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Weir Mitchell1 (1829–1914), the American neurologist, renowned for his work on causalgia, was also interested in hysteria. He first encountered it in soldiers during the civil war.
In civilian practice when faced with patients with neurosis and hysteria he developed his “rest cure”. It was based, he said, on moral and physical components described in his book Fat and blood2; the title reflected his experience that women with hysteria were often thin and …