The Frank Olson Legacy Project

STATEMENT BY DR. HAROLD ABRAMSON,

MADE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1953

 

 


(Note: The dates and approximate times of visits to Dr. Abramson are added here to clarify Dr. Abramson's following statement.

Tuesday, November 24
(a) With patient and two friends, in New York office, about 4:45 to 5:00 P.M.

(b) With patient alone, in New York office, about 5:00 to 6:00 P.M.

(c) With patient andtwo friends, in hotel room, about 10:00 to 11:00 P.M.


Wednesday, November 25
With patient alone, in New York office, about 4:00 to 5:00.


Thursday November 26
(a) With patient alone, in Huntington, Long Island, office, about 4:00 to 5:00 P.M.

(b) With patient and friend, in Huntington office, about 5:00 to 5:20 P.M.


Friday, November 27
With patient and friend, in New York office, about 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 noon, and from about 2:00 to 3:00 P.M.
Again an attempt was made to have the patient state that the was the subject of a plot or was especially persecuted by his friends, but at no time did he speak of any but the highest regard for friends or family. He stated explicitly that he wished to go back home. I saw no way in which this could be prevented, but plans were made for further discussion.


November 26
The patient returned after an agitated trip to Washington and was seen at 4:00 P.M., Thursday, November 26. In this interview, for the first time, the patient showed that he had delusions of persecution. "I feel they were giving me dope to keep me awake." He said that for some weeks the CIA group had been putting something like benzedrine in his coffee. He pointed out he had heard voices the night before and that V's voice told me to "throw it away." (He had thrown away his wallet). His history definitely indicated he had been delusional at least for weeks, probably months, but that he had been able to operate fairly well, except in crises. It became apparent that hospitalization was required as soon as possible.


November 27
On Friday morning, November 27, the patient and a friend and the writer discussed in some detail the desirability of hospital treatment, to which the patient had finally agreed. We thought he would like to be near home, and for this reason a mental institution near Washington was chosen and a room reserved. The hospital could not take the patient that day, and arrangements were made for hospitalization the next day.


Conclusion
The patient has been, according to hisown story, delusional for a long period of time, but operating well in his day by day work. His inordinate guilt feelings, as expressed to me, were specifically related to his pension and disability pay. For this he felt he had to be punished. He himself dated his difficulties to the time when he was retired. It was then that he recalls his extraordinary guilt feelings began, becoming progressively worse, with the specific delusional events during the preceding months.


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