When They Closed the Doors at Modesto
One of the patients in my study group spent the major portion of her time at Modesto sitting mute in a chair by the office pleating her dress; she would start from the hem and work up to her stomach, then smooth down the material to begin again. In a psychiatric summary this might be referred to as compulsive ritualistic behavior. Immediately upon entering a convalescent hospital, she located, cornered, and seduced a not unwilling male—in full view of her roommate and staff and patients who happened to pass by the open door. When we studied her a year after relocation, she (1) had learned to close the door, (2) availed herself of a variety of additional social and recreational activities, and (3) no longer pleated her clothing.
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