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History of Psychiatry

Ad Sandy Macleod
Case reports of the abrupt recovery of hysterical disorders during World War I (1914-18), though undoubtedly subject to publication bias, raise both aetiological and treatment issues regarding pseudo-neurological conversion symptoms. Published clinical anecdotes report circumstantial, psychotherapeutic, hypnotic, persuasive (and coercive) methods seemingly inducing recovery, and also responses to fright and alterations of consciousness. The ethics of modern medical practice would not allow many of these techniques, which were reported to be effective, even in the chronic cases...
February 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Daniel Mason, Honor Hsin
Psychiatric classification remains a complex endeavour; since the Enlightenment, nosologists have made use of various models and metaphors to describe their systems. Here we present the most common model, botanical taxonomy, and trace its history from the nosologies of Sydenham, Sauvages and Linnaeus; to evolutionary models; to the later contributions of Hughlings-Jackson, Kraepelin and Jaspers. Over time, there has been a shift from explicit attempts to pattern disease classification on botanical systems, to a more metaphorical use...
February 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Philippa Martyr, Aleksandar Janca
Very little has been published on the rise and fall of psychosurgery in Australia. In the mid-twentieth century, Western Australia was the largest but most sparsely-populated of the six Australian States, and its local psychiatry practice was, as one commentator put it, 'backward'. Nonetheless, electroconvulsive therapy was introduced in 1945, and leucotomy in 1947. This paper will explore the introduction of leucotomy to Western Australia in the context of wider national and international trends in psychiatry, and posit some reasons for its decline and abandonment in the 1970s...
February 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Malin Appelquist, Louise Brådvik, Marie Åsberg
Mental illness in a hospital in a medium-sized town in Sweden was studied. Consecutive case records from 1896 to 1905, and also from 2011, were selected. In the historical sample, neurasthenia was the most common diagnosis, followed by affective disorders and alcohol abuse. ICD-10 diagnoses corresponded well with the historical diagnoses. Melancholia resembled modern criteria for depression. Mania, insania simplex and paranoia indicated more severe illness. Abuse was more common among men and hysteria among women...
February 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
José Morgado Pereira
The aim of this article is the study of psychiatry in Portugal between 1884 and 1924, the period when it became institutionalized, and when works that marked its scientific evolution were published. This paper summarizes the various historiographical approaches, and its approach to the subject is closest to the conceptual history carried out by German Berrios in Cambridge. The study attempts to correlate the key actors and their works with the history of different scientific ideas, its differences, and the influences of foreign authors...
February 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Vesa Hirvonen
No matter from which perspective Witelo, Oresme and Gerson approach mental disorders, they think that madness usually has a bodily, such as a humoral or organic, origin. They do, however, consider divine or demonic causes as possibly being behind immediate causes. According to Witelo and the Parisians, because of a change in the body, madmen's sensory fantasy is disturbed and in this situation their intellect does not act normally, and their will lacks freedom. It is important to realize that, according to the medieval writers, mentally-disordered people have not lost any parts of their soul or their basic potencies...
January 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Santiago Stucchi-Portocarrero
Eugenics was defined by Galton as 'the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race'. In Peru, eugenics was related to social medicine and mental hygiene, in accordance with the neo-Lamarckian orientation, that predominated in Latin America. Peruvian eugenists assumed the mission of fighting hereditary and infectious diseases, malnutrition, alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution, criminality and everything that threatened the future of the 'Peruvian race'. There were some enthusiastic advocates of 'hard' eugenic measures, such as forced sterilization and eugenic abortion, but these were never officially implemented in Peru (except for the compulsory sterilization campaign during the 1995-2000 period)...
March 2018: History of Psychiatry
Rachel Cooper
This paper aims to understand the DSM-5 through situating it within the context of the historical development of the DSM series. When one looks at the sets of diagnostic criteria, the DSM-5 is strikingly similar to the DSM-IV. I argue that at this level the DSM has become 'locked-in' and difficult to change. At the same time, at the structural, or conceptual, level there have been radical changes, for example in the definition of 'mental disorder', in the role of theory and of values, and in the abandonment of the multiaxial approach to diagnosis...
March 2018: History of Psychiatry
Kinga Jęczmińska
In Poland, there were 176 cases of prefrontal leucotomy performed by Moniz's method between 1947 and 1951. There were also several cases in which alternative psychosurgical techniques were used: prefrontal topectomy by Bilikiewicz and colleagues, and prefrontal topischemia by Ziemnowicz. This article analyses the following: publications by Choróbski, who performed lobotomy in Poland, and by Korzeniowski, who assessed its short-term results; a report by Bornsztajn, who reviewed general results of the method; and clinical research by Broszkiewicz and by Konieczyńska, who assessed Polish patients in terms of long-term results of lobotomy...
March 2018: History of Psychiatry
Everton de Oliveira Maraldi, Carlos S Alvarado
Among the many attempts to explain mediumship psychologically at the turn of the century were the efforts of Swiss psychologist Théodore Flournoy (1854-1920). In his well-known book Des Indes à la Planète Mars (1900), translated as From India to the Planet Mars (1900), Flournoy analysed the mediumistic productions of medium Hélène Smith (1861-1929), consisting of accounts of previous lives in France and in India, and material about planet Mars. Flournoy explained the phenomena as a function of cryptomnesia, suggestive influences, and subconscious creativity, analyses that influenced both psychology and psychical research...
