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Are you always sure of your own identity? What is one's self, anyway? Everybody has two personalities, - a first and second in command, so to speak. In our waking hours, the first is on watch: the second appears only in our dreams, or, in abnormal states, the result of disease or injury. There are individuals who, even in their waking hours, are influenced by this "second personality." which, in reality, has become the first in command. The instances here shown are dramatic pictures of this elusive condition. Johns Hopkins Medical School, of Baltimore, has recently established a department for the study and treatment of such cases.
NQUIRY failed to throw any light balanced as the result of hardship and on his history. Nobody seemed to the stupendous stories of gold-discovery care whether he had one. Yet he which made the sole topic of conversaseemed to fill in with the ebb and tion. There was an uncanny glint of
flow of the daily shifting life of the mystery in his eyes, an elusive sometidewater city of Seattle. It was not thing in his own inability to place his very long after the first rush of the name and identity, which caused many gold-seekers to the Klondyke, and he to shudder at his approach. Who was was looked upon by the old-timers of he? The question, one of idle curiosity the city as a strange atom in the flotsam to most, was 'soon to find a curious and jetsam which the back-flow had left answer. stranded on the lonely shore of failure. He was talking excitedly one night in To the new-comer, his story carried the a certain hotel-lobby, to a group of conviction of reality, and even the ex- Eastern men fascinated with the glowing perienced did not doubt that he had at accounts of the new country. One of least been to the North in that mad rush the party, who happened to be a surgeon, for the metal which represents the became especially interested, and after world's standard. The one element of some moments' thought, asked permisjustifiable doubt was his own admission sion to feel of the other's head; then that he couldn't remember the exact passing his fingers over the unknown's location of his discovery, the richness of skull, like a phrenologist feeling for which, if his story could be believed, bumps, the doctor turned to the others would place the possessor beyond the with a jubilant smile, and told them he wildest dreams of avarice, at a time and had discovered something. The group place when dreams, especially golden was interested; a talk was held amongst ones, required something very substan- them, with the result that they agreed tial to satisfy. With his Irish humor then and there to do what they could to and dashing spirit of narrative, he would help him. As a consequence, the unhold his auditors spell-bound. It was known was taken to an adjoining town, only after questioning him that they placed in a hospital, and operated on for imagined they had been victimized to the an old fracture of the skull, due, in all extent of the price of a drink. Finally, probability, to some unknown injury. like all oft-repeated tales, this one be- When he recovered consciousness, he came so boresome that all who met him seemed to be an entirely different perset him down in their minds as a mono- sonality. His memory returned sound maniac, whose reason had become un- and clear; and he was able, for the first
normal man. B: "Sec. ond self" - unconscious-in a nor.
time, to say just then present as an after-effect of brainwho he was. Then injury, or as the result of disease. The he told his story, manifestation of changed identity, in straightforward most instances, shows itself not so and connected. He much as a deterioration of intellect, as was an Irishman, it of character and morals. A person who, seems, who had previous to such a misfortune, may have come to this coun been a model of virtue in his community, try with a little often becomes the most quarrelsome of money in his pos- mortals, a disgrace to himself and to all
session. shortly be- near and dear to him. Many are known a fore the Klondyke to have changed their beliefs on the
discoveries. Having most vital subjects, developing criminal nothing in particu- traits, and turning to thievery or worse,
·lar to do but seek only to end in jail or in serving a long his fortune, he had left for the Alaska imprisonment. country on hearing of the wonderful . Up in Alberta, that wide domain but opportunities there. Like others, he had recently subdued to the plow, lived an suffered hardships, but continued on old Scotchman, widely known by his with the determination of finding gold, given name of Alec, who kept a general if any was to be found. Alone, he had store, and had a reputation for honesty wandered in his quest from the main and shrewdness over a wide range of trail, with its scattered horde of seek- territory. He was the last man in the ers; and alone he had come upon for- world to be suspected of doing the least tune and misfortune together. In swing thing contrary to the accepted standard ing iis pick, while prospecting, into of a desirable citizen. He had prospered some loose rock beneath an overhanging in business, had no enemies, and was ledge, he had struck a lucky find at a respected and happy. One day he started moment when least expected, at the same out alone on horse-back, to be gone some time loosening a small boulder above him days on a hunting-trip. The following just enough to bring it bounding down day the horse returned alone, riderless. upon him. It had struck his head, lay- Evidently something serious lad laping him unconscious with wealth within pened. A searching party was gotten his grasp, and fracturing his skull, as together at once, and began to scour the was later discovered. The wonderful country for miles around. That same part of his story is, that after the operation he succeeded in making his way back to the very spot of his discovery, found things just as they were at first, filed his claim, and afterwards sold out for many
Fig. 2: The Gold Seeker's thousands of dollars. He is living to
Light and dark portions now day, and enjoying in comfort the fruits
equal. An alternating per. of his terrible, but curious and interest
sonality, first A then B
predominating. An abnoring experience.
