Tag Archives: History of Psychiatry

25 Years of History of Psychiatry & A New Issue

The journal History of Psychiatry is celebrating its 25th anniversary. A special issue marking the occasion has just been released. Among the articles in the issue are ones addressing the history of nostalgia, the treatment of shell shock at the Maudsley Hospital, masculinity in Victorian asylums in New Zealand and Australian, the distinction between passion and emotion, and much more. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

Editorial: “The first 25 years of History of Psychiatry,” by German E Berrios.

“Some reflections on madness and culture in the post-war world,” by Andrew Scull. The abstract reads,

This article examines the treatment of madness as a theme in drama, opera and films, concentrating its attention for the most part on the period between World War II and the 1980s. These were the years in which psychoanalysis dominated psychiatry in the USA, and so Freud’s influence in the broader culture forms the central though not the sole focus of the analysis.

“Nostalgia: A conceptual history,” by Filiberto Fuentenebro de Diego and Carmen Valiente Ots. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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New Issue History of Psychiatry: Albert Moll and Hypnosis, Therapeutic Fascism, Lycanthropy, & More

A new issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Included in this issue are articles on Albert Moll (right) and hypnosis, therapeutic fascism, lycanthropy, and much more. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The powers of suggestion: Albert Moll and the debate on hypnosis,” by Andreas-Holger Maehle. The abstract reads,

The Berlin physician Albert Moll (1862–1939) was an advocate of hypnotic suggestion therapy and a prolific contributor to the medical, legal and public discussions on hypnotism from the 1880s to the 1920s. While his work in other areas, such as sexology, medical ethics and parapsychology, has recently attracted scholarly attention, this paper for the first time comprehensively examines Moll’s numerous publications on hypnotism and places them in their contemporary context. It covers controversies over the therapeutic application of hypnosis, the reception of Moll’s monograph Der Hypnotismus (1889), his research on the rapport between hypnotizer and subject, his role as an expert on ‘hypnotic crime’, and his views on the historical influence of hypnotism on the development of psychotherapy. My findings suggest that Moll rose to prominence due to the strong late-nineteenth-century public and medical interest in the phenomena of hypnosis, but that his work was soon overshadowed by new, non-hypnotic psychotherapeutic approaches, particularly Freud’s psychoanalysis.

“Mental health, citizenship, and the memory of World War II in the Netherlands (1945–85),” by Harry Oosterhuis. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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New Issue of History of Psychiatry: DSM, Autism, & Hospital Magazines

The December 2013 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Included in this issue are articles that explore the magazines produced in Irish psychiatric hospitals, the nature of DSM classification, and the history of autism. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55): a bicentennial pathographical review,” by Johan Schioldann and Ib Søgaard. The abstract reads,

Researchers in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, medicine and theology have made exhaustive efforts to shed light on the elusive biography/pathography of the great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55). This ‘bicentennial’ article reviews his main pathographical diagnoses of, respectively, possible manic-depressive [bipolar] disease, epilepsy, complex partial seizure disorder, Landry-Guillain-Barré’s acute ascending paralysis, acute intermittent porphyria with possible psychiatric manifestations, and syphilidophobia.

“Through the lens of the hospital magazine: Downshire and Holywell psychiatric hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s,” by Pauline Prior and Gillian McClelland. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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New Issue: History of Psychiatry

Image created by Vincent Hevern

The June 2013 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Included in this issue are articles on diagnostic categories in the DSM, erogtism in Norway, and relationship between Japanese and German psychiatry before World War II. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Ergotism in Norway. Part 2: The symptoms and their interpretation from the eighteenth century onwards,” by Torbjørn Alm and Brita Elvevåg. The abstract reads,

Ergotism, the disease caused by consuming Claviceps purpurea, a highly poisonous, grain-infecting fungus, occurred at various places scattered throughout Norway during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By focusing on these cases we chart the changing interpretations of the peculiar disease, frequently understood within a religious context or considered as a supernatural (e.g. ghostly) experience. However, there was a growing awareness of the disease ergotism, and from the late eighteenth century onwards it was often correctly interpreted as being due to a fungus consumed via bread or porridge. Also, nineteenth-century fairy-tales and regional legends reveal that people were increasingly aware and fearful of the effects of consuming infected grain.

