November 8th 2023
“Oates’ poems force us to reflect on the ethics of experimentation and to ask if the proverbial ends justify the means.”
September 18th 2023
Here’s what the historic case of the Genain quadruplets reveals about some deeper, uncomfortable truths about American society.
September 7th 2023
Exploring the connection between trauma and the etiology of schizophrenia, and the ways this connection was historically interpreted in the case of the Genain quadruplets.
August 28th 2023
“The Genain quadruplets have really gone down in psychiatric history for being the ‘poster girls’ for psychiatric genetics.”
August 22nd 2023
Awais Aftab, MD, and author Audrey Clare Farley, PhD, discuss Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America.
Prevention of Covert COVID Iatrogenesis
In a time of panic, despair, and demoralization, art continues to inspire the author's reflections as it has over the last 40 years. Here, he shares some images that he finds inspirational and helpful. Even in winter there is hope.
The Name “Schizophrenia” Is Heard Worldwide
This month in history: Determined to regard his patients as individuals, Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler sought to understand his patients and coined the term schizophrenia.
Assassins in London and Washington Force Changes in the Insanity Defense
Across the centuries, March has been an eventful month for the insanity defense on both sides of the Atlantic, and the McNaughten rule remains the prevalent standard to this day.
The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness
Pseudopatients and their discontents: an historical perspective.
The Legacy of Political Persecution
As historians and mental health professionals both know, in the words of the writer William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The Opening of the Maudsley Hospital: January 31, 1923
In the early years, treatment was largely restricted to restraint and sedation with great emphasis placed on fresh air for prevention of mental illness. Later, the aim of treatment was to prevent transfer of patients to country asylums.
First Psychiatrist Accepts Nobel Prize in Medicine: December 1927
Psychiatric Times begins a new series: “Looking Back to Look Forward: This Month in Psychiatry.” Contributors from across the globe will take the opportunity to point out both notable and neglected figures, topics, and developments in the history of psychiatry.
Before Personality: Character Assessment and Its Troubled History
The 20th century introduced a number of new concepts to psychiatry and clinical psychology. One of the most influential has been the notion of personality.
The History and Value of Guidelines for Best Practices of Telemental Health
Telepsychiatry has its origins in the 1950s and has moved from an esoteric curiosity to mainstream practice. However, it has been challenged along the way at many turns.
Social Misuse of Disorder Designation, Part III: Harm and Ethical Validity
At a minimum, a mental disorder is considered an undesirable and unwanted condition either for the individual or the society. However, that is clearly very relativistic and does little to protect against social misuse of disorder designation.
Social Misuse of Disorder Designation, Part II: The Dysfunction Defense
A dysfunction-based defense against misuse of disorder designation has serious conceptual deficiencies, is vulnerable to social biases, and offers very little protection in practice.
Social Misuse of Disorder Designation, Part I: Conceptual Defenses
Part 1 of a three-part series on a pertinent philosophical question in the era of diagnostic inflation: What conceptual means are available to prevent deviant and undesirable behavioral conditions from being diagnosed as mental disorders as a result of social bias and stigma?
Looking at the Past and Forward to the Future
We have come a long way in psychiatry, but we are still at the beginning of the story of understanding the human brain.
Jacques Lacan: The Best and Least Known Psychoanalyst
Lacan has a devoted following throughout much of the non-English-speaking world (where he is the best-known psychoanalyst) but he is mostly unknown to the English-speaking psychiatric community (where he is the least-known psychoanalyst).
Five Trends in Historical Research on Psychiatry and Mental Health
An assessment of what has been accomplished, how the field is changing, and new directions for scholarship as we forge ahead into the next year.
Psychiatry’s Ancient Origins
As it turns out, modern psychiatry reflects some of the values and concepts held by early civilizations.
A “Sickness of Our Time”: How Suicide First Became a Research Question
In 1897, the French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) published Le suicide: Étude de sociologie [Suicide: A Study in Sociology]. With it, Durkheim largely succeeded in achieving one of his main goals.
The Psychoanalytic Tradition in American Psychiatry: The Basics
The long-lasting impact of psychoanalysis on American psychiatry should continue to be taught and celebrated, if only as a testament to the human ability to seek understanding and find meaning in man’s suffering.
5 New Books in the History of Psychiatry to Read for 2018
A selection of noteworthy books to add to your reading list. Can you think of others?
A Trip Through the History of Psychiatry
The first in a series of videos on the history of psychiatry that explore the roots of modern psychiatry in ancient cultures is now available on youtube. Members of the Committee on Arts and Humanities from the GAP invite you to tune in.
ECT: History of a Psychiatric Controversy
The author interviews Jonathan Sadowsky, PhD, historian of psychiatry, about his book Electroconvulsive Therapy in America: The Anatomy of a Medical Controversy.
Your Money or Your Life: A Reflection on the Health Care Industry
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and this may indeed be the most telling legacy of the lost art of healing.
The Holiday Syndrome: Who Exactly Came Up With the Idea of Those Christmas Blues?
Since ancient times, doctors have shown a good deal of interest in identifying seasonal patterns in the incidence of symptoms and disease. Could the holiday blues be a myth?
Artists and Psychiatrists-or the “Art” of Psychiatry
Art theory from the 20th century onward-despite the latter day efforts at denial-was nearly indistinguishable from psychoanalytic theory, and it parallels the philosophical struggles and pains that continue to plague psychiatry.
Did Freud Ever Do This? A Reflection on the Epidemic of Crazy
“Hey, man, why is the world so crazy these days?”
Does Genius Equal Madness?
The Prinzhorn collection laid the groundwork for psychiatric art and inspired many modern artists.
Madness, Psychiatry, and the Visual Arts in History
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.
Top 10 Changes in Psychiatry
The events here were cited as the most important changes in psychiatry since 1945.
The 10 Most Important Changes in Psychiatry Since 1945: An Invitation to Readers
The views of mental health experts on changes in psychiatric theory and practice since World War II.
Managing Ebola: An Archaeology of Disease
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.
2 Clarke Drive Cranbury, NJ 08512