This illustration from real life shows only one of the many interesting phases of lost-identity. This condition, which may come suddenly into the life of any one, often presents characteristics more pronounced, but seldom, if ever, more dramatic. Double personality, that peculiar state of mind during which Smith may think he is Brown, or some entirely unheard of individual, and in which role he enacts most naturally and logically the newly assumed personality, forgetting that he ever was Sinith, is now and
DIAGRAMMATIC REPRESENTATIONS OF NORMAL BRAIN AND SKULL. Figure 1--Shaded line represents seat of higher faculties. Figure 2--Injury at A causes loss of memory; at B, of speech; at C, of identity. Figure 3-A represents "seat” of the "personality" in
interior of the brain; B, "second-self,” existing in all brains-note relative
B assumes command, showing a different "identity.
variouhese st, and
night Alec turned up at his home, ap- country had ever known. He would parently sound and well, and spoke of appear and demand food at some ranch the incident as nothing more than a sort one day, and then suddenly show up, on of joke, with himself as victim. He had the same quest, at another ranch some been riding down a steep and narrow thirty miles distant the day following. bridle-path, he said, whistling and un- Such wide leaps seemed impossible for a concerned, when a bear from an adjoin- man on foot, but the various descriptions ing thicket suddenly bounded into the of him tallied exactly. These strange path ahead, frightening his horse before raids continued day after day, and its rider had time to realize the reason. though he was said to be heavily armed, He was thrown suddenly from the sad- no one had been hurt in any way, nor dle, alighting on his head some fifteen had any one the courage to resist him. feet below the side of the path. He felt Hardened frontiersmen seemed awed by all right; he looked all right, and there his presence, and wholly incapable of the story ended. But before a week had coping with his subtle tactics. He would passed, those who knew him best began calmly walk up to a group of campers, to note a strange change in his manner demand food or ammunition, or whattoward them. He became irritable and ever else he needed, keeping his finger quarrelsome without the slightest provo- on the rifle-trigger all the while, and cation. Just about the time these changes then solemnly warn them to discourage in his disposition were becoming a topic from following him the numerous posses of common conversation, Alec myste- which were in hot pursuit, saying he was riously disappeared. So far as could be prepared to fight to the death. There learned, he had taken absolutely nothing was something in his look which always with him; everything in his store, and caused a shiver when he told them this. in the living-rooms above, was in perfect Men who had joined in man-hunting beorder. Weeks went by, and no word or fore, as gladly as if they were running a knowledge came. Search was made in fox to earth, one by one dropped from all conceivable quarters, but with no suc- the pursuit. There was a something in cess nor slightest trace of him. He had his elusiveness which bordered on the disappeared as completely as if swal- uncanny. Who he was none could guess. lowed by some terrible cataclysm: All He became the mysterious terror of a hope of ever seeing him again was at vast wilderness. But he had harmed last sadly abandoned. Some months nobody. About the time the hunt was later, news spread like wild-fire over the given up, there happened to be a hunting regions of western Montana and north- party from across the Canadian border ern Idaho, of the appearance there of encamped in western Montana. They one of the most daring bandits that wild were seated around the fire one morning, enjoying their breakfast bacon, wife desertion? Is Brown guilty of when they became suddenly aware of the bigamy? Should Brown be compelled to presence of a stranger who had stepped go back to the former wife, Mrs. Smith, from the shadow of the surrounding a woman who would be as strange to pines. Emaciated, unkempt, in rags, he him under his second personality, just as presented a pitiful sight. Startled to much as to any stranger ? Who is their feet by his ghastly appearance, and Brown, anyway,-in law, in justice, and with thoughts of the terrorizing bandit in fact ? Outwardly he is certainly uppermost in mind, they began a wild Smith, but in his heart has never, in all scurry for their fire-arms, when who truth, heard of him. Such a problem should one of the party recognize in the actually came up before a California unexpected visitor, but the long-lost court some years ago. The case was of Alec. The members of the party dis- a kind to make any thinking person ask covered very quickly that something was himself “Who, indeed, am I," and leave wrong with him mentally, for even in the question unanswered. A person is his weakened condition, he was cross accustomed to believe that if anything and very irritable, muttering revenge on exists in this universe, it is surely himall civilization, with no recollection of self. Perhaps a recital of the instance the principal events of his past and home. just referred to, may give that person They broke camp at once, and started room for doubt. with him across the border. In the John Anderson was a fairly proscourse of a few days he was taken to a perous farmer, who rented some eighty well known hospital in eastern Canada, acres in one of the corn-belt states. He where it was discovered that he had suf- had a wife and family, with whom he fered from a fracture of the skull. He lived in perfect accord, as well as with was operated on without delay, and suc- his neighbors. He was hard-working, cessfully. His story had a happy end- prudent and saving, and as sound in ining, for before he left the hospital, his tellect as you or I. Owing to the delimind had recovered its own proper per- cate health of one of the children, and sonality, and Alec became himself again, for reasons of ambition, he conceived the as shrewd as before, and as honest. Thus, idea of going to southern California to by the surgeon's hand, two interesting buy an orange grove, to have a home of mysteries were solved, and a desirable his own, and live in peace and quiet with citizen saved for days of further useful- his family for the rest of his days. His
