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The aim of this study is to acquaint the readers with some pieces of practical guidance on the therapy of neurotic disorders offered by Professor Mieczysław Kaczyński to his colleagues and students at the Lublin Clinic of Psychiatry. Patients who report so-called neurotic complaints are a group that requires a very thorough clinical analysis. Professor Kaczyński emphasized that it was necessary to make a distinction among patients with a neurotic reaction, a pseudoneurotic syndrome, and ‘neurosis proper’ or psychoneurosis. The first group includes patients who report a psychological trauma as a trigger of their complaints. Therapeutic intervention brings good outcomes leading to resolution of the condition. A group of patients that is very important from the point of view of diagnosis are those in whom neurotic complaints are masking an onset of a somatic or mental illness or an existing illness which is running a mild course. In such cases, a cursory examination leading to a mistaken diagnosis of neurosis can have devastating effects. A misdiagnosis is easy to make, for example, in patients with increased intracranial pressure (“the neurasthenic stage of a brain tumour”) or an onset of a mental illness (the pseudoneurotic syndrome of early schizophrenia). Therefore, often, before the final diagnosis is arrived at, multiple follow-up examinations are needed to monitor the structure and dynamics of the disease. Only when the first two diagnostic options have been excluded, can the physician classify the disorder as a neurosis (psychoneurosis). In such cases, it is necessary to find the etiological agent, which, more often than not, is a situation of conflict or frustration that the patient is unconscious of. A failure to analyze a case in this way may result in the patient’s resignation response, potentially leading to suicide. It appears that Professor Kaczyński’s remarks on the clinical picture of neurotic disorders largely round out the information provided in ICD-10 under F.40–F.48.
The perennial question as to how perceived otherness in speech projects into listener assessment of one’s personality has been systematically investigated within the field of foreign accentedness, vocal communication of affective states and vocal stereotyping. In the present study, we aimed at exploring non-native listeners’ capacity to respond to differences in natural and modified native speech, particularly whether the manipulation of temporal structure in both stressed and unstressed syllables gives rise to any changes in the perception of the speaker’s personality. The respondents’ intuitive judgements were captured in the domain of the ‘nervousness category’ taken from the five-factor model of personality. Our results indicate an effect of temporal modifications on the listeners’ judgements. Analysis of variance for repeated measures confirmed a highly significant shift of personality evaluations towards the undesired traits (e.g., nervousness, anxiety, querulousness). Several interesting interactions with the semantic contents of the utterances and with the intrinsic qualities of the speakers’ voices were also found. We argue that the effects of accented speech go beyond conscious willingness to accept “otherness” and suggest a method for studying them.
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