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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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June 24, 1963 -- Amenia, New York - Interview No. 18


Mrs. Lasker, I've been looking forward to this. I think today you're going to talk about the progress in the field of mental health through the utilization of various independent agencies.


Yes, my early interest in the field of mental illness of came about by reading some excerpts in the Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud in 1927 or '28. I remember I was intensely interested by them and urged Paul Reinhardt, to whom I was then married to read them. He read some bits of the exerpts that I suggested, but he had a violent reaction of shock, fear and distress from them. They must have touched on some neurosis he had that I was not conscious of and still don't understand. He had a violent, violent reaction.


And this was in the '20s and it was a relatively new subject and a rather starting one.


Yes, it was a new subject, yes.

About 1933 Paul had gradually become a severe alcoholic. I was beside myself, not knowing what to do to help him, not understanding how such a change could come over the personality of one who had been so sunny and well when he wasn't drinking. There was at this time no knowledge about what to do for anyone

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