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Personality in Epilepsy.

Arnold Abrams, Ph.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(6):622-623. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720120096013.
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Few diseases have been so widely misunderstood by both lay and professional groups as has epilepsy. The authors of this book center their attention on what has come to be called the personality of the epileptic. That such a concept as "an epileptic personality" exists at all is reason enough to raise questions regarding its validity. This the authors do and do it with considerable impact. After an analysis of the recent history of personality in epilepsy, the book centers on an extensive assessment of the question at hand, namely, is there a distinct, identifiable personality associated with epilepsy.

The first chapter, to paraphrase the authors, surveys the thinking on this problem over the past 100 years. The trends traced in the literature are arranged into four periods: (1) (-1900) The Period of Epileptic Deterioration, (2) (1900-1930) The Period of the Epileptic Character, (3) (1930-) The Period of Normality, and


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