In studying a case of insanity, the family history of the patient is a matter of considerable interest. But it is often difficult to obtain reliable information on the subject. In such researches one has to contend with ignorance and prejudice. Many people know very little about their ancestors or collateral relations. And further, the idea that insanity is a disgrace so pervades all classes of society, that a man is shy of speaking about the mental condition of his relatives, if it should chance to be, or have been, diseased.
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