After her stay in the convalescent home Georgia returned to her parents, and, appearing to be recovered, went to work again. Her record for two years was unexpectedly satisfactory. When the above episode had blown over she regained control of herself, adapted herself to family conditions, and worked steadily. On one occasion her nervous symptoms have returned with much depression and again an attempt at suicide. She was now carefully studied in a hospital for signs of insanity, but again it was determined that she was not of unsound mind. She made a speedy recovery, adjusted herself once more to her surroundings, and after a few months became married. During the last year or so there has been no further trouble. A settlement of the law suit for injuries was made before her more recent period of depression. At the time of even her last attack we can learn of no more false accusations having been made. The family attitude about her has, all along, not been what it should have been to have gained the proper results, but the problem of poverty was always with them.
--------------------------------------------------------------- Mentality: Traumatic psychoneurosis. Case 24. Girl, age 16 years. Accident, with law suit following. General physical conditions: Anemia, poor nutrition, otitis media. Delinquencies: Mentality: Running away. Poor ability; Attempted suicide. temporary False accusations. aberration. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: Case of a young man of 19, with already a long record of criminalism, who created much trouble for a court where a judge was keenly anxious to do justice. The fellow implicated himself in a sensational murder, but investigation proved this to be untrue. In other ways his word was found most unreliable. The question concerning his sanity could only be answered by stating that he was an aberrational type peculiarly inclined to criminalism, and therefore needed segregation, and that he was also given to pathological lying and self- accusation. From the legal and social standpoints it is important to note that the case represents a type, unquestionably abnormal, although the mental pathology could not be subsumed under the head of any one of the designated mental diseases.
The case of John B. was studied at the request of a judge who had continued the trial because of the manifest mental peculiarities of the defendant. We were told that his behavior varied much, that one day he would cry and apologize, and on another would show stupid bravado. As the judge stated, John had long been in disciplinary institutions and this had failed to do any good. The immediately peculiar features of the case were that while he was being held for vagrancy and robbery, John made a strong attempt to implicate himself in a murder case. In other words he was a self-accuser.
We found a strong young man of 19 years; weight 157 lbs., height 5 ft. 5 in. Very broad shouldered and deep chested, but slouchy attitude. Good color. Eyes bright. Varicocele. Somewhat defective vision in one eye. Well-shaped head--circumference 56.5, length 18.5 and breadth 16 cm. Thick, heavy voice. Appears dull and depressed, but energizes under encouragement. Other physical examination negative. Complains merely of headaches in left frontal region, but says he has had these only since last year when he was struck there by a beer bottle. Recently an excessive user of tobacco.
In the mental examination we found much of interest. When first seen he gave every appearance of being a mental defective, but by judicious stimulation he could be waked up to do comparatively good work in several directions. On the Binet tests, 1911 series, he passed all but one of the 12 year set; in that he followed the suggestion offered. On the 15 year old tests he did three out of five. The failures were on the memory span of figures and in the repetition of a sentence of 26 syllables.
By our other tests we also found him defective in verbal memory processes, even when he read the passage to be remembered. In working with our so-called construction tests, where his success depended not only upon planning with concrete material, but even more on the ability to profit by his failures, he did decidedly poorly. In handling the puzzle box, where above everything is required perception of the relationship of one step to another, he succeeded very rapidly. With the cross-line tests, which require mental representation of an easily remembered figure and analysis of its parts, he did very poorly, succeeding only after the third attempt in each of the two simple tests. This is a
type of work that is especially easy for the normal person.