30 SEPTEMBER 1905, Page 22

A Plea for the More Energetic Treatment of the Insane.

By Charles Williams. (H. J. Glaisher. ls. 6d. net.)—We do not pretend to pronounce any authoritative opinion on this pamphlet, but we do not hesitate to say that it is very interesting. Mr. Williams suggests the use of thyroid, electricity, the prolonged warm bath (the patient divides his time between bath and bed), counter-irritation, the inducing of some disease which acts beneficially on the brain, suggestion (which can be done, he says, without hypnotism), subterfuge (a patient fancies that he has no stomach, and you tell him that an operation has been performed by which the want has been supplied), and actual surgery (made more hopeful by our increased power to localise mental operations). These and other .matters may be seen set out at length and illus- trated with cases in Mr. Williams's pamphlet. He starts with the fact that the recovery rate is lamentably small, while, we may add, the rate of increase in lunacy is lamentably large. This is justification enough for dealing with the subject. As to the value of the remedies we have nothing to say, except that the cases in which they are to be tried are for the most part desperate.