The March issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Full issue details follow below.
“Janet–Schwartz–Ellenberger: the history of a triangular relationship through their unpublished correspondence (1926–48),”
by Florent Serina. Abstract:
Leonhard Schwartz’s importance in the history of psychology has probably not been fully appreciated, and this article is dedicated to the life and work of the Basel neurologist. It highlights the triangular relationship he maintained for 20 years with Pierre Janet, of whom he was a disciple, and Henri F. Ellenberger, to whom he passed on his passion for Janet’s oeuvre.
“Rudolf Allers’ conception of neurosis as a metaphysical conflict,” by Joaquín García-Alandete. Abstract:
The Viennese psychiatrist and philosopher Rudolf Allers (1883–1963) made important contributions to psychiatry and psychotherapy, fundamentally in relation to their anthropological foundations from a Catholic point of view. However, Allers’ thought has received rather limited attention from historians of psychiatry. The present study focuses on his conception of neurosis as a metaphysical conflict from a Neoscholastic point of view: the relationship between neurosis and character; his conception of neurosis as a metaphysical conflict; and his ideas about inner transformation (metanoia) as a main therapeutic goal in the case of neurosis and its relationship with sanctity as health and as a path to recovery.
“Away with the fairies: the psychopathology of visionary encounters in early modern Scotland,” by Julian Goodare. Abstract:
In early modern Scotland, several visionaries experienced vivid relationships with spirits. This paper analyses their experiences historically, with the aid of modern scholarship in medicine, psychology and social science. Most of the visionaries were women. Most of their spirit-guides were fairies or ghosts. There could be traumas in forming or maintaining the relationship, and visionaries often experienced spirit-guides as powerful, capricious and demanding. It is argued that some visionaries experienced psychotic conditions, including psychosomatic injuries, sleepwalking, mutism and catatonia. Further conditions related to visionary experience were not necessarily pathological, notably fantasy-proneness and hallucinations. Imaginary companions and parasocial relationships are discussed, as are normality, abnormality and coping strategies. There are concluding reflections on links between culture and biology.
“Battey’s operation as a treatment for hysteria: a review of a series of cases in the nineteenth century,” by Tomoko Komagamine, Norito Kokubun, Koichi Hirata. Abstract:
Ovarian resection as a treatment for hysteria, called ‘Battey’s operation’ or ‘normal ovariotomy’, was performed in the nineteenth century. Battey later reported that the resected ovaries appeared to have ‘cystic degeneration’. Currently, patients with acute neuropsychiatric symptoms are screened for teratomas for the differential diagnosis of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. There is now a hypothesis that ovarian lesions resulting in paraneoplastic encephalitis were among the patients who underwent Battey’s operation. We identified 94 published cases of Battey’s operation for neuropsychiatric symptoms in the late nineteenth century. Among 36 cases with detailed descriptions, we found 3 patients who showed acute onset neuropsychiatric symptoms with macropathological ovarian findings that were compatible with teratoma. They showed favourable prognoses after surgery and might have motivated the surgeons to perform the operation.
“‘As syllable from sound’: the sonic dimensions of confinement at the State Hospital for the Insane at Worcester, Massachusetts,” by Madeline Bourque Kearin. Abstract:
As the first state hospital in the USA, the Worcester State Hospital for the Insane at Worcester, Massachusetts (est. 1833), set a precedent for asylum design and administration that would be replicated across the country. Because the senses were believed to provide a direct conduit into a person’s mental state, the intended therapeutic force of the Worcester State Hospital resided in its particular command over sensory experience. In this paper, I examine how aurality was used as an instrument in the moral architecture of the asylum; how the sonic design of the asylum collided with the day-to-day logistics of institutional management; and the way that patients experienced and engaged with the resultant patterns of sound and silence.
“Sigmund Freud and Martin Pappenheim,” by Petar Jevremovi?. Abstract:
During World War I, Martin Pappenheim, as a young doctor in the field of neurology and psychiatry, studied various possible consequences of war traumas, perhaps as part of a wider project of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy’s army. He visited military hospitals, sanatoriums and prisons, and between February and June 1916, while residing in Terezin, he had several opportunities to talk with Gavrilo Princip, who was imprisoned there. Princip was a young Bosnian Serb who had assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. There is written evidence of Pappenheim’s conversations with Princip; they were first published in Vienna 1926. My article is concerned with the possibility of Pappenheim’s influence on the later development of Freud’s theory.
“Person and ethics of a psychiatrist during National Socialism: Friedrich Meggendorfer (1880–1953),” by Birgit Braun. Abstract:
Evaluation of sources not previously considered makes it possible to describe Friedrich Meggendorfer’s role as a National Socialist university psychiatrist. Relevant archive material and literature were both assessed. The gene–hygiene affinity promulgated by Meggendorfer was based on his own scientific interests, early academic influences, and also positive reinforcement from his career choices. His application of scientific knowledge in the legitimization of National Socialist jurisdiction reflects a dark facet in Meggendorfer’s life. One can also criticize his ethics in failing to use his eugenics expertise to stop ‘euthanasia’. Future studies into the history of the ethical aspects of Nazi psychiatry should benefit from the setting up of criteria for the collection of biographical data. This would render comparisons and contrasts fairer and more stable.