A hundred years ago:The mental condition preceding suicide. Practitioner June 2019;263(1827):29

100 years ago: The mental condition preceding suicide

24 Jun 2019Registered users

The general practitioner  is often puzzled to know how to deal with a case in which suicide is frequently threatened,  but, provided his diagnosis of an anxiety neurosis is correct, it is probably better to treat these cases by psychotherapeutic methods, and take the slight risk of suicide than adopt such a course as warning and consequently scaring the relatives, or advising a constant attendant or admission to an institution, for such steps are often productive of more harm than good. On the other hand, in manic depressive conditions and paranoia, the risk of suicide is real and ever present. Too great watchfulness cannot be exercised, and such patients should only be sent to institutions for the treatment of mental diseases where the condition is fully understood and effective precautions are taken; for it is remarkable what cunning will be displayed, even by an apparently stuporous melancholic, to elude the vigilance of his attendants and seize an opportunity to kill himself.


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