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Observations placeholder

Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Apoplexy [stroke or haemorrhage] induced by powerful emotions – Fear, pain, or anger



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,



Although repeating what has already been said in the chapter on the influence of the Intellect upon the involuntary muscles, we may observe that the fundamental principle upon which the class of phenomena now under consideration depends is this : that the mere .circumstance of thinking of any part of the body, whatever may be the exciting cause, tends to augment the local afflux of blood, and innervation. Motion or sensation, or both, occur in the locality to which the thoughts are directed ; but this effect is greatly intensified if accompanied by a powerful emotion.

Simple as this law is, it does, in fact, embrace and explain numerous facts which appear at first sight inexplicable, or to require more complete explanation.

The stimulating influence of Emotion on the cerebral vessels, short of rupture, is witnessed in cases in which the surface of the brain is exposed by accident. One is recorded in the " Medico-Chirurgical Review" (No. 46, p. 366). A robust young man lost a considerable portion of his skull.

 "When excited by pain, fear, or anger, his brain protruded greatly, so as sometimes to disturb the dressings, which were necessarily applied loosely; and it throbbed tumultuously, in accordance with the arterial pulsations."

In such a state, when "Blood and revenge are hammering in my head," it is easy to understand an apoplectic sequence.

In March, 1870, a case of apoplexy [unconsciousness or incapacity resulting from a cerebral haemorrhage or stroke] from Fright or Anger occurred at Bradford, for the particulars of which I am indebted to Dr. Bell.

A man who had previously threatened violence to some persons in the house where a woman lived, threw a stone against one of the windows. This woman, set. 56, nimbly came up from the cellar, went across the road to make inquiry, crossed to her own house again, complained of her hand feeling numb, went upstairs, threw herself upon the bed, and became insensible. This occurred about 7 p.m. Dr. Bell saw her at 9 p.m., when he found the right side, but not the face paralyzed. The patient occasionally opened her eyes and looked about. Died about 2 a.m., seven hours after the attack.

Autopsy, 18 hours after death. — "Very fat. On opening the head, the superficial vessels were found very full of black blood; and on removing the brain, there were several ounces of bloody serum about the medulla oblongata, On slicing, there was seen a large pitchy black clot equal to size of fist in left middle lobe, opening into left lateral ventricle, between corpus striatum and optic thalamus, bursting through septum lucidum into right ventricle and filling it with bloody serum. The descending cornua of both lateral ventricles were filled with bloody serum, which had also burst through the base of the brain. Nothing apparently amiss with the medulla.

The left ventricle of the heart was considerably hypertrophied and contracted ; no disease of valves or aorta ; did not notice any disease of the vessels of the brain, but suppose such must have been the case, and that an unusually powerful heart, suddenly acting upon weakened cerebral arteries, caused their rupture. She had been remarkably healthy. Nothing unusual was observed about her immediately before she ran upstairs."

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Types of hurt and organs

Activities and commonsteps