Medicine: Emotional Pile-Up

Can a single traumatic experience trigger mental illness? Does every person have an emotional breaking point? No, said Cornell University Sociologist Thomas S. Langner last week, reporting on an eight-year study of 1,660 midtown Manhattan residents. Concluded Langner: "Events in the life history seem to pile up, but there is no one event which automat ically spells mental disaster. The principle governing the relationship of environmental stress factors to mental health seems to be 'the more, the unmerrier.' "

The survey also revealed a higher susceptibility to serious mental illness among poorer people. A man with a high income tends toward neurosis...

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