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same duration. The same is true of the catalepsy which supervenes after a long period of illness or of nervous exhaustion. That this statement is true of the first class, we have the testimony of all who have been subjects of intelligent experiment. That it is true of the second class also, is attested by the fact that suspended animation is nearly always followed by the recovery of the patient from illness. The cataleptic condition marks the crisis in many diseases, especially those of the nerves. If the patient is properly managed during that crisis, his convalescence is assured.
Catalepsy may properly be divided into four classes, differing from one another only in the causes which induce the condition. The first is catalepsy from hypnotic suggestion; the second, epidemic catalepsy; the third, self-induced catalepsy; the fourth, catalepsy arising from disease or nervous exhaustion. Suggestion is the all-potent factor in the production of the catalepsy of the first three classes, as it is in the production of all other hypnotic phenomena. The suggestion may come, first, from an operator who purposely induces the condition as an experiment. Secondly, it may arise from the patient seeing other cataleptic subjects. In such cases, catalepsy may run through a whole school or a neighborhood, precisely as does epidemic insanity, St. Vitus's dance, and many other nervous troubles. " Imitation," or the disposition to imitate, has generally been assigned as the cause of such manifestations becoming epidemic among children. But this is a palpable error. It arises rather from the fear that each one feels the mental suggestion that each one makes that he or she may be the next victim. Thirdly, self-induced catalepsy is illustrated in the experiments of the East Indian fakirs, and arises from auto-suggestion. In these cases the condition is purely hypnotic, and is self-induced by simple processes, well known to all who have made an intelligent study of hypnotism as practised in the Orient.
It is not, however, with these classes that we have to deal in this chapter, but rather with cases which arise from dis-