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History of Psychiatry

Mauricio V Daker
Kahlbaum's seminal approach to symptom complexes, as opposed to disease entities, is still relevant. Many psychopathologists have approached mental symptom complexes without prejudging them as necessary physical deficits or diseases, favouring a broader dimensional and anthropological view of mental disorders. Discussions of symptom complexes gained prominence in psychiatry in the early twentieth century - through Hoche - and in the period leading up to World War II - through Carl Schneider. Their works, alongside those of Kraepelin, Bumke, Kehrer, Jaspers and others, are reviewed in relation to the theme of symptom complexes, the mind, and mental disorders...
February 15, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Giuseppe A Micheli
The Italian psychiatric 'revolution' is the story of a range of flexible, changing formulas, exposed to many 'contaminations'. Historical reconstructions have remained anchored to the lure of a founding myth and an eponymous hero. This essay aims to shed light on the multi-faceted concept of the Italian 'moral management revolution'. We especially focus on: the circumstances which triggered the innovation in its various form; the 'prototypes' available in other countries which have been variously recombined in the different local contexts; the 'special path' of action strategies which has driven the change towards radical closure of the asylums; and the cause-effect relationship between the above 'special path' and several aspects of the current state of deadlock...
February 4, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Chris Walker
Jaspers and Popper have nothing in common beyond the legacy of Immanuel Kant's philosophy. Popper dismisses Jaspers 'existentialism' as nihilistic and historicist; Jaspers never cites Popper. Jaspers describes Kant as 'the philosopher for me'; Popper is an unorthodox Kantian whose critical rationalism put the finishing touch to Kant. For Kant, knowledge is not a simple copy of reality, but begins with reason's questioning. Jaspers and Popper too insist that theory has priority over observation. For Jaspers, 'there is already theory in every fact'; for Popper, 'every statement has the character of a theory'...
February 4, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Elizabeth Nelson
Psychiatrist Édouard Toulouse (1865-1947) is known today for his 1896 psychometric study of the novelist Émile Zola, and his contributions to mental hygiene, sexology, eugenics, and labour efficiency in inter-war France. This paper examines research undertaken in Toulouse's Laboratory of Experimental Psychology at the Villejuif asylum near Paris. In 1905, Toulouse created a test that could differentiate between dementia and mental confusion, a test that could aid in the classification of patients at the overcrowded Villejuif facility...
January 31, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Malin Appelquist, Louise Brådvik, Ingemar Ottosson, Marie Åsberg
General hospital care and treatment of mentally ill patients in a Swedish town was studied in records for 503 patients, 1896-1905. Restraint was extremely rare; 65% left the hospital as healthy or improved. Non-psychotic and alcoholic patients spent fewer days in hospital than patients with psychosis or dementia. There was no evidence of a social status bias. For 36% of the patients a certificate for mental hospital care was issued, with additional information. The cause of illness was stated as unknown for 42% of these patients; adverse circumstances were recorded for 18%...
January 23, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Richard J Howarth, Shirley A Aleguas
The State Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois, was the first public hospital of its kind to be established in the state and among the earliest to be built on the 'Kirkbride Plan'. It opened for patients in 1851. We describe the background to the establishment of the hospital and, so far as is possible from publicly available sources, its catchment area, the nature of the patients held there up to 1880, its mechanisms of discharge, and supposed causes of death. We end with a plea that after over 150 years, the release of hospital casebooks and similar records in digital form would be of considerable benefit to historians of psychology, scientific biographers, genealogists and demographers...
January 11, 2019: History of Psychiatry
Akira Hashimoto
This text, dealing with the private confinement of the mentally ill at home, or shitaku kanchi, has often been referred to as a 'classic text' in the history of Japanese psychiatry. Shitaku kanchi was one of the most prevalent methods of treating mental disorders in early twentieth-century Japan. Under the guidance of Kure Shūzō (1865-1932), Kure's assistants at Tokyo University inspected a total of 364 rooms of shitaku kanchi across Japan between 1910 and 1916. This text was published as their final report in 1918...
December 14, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Johan Schioldann
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 26, 2018: History of Psychiatry
German E Berrios, Johan Schioldann, Johan Schioldann
Literature on the history of 'paranoia' (as a clinical concept) is large and confusing. This is partly explained by the fact that over the centuries the word 'paranoia' has been made to participate in several convergences (clinical constructs), and hence it has named different forms of behaviour and been linked to different explanatory concepts. The Classic Text that follows provides information on the internal clinical evolution of the last convergence in which 'paranoia' was made to participate. August Wimmer maps the historical changes of ' Verrücktheit' as it happened within the main European psychiatric traditions since the early 19th century...
December 2018: History of Psychiatry
Toby Raeburn, Carol Liston, Jarrad Hickmott, Michelle Cleary
Despite making a substantial contribution to the development of mental health services in colonial Australia, until now the story of Dr Patrick Hill's (1794-1852) life has been overlooked by historians. This paper reviews primary sources including clinical notes, patient lists, letters, government documents and newspaper articles which reveal that Dr Hill was a dedicated physician who played a vital role in the development of Australian mental healthcare. He was held in such esteem that by the time of his sudden death in 1852 he had been elevated to the most senior medical office in New South Wales...