frugal habits and continuous toil had Fine questions of law and right shade provided enough for this purpose, so he into one another with a nicety difficult went on alone, with the intention of to unravel, in certain phases of double- sending for his family as soon as he personality. Smith, say, was considered could find the kind of place he wanted. a perfectly sane man up to a year ago. For some time letters were received at He deserts a wife, and all trace of him frequent intervals; everything seemed is lost until ten years later. An old to be progressing favorably with him, friend discovers him in a remote part of and then no more letters came, and all the country, married again, with a fam- trace of him was lost. Months of waitily. He is prosperous and respected in ing went by, and years. The mother and his new environment, and is as sane as children were verging on poverty, and any man in the community. He has had long given up the father as dead. changed little in the ten years in physical One day surprising news was brought by appearance, but absolutely fails to recog- a neighbor, who had just returned from nize his old friend, or any incident in his the West, and had known Anderson in own former life as Smith, for his name former days. He had met Anderson is now Brown, and he is just as much face to face in California; had found another sane individuality, as if he had him living in most prosperous circunliterally been born again. What is his stances with a new wife and family. But standing legally? Would it be right to he had failed to recognize the old friend, punish the present Brown, when it was who had grown up with him from boythe former Smith who was guilty of hood, and seemed so changed in thought,
Fig.3: THE CASE OF ALEC.
actions, and everything but his external are unable to assign a physical cause are appearance, that the old neighbor was most baffling, leading to speculation into beginning to wonder whether or not he unknown regions of the psychic world. himself was losing his own proper Undoubtedly further research will throw identity. This news of Anderson resulted much light on this very interesting subin a purse being made up for the long- ject. A few years ago, a man in high abandoned woman, and the neighbor professional standing, residing in one of and Mrs. Anderson went to California to the Wisconsin towns on Lake Michigan, take legal steps to enforce her rights disappeared without any reasonable and bring her husband back, if possible. cause whatsoever. A wide search was The meeting be
instituted for huntween the two was
dreds of miles pitiful. All who wit
around, but in vain. nessed it were im PG SEX Shte
At the end of some pressed with the braio
weeks all hope was ma n’s innocence,
abandoned. at least and actually took
of ever finding him sides against the
alive. Then rumors woman for bring
from various farming trouble and
ers just beyond the notoriety to such a
Mississippi began solid member of
to come in. One the community. But
farmer had hired a the wife held her
vagrant farm-hand ground. His eyes,
for a couple of hair, gait, manner
days, who, after of speech, all were A personality proper, al
putting in several the same she had
most totally submerged"
days of hard labor, known so long. As in full command-an ab
suddenly disa pshe recited these dangerous condition,
peared without pay. various facts, and
Another farmer the many little familiar incidents known had, he thought, employed the same man only to themselves, of their many under the same circumstances. Then years together, Anderson appeared sin- another report, and another, of similar cerely dumfounded, and first with tears import, came flashing over the wires, in his eyes, and then in anger, flatly told All the descriptions fitted exactly that of her she was mistaken ; that he had never the missing lawyer. Devoted friends heard of the man Anderson, and that his hurried to that part of the country from name was Arnold,—George Arnold. The which the rumors came, with the hope of matter got into court. All were con- finding the wanderer. They were able vinced that the man was Arnold. But to trace him from farm to farm, and then on hearing the other side, became equally from one village to another. In a certain convinced that he must be Anderson. town on the river was a factory for the No shadow of doubt was thrown on the manufacture of buttons. Some one said man's sanity. The court was at a loss. that a man answering the description of Then Anderson, or Arnold, was taken their friend was employed there. They ill with pneumonia, and in the course of hurried on, and there, in the garb of a week was dead, solving the problem the commonest of workmen, was their so far as he was concerned. Then all cultured, learned friend, engaged in the parties agreed that the case was one of useful, but lowly occupation of making double-personality. What the court's pearl-buttons from clam-shells. He was decision would have been had the man happy, and seemed to enjoy his work imlived, is of course unknown.
mensely, and couldn't understand why It is not always an easy matter to trace they should want him to go back to home the cause of these cases of lost-identity. and friends, now totally forgotten. He Many occur without any sign or history was another identity entirely, who had of brain-injury. The cases in which we returned to the simple life with a ven
normal and sometimes