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Mania Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

That form of insanity in which the patient is subject to hallucinations and illusions, accompanied by a high state of general mental excitement, sometimes amounting to fury. See Hall v. Unger, 2 Abb. U. S. 510, 11 Fed. Cas. 261; People v. Lake, 2 Parker Cr. R. (N. Y.) 218; Smith v. Smith, 47 Miss. 211; In re Gannon’s Will, 2 Misc. Rep. 329, 21 N. Y. Supp. 960. In the case first above cited, the following description is given by Justice Field: “Mania is that form of insanity where the men tal derangement is accompanied with more or less of excitement. Sometimes the excitement amounts to a fury. The individual in such cases is subject to hallucinations and illusions. He is impressed with the reality of events which have never occurred, and of things which do not exist, and acts more or less in conformity with his belief in these particulars. The mania may be general, and affect all or most of the operations of the mind ; or it may be partial, and be confined to particular subjects. In the latter case it is generally termed ‘monomania.'” In a more popular but less scientific sense, “mania” denotes a morbid or unnatural or excessive craving, issuing in impulses of such fixity and intensity that they cannot be resisted by the patient in the enfeebled state of the will and blurred moral concepts which accompany the disease. It is used in this sense in such compounds as “homicidal mania,” “dipsomania,” and the like.


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