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About the "serum of truth."


At all times, various medications have been used to relax the emotional blockade and give people the opportunity to feel and speak more freely. Now, as a result of military experience, psychiatrists have begun to use two new drugs in some cases: in America, usually the sodium aminal (barbamil) is used, which is often prescribed for oral administration as a sleeping pill; in England, many psychiatrists prefer pentotal sodium (thiopental sodium). This last medicine is used in both countries as an anesthetic for short-term operations. When treating neurosis, these drugs are injected into the bloodstream, which causes a state of drowsiness, and then the patient is questioned in this drowsy state. Since the medicine weakens his suppression system, it is believed that the patient is easier to tell in these conditions some things about which he could not talk and think without an injection.
Almost all considerations expressed regarding hypnosis apply to these drugs. The condition caused by drugs, as in the case of hypnosis, is artificial, and it is difficult for the patient to correlate what is happening in this condition with his waking personality. It should again be borne in mind that the elimination of the symptom weakens the patient’s protection from internal turmoil, and although a quick and effective cure of the symptom can temporarily satisfy the patient and his relatives, over time this can cause him more harm than good. If the doctor does not take care to deliver some support to the patient in return for the lost symptom, then it may happen that speech loss will be replaced by general unhappiness, lethargy and depression, and severe headaches will be replaced by psychosis.
One of the dangers of drug treatment is visible in the case of Moses Current. Mr. Tok, a junior partner at Sevitar, Teesle and Tok, began to suffer unbearable headaches. Dr. Tris, who knew Mr. Tok well, had been worried about him before. The doctor suspected him of paranoid tendencies. But since all medical data were negative, Dr. Tris allowed one of the hospital’s interns to try “drug analysis” using the sodium aminal as a treatment for headaches. The treatment succeeded. Mr. Tok was at his best for three days, and then he began to complain of pain in his lower abdomen.
Soon, he began to hint that he was poisoned. Two days later, he bluntly said that this pain was caused by mental radio suggestion, and that he knows who is behind all this, namely Mr. Sevitar. A week later, he had paranoid psychosis in full splendor. His headaches were the last line of defense against a slowly developing and carefully concealed psychosis that had lasted two or three years. Dr. Tris forever remembered the lesson with sodium aminal and subsequently, before allowing the injection of this drug, each time he achieved complete confidence that the patient was not psychotic.
In the same way as in the case of hypnosis, most psychiatrists believe that injections of this kind lead only to such results that can be achieved with great success by means of psychotherapy with the use of tranquilizers and other medications if necessary. They argue that under the influence of drugs or hypnosis, the patient, as a rule, does not communicate any information about himself and does not show any feelings that would not be found in the waking state. They also believe that if the patient is “ready” to recover, the result is usually more lasting if “artificial” auxiliary methods are avoided. For example, before the advent of psychotherapy, hypnosis was widely used to treat hysteria; Sigmund Freud also used it for several years, but then came to the conclusion that better, deeper and more stable results can be obtained without his help, and over the past fifty years, psychiatrists, with few exceptions, have agreed with him.
Carbon dioxide is well known; it forms bubbles in sparkling water. A patient inhaling this gas in high concentration may have a coma, and when it passes, often there is a state of emotional recovery from relieving emotional stress. Recently, spectacular results have been announced for this treatment, repeated ten, fifty or a hundred times, usually in combination with psychotherapy. Most psychiatrists are somewhat skeptical of such treatment; in any case, the same questions and concerns arise here as in the case of hypnosis or “truth serum”.
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About the "serum of truth."

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