Outwitting Our Nerves eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 322 pages of information about Outwitting Our Nerves.
the sudden necessity to earn one’s living or to mother a little child frees the life-force from its old preoccupation and forces it into other channels.  In most cases, however, the nervous invalid is suffering not from lack of opportunities for outside interest but from an inner inability to meet the opportunities which present themselves.  The great change that has to be made is not in external conditions and habits but in the hidden corners of the mind; a change that can be accomplished only by self-knowledge and re-education.

But if self-knowledge is the first step in any cure, so self-giving must be the final step.  Sooner or later in the life of every nervous invalid there comes a time when nothing will serve to unify his disorganized forces but steady and unswerving responsibility for a good stiff piece of work.  Happy for him that this is so and that he is living in a day when science no longer tells him to fold his hands and wait.


Autonomic nervous system: The vegetative nervous system which controls vital functions,—­as digestion, respiration, circulation.

Censor: A hypothetical faculty of the fore-conscious mind which resists the emergence into consciousness of questionable desires.

Common path: In physiology, the final route over which response is made to physical stimulation; similarly in psychology, the one outlet for the finally dominant impulse.

Compensation: Exaggerated manifestation of one character-trend as a defense against its opposite which is painfully repressed; relief in substitute symptom formation.

Complex: A group of ideas held together by emotion (usually referring to a group which is wholly or in part unconscious).

Compulsion: A persistent compelling impulse to perform some seemingly unreasonable (but really substitute or symbolic) act, or to hold some irrational fear or idea; an emotional force which has been separated from the original idea.

Conflict: (Special) Struggle between instincts (unconscious).

Conversion: (Special) The process by which a repressed mental complex expresses itself through a physical symptom.

Displacement: 1.  Transposition of an emotion from its original idea to one more acceptable to the personality. 2.  The shifting of emphasis, in dreams, from essential to less significant elements.

Dissociation: 1.  The state of being shut out from taking active part (applied to a group of ideas), as in normal forgetfulness. 2.  (Abnormal) An exaggerated degree of separation of groups of ideas, with loss to the personality of the forces or memories which these groups contain, as in double personality.

Fixation: Establishment in childhood of over-strong habit-reactions.

Free Association: A device for uncovering buried complexes by letting the mind wander without conscious direction.

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Outwitting Our Nerves from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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