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A letter from Harry I. Weinstock, M.D., August 28, 1961
Dr. Harry I. Weinstock
745 Fifth Avenue
New York 22
August 28, 1961
Dr. Thomas S. Szasz
Department of Psychiatry
State University of new York
766 Irving Avenue
Syracuse 10, new York
Dear Dr. Szasz:
I want to tell you how enormously delighted I am with your book, The Myth of Mental Illness. In my 35-year-old copy of Freud's Studies on Hysteria, I still have marked against "conversion," "how and what?" During all the years since then, I have read and heard "much talk about it and about", but never has this led to anything but more and more confusion.
Your view of hysteria, in my opinion, is so important and sensible that I believe it imperative that the American Psychoanalytic Association invite you to present it to a special section of their meetings. Unless this is done, the Association will keep on getting lost in the thick of thin things, further away from any possibility of realistic development. I know you are a member of the American Psychoanalytic, but I don't recall your being on the program at any time. Whether this is through are a member of the American Psychoanalytic, but I don't recall your being on the program at any time. Whether this is through your choice or that of a program committee I don't know. Having been an officer, on the Executive Committee, and a member of the Board on Professional Standards in recent years, I think the best thing that I can do is to start a one-man drive to have all these committee members read your book and invite you, not only to present your views, but to reorganize psychoanalytic theory and education!!
There is but one point on which I feel it necessary to take slight exception regarding your book. We all know how difficult it is in many instances to distinguish between "neurosis" and "psychosis", and certainly that is clearly enough developed in your book. However, I think you would agree that there are some psychoses that would be difficult to include among those disorders to which the "myth of mental illness" is more readily applicable.
If your book doesn't wake up American psychoanalysts and psychiatrists, then one should rightly conclude that they suffer most from this "myth" which regrettably may still be incurable.
Harry I. Weinstock, M.D.
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