They will continue to exist as prisoners to their own stories. Nos encontramos continuamente con este mal que es hijo del diablo y de nuestra libertad They each set off in turn on a journey. Sin embargo, es necesario amar la tierra hasta el fin, hasta el extremo borde del cielo; dosstoievski la tierra. Particidio are my hallucination.

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It is edited by Dr. The Journal accepts works on basic as well applied research on any field of neurology. The Impact Factor measures the average number of citations received in a particular year by papers published in the journal during the two receding years. CiteScore measures average citations received per document published. Read more. SRJ is a prestige metric based on the idea that not all citations are the same. SJR uses a similar algorithm as the Google page rank; it provides a quantitative and qualitative measure of the journal's impact.

SNIP measures contextual citation impact by wighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. Fyodor M. Dostoevsky Moscow, Saint Petersburg, suffered epilepsy throughout his full literary career. From Murin and Ordynov The landlady , to Smerdyakov The brothers Karamazov , , Dostoevsky portrayed up to six characters with epilepsy in his literature.

Apart from making an intelligent use of the disease by incorporating it into his novels, his seminal idea —that a moment of happiness is worth a lifetime— was probably inspired by his epileptic aura. Through epilepsy, Dostoevsky also found a way to freedom from perpetual military servitude.

The first symptoms of the epilepsy presented in early adulthood late s to early s , but he was only diagnosed a decade later. In he went abroad seeking expert advice from Romberg and Trousseau.

Dostoevsky offers an insight into the natural history of an epilepsy, which in contemporary scientific terms would be classified as cryptogenic localisation-related epilepsy of probable temporal lobe origin.

Above all, Dostoevsky's case illustrates the good use of a common neurological disorder by a remarkable writer who transformed suffering into art and a disadvantage into an advantage.. Petersburg , Fig. However, rather than regarding himself as a victim of ill fortune, and despite the hardships caused by his disease, he used epilepsy to his advantage by working it into his writings and creating his best works towards the end of his career.

Portrait of Fyodor M. Dostoevsky by Vasili G. Perov ; completed in The historical time frame in which his disease came to light the midth century coincides with the rise of scientific medicine in general and the neurosciences in particular. The first effective drugs for preventing epileptic seizures were introduced in In the first hospital dedicated to neurological diseases National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic in Queen Square, London, inaugurated en , Hughlings Jackson established the pathophysiological basis of epilepsy and compiled a series of clinical observations that would later be corroborated scientifically.

The first journal of the neurosciences Brain was launched in ; Jackson and Ferrier were among its founding members. Meanwhile, the first chair of neurology was created in Paris in recognition of Charcot's stellar work, and this step would make an impact on other European countries and Russia.

Against this backdrop, Dostoevsky's existing biographical and medical data will allow us to explore his own disease. By relying on a massive body of literature about epilepsy, volumes of correspondence with multiple references to the disease, and numerous eyewitness accounts by the author's contemporaries including a chronological list of medical opinions and assessments, we can examine his condition and fill in the gaps using modern medical literature.

As a paradigm of scientific divulgation through narrative writing, Dostoevsky's literary works constitute a major contribution to general knowledge about a stigmatised neurological disorder in which symptoms are heterogeneous, but periodic excessive neuronal discharges are the feature common to all cases.

However, beyond the interest that may be awakened by the medical history of one specific case of epilepsy, in Dostoevsky's works we find how an ordinary neurological disorder was put to good use by an extraordinary artist.

As we glean from Dostoevsky's letters and medical reports, the disease which tormented the author throughout his career did not in fact develop during his exile in Siberia, when he was about thirty years old. We can find no evidence of onset in childhood, and nothing suggests that his epilepsy would have resulted from childhood trauma, as some have attempted to argue from a psychoanalytical perspective.

Dostoevsky was born in the Hospital for the Poor in Moscow on 30 October Julian calendar , where his father was employed as a surgeon. In , he moved to St. According to contemporary accounts, Dostoevsky would have experienced his first reported epileptic seizures during his student years between and Once, when we were walking along Troitsky street, we met a funeral procession. Dostoevsky quickly turned aside; he wanted to return home, but, as soon as he walked several steps, he had a strong attack of the illness.

It was so strong that I had to ask passers-by to take him to the nearest drugstore, and we could hardly revive him. Usually, after such fits, he experienced a depression which lasted for two or three days.

These states were sometimes accompanied by a feeling of angst and at other times, by a pleasant sensation of near ecstasy. These symptoms increased in frequency and intensity until becoming the immediate precursors to a grand mal seizure. From the age of 22 or 23, he experienced epileptic seizures that generally appeared at night or in the early hours of the morning.

As the novelist himself recognised, lack of sleep, alcohol, and overwork were unmistakeable triggers of his episodes. At the best of times, the seizures would remit for several months only to return with a vengeance; he then would experience multiple seizures in the same week. Accounts by some of his contemporaries the mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya or the poet Nikolai Strakhov 1 , and Dostoevsky's descriptions in The Idiot and Demons , suggest that his daytime seizures were preceded by the sensation of peace and harmony that the writer would recall once he regained consciousness.

The first medical reports to document Dostoevsky's epilepsy were prepared by his friend Dr Ianovsky. He was bareheaded, his coat was unbuttoned, and his tie was loosened. The writer attended their meetings in secret, as did others who disseminated the critic Belinsky's condemnation of slavery.

This movement echoed the frustrated attempts of an earlier generation the Decembrists whose members were condemned to a wide variety of harsh sentences following the revolt of Dostoevsky was accused of the criminal offence of distributing printed works directed against the government 1 and sentenced to death by firing squad in the Peter and Paul Fortress.