November 12, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Rafael Huertas
In the final years of the Franco dictatorship and during the period known as the democratic transition, there were a significant number of protests in the sphere of mental health in Spain. This article analyses the origins and functioning of the Psychiatric Network, which emerged in 1971, its connection to the formation of professional organizations and its role in the reception of anti-psychiatry ideas in Spain. We reach the conclusion that, although the Network's activities took place within a left-wing political and ideological framework, and at such an important time of social change as the end of the dictatorship, its discourse and practices always demonstrated a marked professional approach...
November 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Volker Roelcke
The article describes the emergence of research programmes, institutions and activities of the early protagonists in the field of psychiatric genetics: Ernst Rüdin in Munich, Eliot Slater in London, Franz Kallmann in New York and Erik Essen-Möller in Lund. During the 1930s and well into the Nazi period, the last three had been research fellows at the German Research Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. It is documented that there was a continuous mutual exchange of scientific ideas and practices between these actors, and that in all four contexts there were intrinsic relations between eugenic motivations and genetic research, but with specific national adaptations...
November 1, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Marke Ahonen
This article explores how the ancient philosophers from Plato to late antiquity understood mental illness. It outlines when, how and in what kind of contexts the phenomenon of mental illness was recognized in the ancient philosophical texts, how mental illness was understood in terms of the body-mind interaction, and how mental disorders of the medical kind were distinguished from non-medical psychic disturbances. It establishes that, while the philosophers mostly understood mental illness along the lines of ancient medical thinking, their ideas, for example on the nature and location of the soul, informed their theories of mental illness...
October 9, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Yannis Gansel
'Difficult adolescent' is a clinical category defined by psychiatrists' expertise. Since the end of the 1990s, it has been extensively used to describe a population of disruptive, violent yet vulnerable adolescents, at the margins of public institutions that manage youth deviancy in France. For the present study, an interconnected network of 49 documents was analysed using a genealogical method in order to provide comprehensive elements in the results. This category found its ecological niche in the 1960s, revealing a moral tension in the use of constraint...
October 4, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Hissei Imai, Yusuke Ogawa, Kiyohito Okumiya, Kozo Matsubayashi
The conceptualization of psychiatric disorders changes continuously. This study examined 'amok', a culture-bound syndrome related to sudden mass homicide, to elucidate changing and varied concepts. A historical review of 88 English articles revealed that the meanings and assumed causes of amok have changed over time. These changes appear to have been affected by social events, medical discoveries, knowledge of descriptors and occasionally, the benefit to users. In other words, the concept of amok changes depending on the history of society and the knowledge and intention of people at the time...
September 25, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Stephanie C Cox, Clare Hocking, Deborah Payne
In the early nineteenth century, physicians designed the first manufactured showers for the purpose of curing the insane. Sustained falls of cold water were prescribed to cool hot, inflamed brains, and to instil fear to tame impetuous wills. By the middle of the century showers had appeared in both asylums and prisons, but shower-related deaths led to their decline. Rather than being abandoned, however, the shower was transformed by the use of warm water to economically wash the skins of prison and asylum populations...
September 24, 2018: History of Psychiatry
Ivan Crozier
PM Yap's most significant intellectual achievement was his development of the concept of the culture-bound syndrome, which synthesized years of research into transcultural psychiatry, and situated this work within this field by drawing on elaborated nosological schema that challenged some of the ethnocentric assumptions made by previous psychiatrists who had tried to understand mental illnesses that presented in non-western cultures. This introduction to Yap's 1951 paper emphasizes that Yap needs to be understood as working within the western tradition of transcultural psychiatry, and argues that his English training and his continual engagement with western psychiatric and philosophical frameworks is the best way to conceive of his contributions to this field...
September 2018: History of Psychiatry
Alessandra Cerea
This paper introduces the significant theoretical contribution of Georges Devereux (1908-85) on the relationship between culture and psychism, which he developed in his work at the interface of anthropology, psychoanalysis and quantum epistemology during the mid-twentieth century. Devereux was one of the key early contributors to the field of transcultural psychiatry; he was in touch with its most important exponents, although he remained critical of many of the popular trends developed in this field of research in the USA, where Devereux conducted most of his research between 1932 and 1963...
September 2018: History of Psychiatry
David Robertson
This article examines two psychological interventions with Australian Aboriginal children in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first involved evaluating the cognitive maturation of Aboriginal adolescents using a series of Piagetian interviews. The second, a more extensive educational intervention, used a variety of quantitative tests to measure and intervene in the intellectual performance of Aboriginal preschoolers. In both of these interventions the viability of the psychological instruments in the cross-cultural encounter created ongoing ambiguity as to the value of the research outcomes...
September 2018: History of Psychiatry
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