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History of Psychiatry

Welcome to the History Page

Greg Eghigian, PhD, Section Editor for Psychiatric Times History of Psychiatry, is Associate Professor of Modern History and former Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Penn State University, University Park, Pa. He writes and teaches on the history of madness, mental illness, and mental health in the Western world. He is the editor and author of numerous books, most recently From Madness to Mental Health: Psychiatric Disorder and its Treatment in Western Civilization (Rutgers University Press; 2010). He is also co-editor of the scholarly blog, h-madness. For Dr Eghigian's author page, please click here.

 

History of Psychiatry

The Prinzhorn collection laid the groundwork for psychiatric art and inspired many modern artists.

© ARTPARTA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

While much in the history of “madness” has changed over the course of time, one of the most consistent—yet sometimes overlooked—features of that history has been the presence of the visual arts.

The events here were cited as the most important changes in psychiatry since 1945.

The views of mental health experts on changes in psychiatric theory and practice since World War II.

©Wallybird-Shutterstock

Playing helpless witness to a growing epidemic with no cure takes us back in time. The Hippocratics called it the “art” of medicine. It does not take a psychiatrist, however, to see that this “artful” approach frequently fails in public health crises.

Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry

The author of this book tells the story of the evolution of psychiatry from a place of skepticism and distain to its more recent emergence as a modern neuroscience.

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