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CASE REPORTS   |    
"PLACEBO" (SIMULATION) ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY
J. A. GUIDO; J. JONES
Am J Psychiatry 1961;117:838-839.
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Senior Psychiatrist, Metropolitan State Hospital, Norwalk. Calif.

Resident Psychiatrist, Metropolitan State Hospital, Norwalk. Calif.

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Abstract

Nine placebo electroconvulsive tratments produced a definitive symptomatic remission of psychogenic amnesia in a patient diagnosed as Dissociative Reaction.The patient's closeness with the doctor, ward personnel, and ancillary therapies intensified the element of suggestibility and the "placebo effect"(2) of electroconvulsive treatment. This was apparent despite the exclusion of "hysterical components" by psychometric examinations.At no time was the patient fearful or undesiring; as a matter of fact, he was overly willing and frequently requested electroconvulsive treatments. Unlike the use of simulation ECT in chronic schizophrenic patients, this report dismisses the utilization of fear and the loss of consciousness as important therapeutic factors(3, 4). This article also demonstrates the need for more extensive studies to encourage recognition of underlying "neurotic and hysterical factors" when describing the therapeusis of electroconvulsive treatments.

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