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Imaginary Troubles






Source: Papers On Health

These are of two kinds, the one purely imaginary,
the other where bodily trouble is mixed with the imagined. In the first
case the patient is in agony with a pain, when nothing wrong can be
discovered in the part, or even elsewhere, to account for it. In such a
case, proper treatment of the BRAIN or SPINE (see) will often
relieve. Again, a patient has set up such a standard of health that
what would not trouble any ordinary person at all, gives him much
distress. An intermitting pulse often is a source of great anxiety; but
we have known people with intermitting pulses continuing in good health
for forty years, and living to old age. So with many other heart
symptoms that need give no concern at all. Sprains to some muscles are
often taken for serious internal inflammation, and a slight cough and
spit are taken for consumption. Care must be taken to resist all such
fancies, and if not otherwise removable, thoroughly competent medical
advice will often put the patient right. In such a case a medical man
of undoubted high standing is best consulted, for an inferior
practitioner may nearly kill the patient by arousing needless fears,
which are afterwards difficult to remove. See Hysteria.

It must be remembered that diseases of the imagination are as actually
painful to the patient as if they really were organic troubles. It is,
therefore, useless to laugh at or pooh pooh the trouble, or suggest
that the sufferer is only humbugging. Attention must be paid to diet,
exercise, and to material, mental, and moral surroundings, so as in
every way to relieve the patient from those apparent troubles that so
annoy him. Great gentleness, firmness, hopefulness, and sympathy will
often bring about an almost unconscious cure. If the trouble has been
brought about by over-work and worry, complete rest will often be
needed. If there is something in the surroundings that jars, a change
may be advisable.





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