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War Surgery and Medicine



In a study of psychoneurosis cases treated in 2 NZEF in 1942 and 1943, Major Caughey stated that the symptoms shown by men differed, some showing acute symptoms with or without terror, with reactions of panic or stupor. Others showed various forms of psychosomatic disorders with or without depression. The signs might be referable to the cardio-vascular, the gastro-intestinal, the visual, the cerebral, nervous or motor systems, or to two or more of these systems. Generalised signs might be slight proptosis, fine tremors of the outstretched hands, sweating of the hands and feet, loss of weight, anorexia, restlessness, tachycardia, diarrhoea, frequency of micturition and insomnia. It was very common to find a state of reactive depression, superimposed on a state of anxiety, often the result of insomnia. When sleeping these patients were often disturbed by anxiety dreams such as battle dreams. Gastric symptoms were very common, with loss of appetite and sometimes vomiting. The cardiac type previously called effort syndrome showed shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitation, left mammary pain, giddiness, and headache. The symptoms following head injury, such as persistent headache, dizziness, lack of concentration, visual fatigue and depression, formerly thought to be the sequelae of concussion, were now believed to be entirely due to neurosis.

Lieutenant-Colonel Caughey, at 2 NZ General Hospital at Caserta in 1944, carried out investigations, using Raven's Matrices test, as page 639 to the relation between intelligence and neurosis. Grades of intelligence in a neurotic group were found to correspond substantially with the grades in a non-neurotic group, but in the neurotic group there were more below-average persons, a number of above-average persons, and fewer persons of average intelligence.