“From psychiatric symptom to diagnostic category: Self-harm from the Victorians to DSM-5,” by Sander L. Gilman. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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New Issue: History of Psychiatry

The March 2013 issue of the History of Psychiatry is now online. Included in this issue are a number of articles ranging from morbidity and mortality caused from melancholia, to a revisiting of the mental hygiene movement, and even to William James’ psychical research. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The morbidity and mortality linked to melancholia: two cohorts compared, 1875–1924 and 1995–2005,” by Margaret Harris, Fiona Farquhar, David Healy, Joanna C Le Noury, Stefanie C Linden, J Andrew Hughes, and Anthony P Roberts. The abstract reads:

For over a century, melancholia has been linked to increased rates of morbidity and mortality. Data from two epidemiologically complete cohorts of patients presenting to mental health services in North Wales (1874–1924 and 1995–2005) have been used to look at links between diagnoses of melancholia in the first period and severe hospitalized depressive disorders today and other illnesses, and to calculate mortality rates. This is a study of the hospitalized illness rather than the natural illness, and the relationship between illness and hospitalization remains poorly understood. These data confirm that melancholia is associated with a substantial increase in the standardized mortality rate both formerly and today, stemming from a higher rate of deaths from tuberculosis in the historical sample and from suicide in the contemporary sample. The data do not link melancholia to cancer or cardiac disease. The comparison between outcomes for melancholia historically and severe mood disorder today argue favourably for the effectiveness of asylum care.

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Janet, Poor Law, Psychiatric Criticism, & More

The September 2012 issue of History of Psychiatry has just been released online. Included in this issue are a number of articles that may be of interest to AHP readers. Articles in the issue address the work of Pierre Janet (left) on automatic writing, the how England’s the old poor law dealt with the insane, a history of psychiatric criticism, and much more. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Automatism, Surrealism and the making of French psychopathology: the case of Pierre Janet,” by Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau. The abstract reads,

This article deals with the clinical use of ‘automatic writing’ by the French psychologist Pierre Janet at the fin de siècle and its later appropriation by Surrealist poets during the inter-war period. Of special interest are the acknowledged influences of Surrealism’s leading representative. Why did André Breton, in his mythical love affair with Freudianism, systematically silence his indebtedness to the Janetian model of the mind? In order to examine this question we turn to a little-studied theme: Janet’s increasing distance from Spiritism and psychical research. In seeking to establish his new discipline within a medical framework, Janet erected barriers between the psychological sciences and such seemingly ‘extra-scientific’ fields. In so doing, he placed himself at odds with other members of the intellectual community who saw in the automatic manifestations of the mind a source of exalted creativity.

“The nature of King James VI/I’s medical conditions: new approaches to the diagnosis,” by Timothy Peters, Peter Garrard, Vijeya Ganesan, and John Stephenson. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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History of Psychiatry in the 20th Century

The June 2011 issue of History of Psychiatry has just been released online. This is a special issue edited by Volker Hess (left) and Benoît Majerus on the history of twentieth century psychiatry. Among the articles included in the special issue are ones on post-WWII psychiatric changes, chlorpromazine trials in Heidelberg in the 1950s, and the deinstitutionalization of the history of twentieth century psychiatry. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Writing the history of psychiatry in the 20th century,” by Volker Hess and Benoît Majerus. The abstract reads,

As editors of the special issue, we try to summarize here the historiographic trends of the field. We argue that the field of research is accommodating the diversity of the institutional, social and political developments. But there is no narrative in sight which can explain the psychiatry of the 20th century, comparable to the authoritative coherence achieved for the 19th century. In contrast, the efforts to extend these narratives to the 20th century are largely missing the most impressive transformation of psychiatric treatment — and self-definition.

