From Lesion to Metaphor: Chronic Pain in British, French and German Medical Writings, 1800-1914, Volume 63

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Rodopi, 2000 - History - 218 pages
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Most non-malignant chronic pain is medically unexplained. But that has not stopped doctors from trying. These improvisations at the limit of medical knowledge offer a way into the history of neurosis. Lesionless pain was a paradigmatic problem of clinical method after 1800. It was central to the emergence of neuralgia, spinal irritation, surgical hysteria, railway spine and hysterical conversion. Evidence of a nineteenth-century tradition of theoretical discussion about the relationship between chronic pain and pathological lesion, trauma, mood, memory and personality is brought together here for the first time. A wide range of medical texts is surveyed, including pathology, surgery, physiology, neurology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis. We see the medical gaze first penetrate the tissues of the body then extend to examine the language and mental state of the pain patient. This history of chronic pain should be of interest to medical historians, pain clinicians, liaison psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists.
 

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Contents

The Bitth of a Ptohlem
25
A Local Ittitation
40
FoutcadePtunet
47
Btodie and Swan
57
The continuing Btitish dehate ahout sutgical
64
Gemeingefiihl
75
Pain without lesion and cenesthesis
82
Reflexion ittadiation and eccentticity
89
Summaty
125
Pain without lesion in Chatcot s Ftiday Lectutes
136
Neutasthenia in the 1880s
143
Summaty
152
Psychalgia and Convetsion
159
Pain as Psychopathology in Eatly TwentiethCentuty
171
Conclusions
181
Bihliogtaphy
191

Btitish physiological psychology
97
Functional Netvous Disotdets in Ftench
109
Russell Reynolds on ideal pain
117

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Page 4 - ... beetle'. No one can look into anyone else's box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine such a thing constantly changing. But suppose the word 'beetle' had a use in these people's language? If so it would not be used as the name of a thing. The thing in the box has no place in the language-game at all; not even as a something: for the box might even be...
Page 4 - What sort of issue is: Is it the body that feels pain? — How is it to be decided? What makes it plausible to say that it is not the body? — Well, something like this: if someone has a pain in his hand, then the hand does not say so (unless it writes it) and one does not comfort the hand, but the sufferer: one looks into his face. 287. How am I filled with pity for this man'?
Page 4 - Suppose everyone had a box with something in it: we call it a "beetle". No one can look into anyone else's box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. - Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine such a thing constantly changing. - But suppose the word "beetle" had a use in these people's language?

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