R Furst
Strains portrayals of psychocomatic issues in clinical and innovative literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Additional info for Idioms of Distress: Psychosomatic Disorders in Medical and Imaginative Literature
The biological event of the “MI” would be seen as the outcome of a lengthy, complicated psychosocial development. For literature presents characters in the way in which Joseph Sapira, in his 1992 presidential address to the American Psychosomatic Society, argues that patients should be viewed: “Patients not only exist as collections of organs, cells, molecules, ions, and so forth but also as individuals and members of romantic dyads, families, geographic units, language clans, religious units, sexes, ethnic groups, nations, and so forth.
Does he get on well with his colleagues, or does competition for listings and sales foster rivalries and animosities? Does Mr. Glover have a tendency to, or even a history of depression? Does he harbor grudges or is he forgiving? Does Mrs. Glover work? Does she enjoy it for the companionship, or does she resent it as a reminder of her husband’s inadequacy as the family’s breadwinner? And what about the two adult sons? Do they give their parents satisfaction or grief? Are they committed to respectable work, or in jail?
44 Various hypotheses were put forward to account for phenomena that contravened medicine’s prevailing physicalist orientation. For instance, a pamphlet entitled “The Influence of Railway Travelling on Public Health,” published in the Lancet in 1862, argued that passengers sustained “a series of small and rapid concussions” (41) from the machinery’s vibrations. These suppositions were based on the assumption that shocks could be transmitted from one part of the human being to another. This theory was invoked to explain the cases of passengers who had no ascertainable injuries yet who suffered from such aftereffects of accidents as insomnia or headaches.