March 2018: History of Psychiatry
Jennifer Farquharson
During the First World War injured servicemen were constructed as a better class of patient than civilians, and their care was prioritized in social and political discourses. For the mentally disordered servicemen themselves, however, these distinctions were permeable and transient. This article will challenge the reality of the 'privileged' service patient in civil asylums in Scotland. By examining the impact of the war on asylum structures, economies and patient health, this study will explore exactly which patients were valued in these difficult years...
December 1, 2017: History of Psychiatry
German E Berrios, Johan Schioldann
The motility psychoses are a group of acute psychiatric conditions characterized by salient disorders of movement (increased, decreased and disorganized), psychotic experiences, confusion and good prognosis. The debate on whether they are just atypical forms of schizophrenia or manic-depressive insanity or constitute an independent group of psychoses has not yet been settled. Erik Strömgren's classical chapter deals with the history and clinical aspects of the motility psychoses. Based on a historical analysis and an empirical study of a patient cohort, the author draws conclusions on the nature of this clinical group that has stood the test of time well...
December 2017: History of Psychiatry
G Gazdag, G S Ungvari, H Czech
Following its inception, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), rapidly spread all over the world, including Nazi Germany. Paradoxically, at the same time, the euthanasia programme was started in Germany: the extermination of people with intellectual disabilities and severe psychiatric disorders. In Lower Austria, Dr Emil Gelny, who had been granted a specialist qualification in psychiatry after three months of clinical training, took control of two psychiatric hospitals, in Gugging and Mauer-Öhling. In 1944, he began systematically killing patients with an ECT machine, something that was not practised anywhere else before or after, and remains unprecedented in the history of convulsive therapy...
December 2017: History of Psychiatry
Martin Kuhar, Stella Fatović-Ferenčić
Nineteenth-century psychiatry shifted its focus to the brain as the seat of mental disorders. With a new understanding of mental disorders arose the need to consult forensic psychiatrists in cases of criminal acts committed by persons with mental illness. This article focuses on three murders committed by 'epileptics' at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries in Croatia. An analysis of these cases will help to situate forensic psychiatry at the turn of the century within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and reveal the authority that forensic experts wielded in the courts...
December 2017: History of Psychiatry
Colin A Ross
Extensive LSD testing was conducted by the US Army at Edgewood Arsenal and other locations from 1955 to 1967. A number of different reports have been produced describing the health effects of this testing, including the Veterans Health Initiative Report in 2003. By and large, these reports gloss over and minimize the short and long-term side effects and complications of this testing. However, the reports themselves document frequent, severe complications of the LSD. These side effects were regarded by the Army as having been directly caused by the LSD exposure...
December 2017: History of Psychiatry
Edward M Brown
By the 1840s French psychiatrists had abandoned Moral Treatment as an individual psychological therapy, as opposed to an institutional practice. One advocate of Moral Treatment, however, would not go along with this movement. In three books and several papers published between 1834 and 1846, François Leuret (1797-1851) advocated aggressive psychological treatment. Recent commentators have understandably concentrated on the controversies surrounding Leuret's practices. What such an approach has failed to make clear, however, is that Leuret had a complex, systematic psychological theory supporting his clinical judgements...
October 1, 2017: History of Psychiatry
Ma Martje Aan de Kerk
Painting a picture of the lives of the early modern mad outside institutions has not yet been done in the Netherlands. However, by looking at notarial documents and admission requests, we can learn more about how the mad were cared for outside the institutions, and the impact their behaviour had on the people close to them. Investigating these sources for both Amsterdam and Utrecht in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has unravelled a story of community care in which families played a key role and used their options strategically...
October 1, 2017: History of Psychiatry
Sheila Dickson
This article examines the development and use of rotation therapy in the emerging field of psychiatry at the beginning of the 19th century, and the cross-fertilization between British, Irish, German, French and other European proponents of 'Cox's Swing'. Its short-lived popularity is linked to prevalent Enlightenment thought, to the development of an industrial and technological society, to the modern medical theories of irritability, and to the new practice of 'moral management' of the mentally ill. Case studies documenting the use of the Swing are considered from these perspectives, and are compared with contemporary public reactions in the form of publications in newspapers and of a literary text by German Romantic author Ludwig Achim von Arnim...
September 1, 2017: History of Psychiatry
Leonard Smith, Timothy Peters
The 'mad-doctor' Dr Francis Willis achieved national and international celebrity following his successful treatment of King George III's first major episode of insanity in 1788-9. At the time of his summons to attend the King, Willis was a well-established provincial practitioner and madhouse proprietor. An anonymous French visitor published a description of Willis's Lincolnshire madhouse and his therapeutic practices in 1796. The translated text of the full article provides a unique insight into the work of a key figure in the historical development of psychological medicine...
September 2017: History of Psychiatry
Michael Fitzgerald
Pierre Janet and Joseph Breuer were the true originators of psychoanalysis. Freud greatly elaborated on their findings. Freud initially admitted these facts but denied them in later life. Janet discovered the concept transference before Freud.
September 2017: History of Psychiatry
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