However, minutes before the execution was to take place, the Tsar gave Dostoevsky a carefully orchestrated pardon and commuted the sentence to four years of forced labour in a Siberian prison in Omsk. After that, Dostoevsky would serve the rest of his life in the Russian army in the remote outpost of Semipalatinsk. He was formally diagnosed with epilepsy shortly after being taken to Siberia; the report by Troitsky, the doctor at the prison camp in Omsk, is the first document certifying his condition.

After several failed attempts, Dostoevsky managed to convince the new Tsar of the risks involved in retaining an army officer with epilepsy, and he was granted a full reprieve on 8 May The influence of his friendship with Baron Wrangel, and the evidence in reports issued by prison doctors and medical officers alike contributed greatly to the decision to discharge him.

His present state of health is very weak…For several years he suffered from epilepsy, and now, as he is deteriorating from the disease, he cannot stay in the service of Your Majesty any longer. Dostoevsky's most effective caregiver was his second wife, Anna Grigorievna, whom he had hired in as a stenographer to help him meet his deadlines for the novel The Gambler.

I embraced him from the back, and then we went down on the floor together. Usually the catastrophe happened at night… Therefore, he used to sleep on a wide and low sofa, in case he regained his consciousness […] I tried to calm him down. After the seizures, he fell asleep, but he could be awakened by the slightest noise — for example, a sheet of paper falling from the table. Then he jumped up and uttered some words which nobody could understand. You know, one could not cure this illness. All I could do was to loosen the upper button of his shirt and take his head into my hands.

In another family event that should be mentioned, Dostoevsky's 3-year-old son Alexei suffered a seizure two weeks after having recovered from what seemed to be febrile convulsions.

The seizure degenerated into a prolonged convulsive state and the child died, after more than 12 hours of uninterrupted epileptic activity, on 16 May Although his seizures increased in intensity and frequency over a period spanning two-thirds of his life, sapping his psychological abilities and creating other sequelae associated with the disease, Dostoevsky was still able to complete his masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov.

He died a year later, in early , due to multiple bouts of haemoptysis. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, knowledge of neurology at the time was comparable to that in other leading European countries. Most of all, this was due to the considerable influence of France and Germany.

Proof of the neurological advances in Russia can be found in the pioneering neurophysiological studies by Ivan Sechenov Romberg in Germany Fig. The antiepileptic effect of the drugs mentioned previously, potassium iodide and potassium bromide, was discovered incidentally by Wilks and Locock in However, empirical use of these drugs for epilepsy was still not unanimously supported by the scientific community. Outspoken opponents of these treatments include Sir Edward Henry Sieveking, 8 and even Trousseau was hesitant to employ them.

Regarding Dostoevsky's case, as mentioned before, 9 the evidence is more likely to refute than support his acceptance of long-term treatment, regardless of his intentions of seeking the medical advice of Romberg and Trosseau.

Moritz H. Romberg with whom Dostoevsky sought a consultation in The recent completion of direct Russian-to-Spanish translations of The Landlady and A Writer's Diary means that we now have access to all of Dostoevsky's literary works mentioning epilepsy. More subtle references to the disease may also be found in Crime and Punishment , Notes from the Underground , and in comments and allusions to epilepsy in A Writer's Diary The last book is an ambitious and eclectic volume written constantly throughout the last decade of the author's life.

It contains a wide variety of texts ranging from opinion pieces and articles to short masterpieces such as Vlas or Bobok. We can also find references to his precarious state of health as well as numerous apologies to his readers for the lateness of his instalments due to his seizures and subsequent pulmonary condition.

The first mention of epilepsy in Dostoevsky's writings appears in The Landlady , published in autumn Anticipating the scene between Rogozhin and Myshkin in The Idiot , and the murderous Smerdyakov in The Brothers Karamazov , old Murin experiences an epileptic seizure when he attacks the protagonist Ordynov who the narrator informs us has the same disease as Murin.

Trembling all over, he bent over the old man. Murin was lying on the floor; he was writhing in convulsions, his face was contorted in agony, and there was foam upon his working lips. Ordynov guessed that the unhappy man was in a severe epileptic fit. Readers of The Landlady discover a trait that would come to be a constant presence in Dostoevsky's literary offerings, and which goes beyond a mere description of seizures including sudden transformation of the face, the cry caused by laryngospasm, falling, foaming at the mouth, and the appearance of spontaneous death and resurrection.

Dostoevsky informs us of what happens a moment before the seizure: a premonition that something will happen or has already happened, or a fleeting illusion or moment of happiness which, recalled time and again, may last a lifetime.

Oppressed and Humiliated followed soon after his successful literary recreation of his experience in the Siberian prison camp in Omsk The House of the Dead , and his comedy The Village of Stepanchikovo The latter was presented as a stage play by the influential director Konstantin Stanislavsky in , who managed to slip it past the censorship office that had been reinstated after the deaths of Dostoevsky and Tsar Alexander II.

Thirteen years after The Landlady was published, and 11 years after the appearance of Dostoevsky's preceding and unfinished story Netochka Nezvanova , Oppressed and Humiliated was published as a serial story in Vremya Time throughout The protagonist is an abused orphan girl whose epilepsy Dostoevsky depicts in a scene evoking an event from his own life that was faithfully recorded by his friend A.

After a violent epileptic fit she was usually for some time unable to collect her thoughts or to articulate distinctly. And so it was now. Probably on recovery she had been for a long time unable to come to herself. The Idiot , written during the author's journeys through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, appeared in its eighth and final version in


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Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, simultaneously a theory of personality, a therapy, and an intellectual movement. He was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Freiburg, Moravia, now part of Czechoslovakia, but then a city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the age of 4, he moved to Vienna, where he spent nearly his entire life. In he entered the medical school at the University of Vienna and spent the following eight years pursuing a wide range of studies, including philosophy, in addition to the medical curriculum.



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