To his patients he gave three-quarters of an hour; and if in this exacting science which has to do with what, after all, we know nothing about — the nervous system, the human brain — a doctor loses his sense of proportion, as a doctor he fails. Health we must have; and health is proportion; so that when a man comes into your room and says he is Christ (a common delusion), and has a message, as they mostly have, and threatens, as they often do, to kill himself, you invoke proportion; order rest in bed; rest in solitude; silence and rest; rest without friends, without books, without messages; six months’ rest; until a man who went in weighing seven stone six comes out weighing twelve (Woolf 99). “
Septimius has an appointment with Dr. William Bradshaw down on Oxford street in London. Septimius doesn’t trust nor like anyone as it is due to having shell-shock. He meets with Dr. Bradshaw who believes that he his the “ priest of science ( Woolf 94). “ Dr. Bradshaw, instead of getting to the root of Septimius’s mental illness, he prescribes his with a lot of bed-rest instead This shows Dr. Bradshaw as well as any other doctor during this era’s lack of understanding about victims of the war. Although Septimius was not physically ill, he was mentally ill. He was someone who was in a constant state of fear, rage and uncontrollable emotions due to having shell-shock. Since Dr. Bradshaw nor Dr. Holmes is unable to understand what Septimius is going through, they are just contributing to his illness instead of understanding how to get to the root of them problem. “ Never, never had Rezia felt such agony in her life! She had asked for help and been deserted! He failed them ( Woolf 98). “ Dr. Bradshaw was seen to be one of the best doctors in London during this time but seem to have failed Septimius and Rezia due to his lack of understanding about shell-shock. According to Thompson, “ Sir William proceeds by force of personality and his capacity to know when a patient, such as Septimius, is, “a case of extreme gravity, complete breakdown, who needs to be an inpatient. He recognizes a case of “deferred shell-shock” but, no more than Dr. Holmes, does he have any idea that his patient might have something to contribute to a remedy, or might have an opinion or a history. (Thompson 65). “ It is seen here that during this time in London, doctors much like, Bradshaw cared little about diagnosing the root of an illness and more about the money that he would receive. Woolf shows how little awareness doctors seem to have about shell shock because it was a mental illness and not a physical one.
Thomson, Jean. “Virginia Woolf and the Case of Septimus Smith.” The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, vol. 23, no. 3, 2004, pp. 55–71. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jung.1.2004.23.3.55.