“‘Therapeutic community’, psychiatry’s reformers and antipsychiatrists: Reconsidering changes in the field of psychiatry after World War II,” by Catherine Fussinger. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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New Issue: History of Psychiatry

The March 2011 issue of History of Psychiatry has just been released online. Included in this issue is an article on the mental health field in the United States post-WWII by Andrew Scull (left), as well as articles on the development of psychiatry in Latvia, the role of patient dress in a nineteenth century English lunatic asylum, and the influence of findings in pediatric medicine on John Bowlby’s development of the concept of ‘maternal deprivation’. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The mental health sector and the social sciences in post-World War II USA. Part 1: Total war and its aftermath,” by Andrew Scull. The abstract reads,

This paper examines the impact of World War II and its aftermath on the mental health sector, and traces the resulting transformations in US psychiatry and psychology. Focusing on the years between 1940 and 1970, it analyses the growing federal role in funding training and research in the mental health sector, the dominance of psychoanalysis within psychiatry in these years, and the parallel changes that occurred in both academic and clinical psychology.

“From social pathologies to individual psyches: Psychiatry navigating socio-political currents in 20th-century Latvia,” by Agita Lûse. The abstract reads,

The paper explores psychiatry’s responses to the twentieth-century socio-political currents in Latvia by focusing on social objectives, clinical ideologies, and institutional contexts of Soviet mental health care. The tradition of German biological psychiatry in which Baltic psychiatrists had been trained blended well with the materialistic monism of Soviet psychoneurology. Continue reading

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New Issue: History of Psychiatry

The December 2010 issue of History of Psychiatry has been published online. The issue contains nine all new articles on topics including, pyromania, war neurosis in the Spanish Civil War, Kanner’s syndrome, as well as an article by Leon Hoffman (right) on the one hundredth anniversary of Freud’s visit to the United States. Article titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Care of the insane in Lübeck during the 17th and 18th centuries,” by Horst Dilling, Hans Thomsen, and Fritz Hohagen. The abstract reads,

Only selected aspects of the history of the House of the Poor Insane in the Hanseatic Free City of Lübeck have been studied to date. This article presents the results of an entire source study of this small institution in the 17th and 18th centuries, and briefly also during the next 40 years after the opening of a new building. In addition to the minute-book of the Governors, now kept in the Lübeck Municipal Archives, the results are based primarily on the account-books, which illustrate the institution’s social history and activities. Examples are given. During most of the 17th century, the House was generally rather like a prison for the insane, but at the end of this century and in the early 18th there was a reform phase. This was followed by phases of repression and ‘containment’ at the end of the 18th century and in the early 19th century, before a renewed reform by the medical profession. The findings for Lübeck are compared with the development of inpatient care in institutions elsewhere, and the decisive factors in Lübeck are discussed.

“From stack-firing to pyromania: Medico-legal concepts of insane arson in British, US and European contexts, c.1800-1913. Part 2,” by Jonathan Andrews. The abstract reads, Continue reading

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Special Issue: History of Evolutionary Psychiatry

The June 2010 issue of History of Psychiatry, dedicated to “A Hundred Years of Evolutionary Psychiatry (1872-1972),” has just been released online. This special issue features a number of articles of interest to historians of psychology, including, among others, an article on Harry Harlow (left) and the nature of love by Marga Vicedo of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and an article on the work of Lauretta Bender and the African American psyche by Denis Doyle. Titles, authors and abstracts to these and the other articles in the June issue follow below.

“The evolutionary turn in psychiatry: A historical overview,” by Pieter R. Adriaens and Andreas De Block. The abstract reads:

Ever since Darwin, psychiatrists have been tempted to put evolutionary theory to use in their efforts to understand and explain various aspects of mental disorders. Following a number of pivotal developments in the history of evolutionary thought, including degeneration theory, ethology and the modern synthesis, this introductory paper provides an overview of the many trends and schools in the history of ‘psychiatric Darwinism’ and ‘evolutionary psychiatry’. We conclude with an attempt to distinguish three underlying motives in asking evolutionary questions about mental disorders.

“Schizophrenia, evolution and the borders of biology: On Huxley et al.’s 1964 paper in Nature,” by Raf De Bont. The abstract reads: Continue reading

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