Saturday, 19 October 2013

1792, Observations on Maniacal Disoders, William Pargeter.

The government of maniacs is an art, not to be acquired without long experience, and frequent and attentive observation. As maniacs are extremely subdolous, the physician's first visit should be by surprize. He must employ every moment of his time by mildness or menaces, as circumstances direct, to gain an ascendancy over them, and to obtain their favour and prepossession. If this opportunity be lost, it will be difficult, if not impossible to effect it afterwards; and more especially, if he should betray any signs of timidity. he may be obliged at one moment, according to the exigency of the case, to be placid and accommodating in his manners, and the next, angry and absolute.

The maniac was locked in a room, raving and exceedingly turbulent. I took two men with me, and learning that he had no offensive weapons, I planted them at the door, with directions to be silent, and to keep out of sight, unless I should want their assistance. I then suddenly unlocked the door- rushed into the room and caught his eye in an instant. The business was then done- he became peacable in a moment- trembled with fear, and was as governable as it was possible for a furious madman to be.

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