Dear Professor Freud, 17 April 1907
Many thanks for your news!
Unfortunately I must tell you at once that we have no room at all in the Clinic at present, which is most regrettable.
We are once again in a period of fearful overcrowding.
At the same time I would like to remind you that our in-patient department, being a State institution, is not prodigally luxurious and caters only for the general public.
The board for foreigners amounts only to 10·12 fr. a day at the maximum.
The charge for a private attendant is a little more than 2 fr. a day.
Cheap and middling to good, therefore.
As I said we are inundated at present, so it is quite impossible for us to take your patient.
I hope, however, that this will not set a precedent, for I would dearly like to investigate a case with which you too are thoroughly acquainted.
It may be that in a few weeks we shall have enough room again.
I can understand how repugnant it must be for you to get into cock fights, for that is exactly how the public looks at it and satisfies its sublimated blood lust.
Since I am not so deeply committed and am not defending my own brain-children, it sometimes tickles me to venture into the arena.
The identification with you win later prove to be very flattering; now it is honor cum onere.
Your case is most interesting.
The attacks look more hysteriform than catatonic.
The voices are highly suspicious, indicating a very deep split and a brittleness of the niveau mental.
I have often had cases that passed with apparent smoothness from hysteria or obsessional neurosis straight into D. pr. [Dementia Praecos]
But I don’t know what to make of them.
Were they already D. pr., but unbeknownst to us?
We still know far too little, in fact nothing, about the innermost nature of D. pr., so it may well fare with us as it did with the old doctors who assumed that croupous pneumonia occasionally passed over into TB.
We only see how at a certain period in the development of various interrelated complexes the rapport with the environment comes to a partial or total stop, the influence of the objective world sinks lower and lower and its place is taken by subjective creations which are hypertoned vis-a-vis reality.
This state remains stable in principle, fluctuating only in intensity.
There are even cases who actually die of autoerotism (acute condition, no post-mortem findings).
I saw one again only recently. [Symbolic death?’]
If in such cases there are no grave anatomical anomalies, we must assume “inhibition.”
But this is accompanied by a positively hellish compulsion to autoerotism (manifested in other cases too), going far beyond all known limits; perhaps
a compulsion due to some organic malfunctioning of the brain.
Autoerotism is so consummately purposeless-suicide from the start-that everything in us must rebel against it.
And it happens nevertheless.
This “nevertheless” reminds me that not long ago an educated young catatonic drank up half the chamber-pot of a fellow sufferer, with obvious relish.
He is an early masturbator, and enjoyed premature sexual activity with his sister.
Catatonic since puberty.
Hallucinates the said sister, who occasionally appears as Christ (bisexuality).
Then deterioration set in, intense hallucinations, partly unidentifiable, partly concerned with the sister. Mounting excitement, masturbates
incessantly, sticks his finger rhythmically into mouth and anus alternately, drinks urine and eats stool.
A very pretty autoerotic homecoming, is it not?
The following things have struck me in several cases: feelings of sexual excitement frequently get displaced in (female) D. pr. patients
from their original site towards and round the anus.
Recently I saw a case where they were localized in the pit of the stomach.
Frequent anal masturbation in D. pr.
Does the pit of the stomach also belong to the infantile sexual theory?
I have not yet observed displacements towards other parts of the body.
Catalepsy is uncommonly frequent in the acute phases of catatonia.
In hysteria I have observed only one case where a cataleptically stiffened arm was a penis symbol.
But what is the general stiffness and flexibilitas cerea in catatonia?
Logically it too should be psychologically determined.
It goes together with the severest symptoms of the deepest phase, when the crassest autoerotisms are wont to appear.
Catalepsy seems to be more common among women; at any rate it is more common among persons of both sexes who fall ill early, just
as, in general, their disintegration apparently goes much deeper and the prognosis is correspondingly worse than with those who fall ill
late, and who usually stop short at delusional ideas and hallucinations (Lugaro’s hypothesis}.’
Bleuler is leaning more and more towards autoerotism but in theory only.
Here you have your “verite en marche.”
Can you lay hands on The Journal of Abnormal Psychology?
In Vol. I, No. 7 Sollier” reports “troubles cenesthesiques” at the onset of D. Pr., associated with alteration of the personality.
He claims to have observed the same thing in hysteria at the moment of “personality restitution” (transposition?): storms of affect, throbbing of
the blood vessels, fear, explosions, whistlings, acute pains in the head, etc.’ Have you seen anything like it? Excuse my barrage of questions!
Jung ~Carl Jung, Freud/Jung Letters, Pages 35-