AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming piece in History of Psychiatry, “The mentally ill and how they were perceived in young Israel,” by Oded Heilbronner. Abstract:
The article constitutes a widely researched account of mental patients and their perceptions in the early history of Israel, especially its second decade. It focuses on a single generation, which experienced the traumas of war in Europe, followed by insecurity in Israel’s struggle for independence. The article claims that in the 1960s many suffered from depression, reflected in a record number of patients in mental hospitals and mentally sick people, mostly of European origin. This study describes Israeli society in the 1960s as disturbed, immersed in nightmarish dreams and close to madness; it also discusses the genetic and neurological vulnerabilities which induced the psychosis and the social response that converted it into a chronic illness.