AHP readers may be interested in a new piece in History of Psychiatry: “From Melancholia to Depression: Disordered Mood in Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry,” Åsa Jansson. Abstract:
My book From Melancholia to Depression: Disordered Mood in Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry charts how melancholia was reconceptualized in the nineteenth century as a modern mood disorder and a precursor to clinical depression. The book shows how this occurred chiefly in two ways. First, the idea of disordered mood as a medical concept was created through the appropriation of language from experimental physiology into the realm of psychopathology. Second, the interplay of statistical and diagnostic practices formed the basis for modern psychiatric classification and facilitated the standardization of melancholia as a psychiatric diagnosis. These developments were key to the reconceptualization of melancholia and the subsequent emergence of clinical depression, and were foundational to modern psychiatric theory and practice.