Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Furnham, Adrian and Sen, Radhika 2013. Lay Theories of Gender Identity Disorder. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 60, Issue. 10, p. 1434.

    Adriaens, Pieter R De Block, Andreas and Doyle, Dennis 2010. ‘Racial differences have to be considered’: Lauretta Bender, Bellevue Hospital, and the African American psyche, 1936-52. History of Psychiatry, Vol. 21, Issue. 2, p. 206.

    Krause, Merton S. 2005. How the psychotherapy research community must work toward measurement validity and why. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 61, Issue. 3, p. 269.

    Haslam, Nick and Giosan, Cezar 2002. The lay concept of “mental disorder” among American undergraduates. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 58, Issue. 4, p. 479.

    Giosan, Cezar Glovsky, Viviane and Haslam, Nick 2001. The Lay Concept of ‘Mental Disorder’: A Cross-Cultural Study. Transcultural Psychiatry, Vol. 38, Issue. 3, p. 317.

  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

II.3 - Concepts of Mental Illness in the West

from Part II - Changing Concepts of Health and Disease
This chapter discusses the stages and processes by which insanity came to be seen first as a medical problem and then as a matter for specialized expertise. In the second half of the nineteenth century, mental disorders gained a commanding social presence due to the perceived threat of the asylum population, the profusion of nervous disorders, and their linkage to a range of polarized issues. During the twentieth-century, Freud's conception of the unconscious referred to a realm of primitive, even carnal, desires that followed its own irrational inner logic of wish fulfillment. One of the striking developments of the postwar-years in the conceptualization of mental disorders has been the influence of the social sciences, especially sociology and anthropology. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Mental Disorders, reflected the extension of the Kraepelin and Freudian systems, augmented by new theories of personality. Psychiatry as a learned discipline contains no one school of thought that is sufficiently-dominant to control the medical meaning of insanity.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge World History of Human Disease
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053518
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Ackerknecht, Erwin H. 1968. A short history of psychiatry, 2d edition. New York.
Armstrong, D. 1980. Madness and coping. Sociology of Health and Illness 2.
Ayd, F. J., and Blackwell, B., eds. 1970. Discoveries in biological psychiatry. Philadelphia.
Burnham, J. 1978. The influence of psychoanalysis upon American culture. In American psychoanalysis: Origins and development, ed. Quen, J. and Carlson, E.. New York.
Bynum, W. F. 1981. Theory and practice in British psychiatry from J. C. Prichard (1785–1848) to Henry Maudsley (1835–1918). Nihon Ishigaku Zasshi 27.
Bynum, W. F. 1983. Psychiatry in its historical context. In Handbook of Psychiatry, Vol. 1, ed. Shepherd, M. and Zangwill, O.. Cambridge.
Bynum, W. F. 1984. Alcoholism and degeneration in 19th-century European medicine and psychiatry. British Journal of Addiction 79.
Bynum, W. F., Porter, Roy, and Shepherd, Michael, eds. 1985–8. The anatomy of madness: Essays in the history of psychiatry, 3 vols. London.
Carlson, E. T., and Dain, N.. 1962. The meaning of moral insanity. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 36.
Cooter, R. 1976. Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Medical History, 20.
Dain, N. 1964. Concepts of insanity in the United States, 1789–1865.New Brunswick, N.J..
Davidson, A. 1988. How to do the history of psychoanalysis: A reading of Freud’s three essays on the theory of sexuality. In The trial(s) of psychoanalysis, ed. Meltzer, F.. Chicago.
Donnelly, M. 1983. Managing the mind. London.
Eisenberg, L. 1988. Editorial: The social construction of mental illness. Psychological Medicine 18.
Ellenberger, H. 1970. The discovery of the unconscious: The history and evolution of dynamic psychiatry. New York.
Fischer-Homberger, E. 1972. Hypochondriasis of the eighteenth century – neurosis of the present century. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 46.
Foucault, M. 1965. Madness and civilization: A history of insanity in the Age of Reason, trans. Howard, R.. New York.
Foucault, M. 1987. Mental illness and psychology, trans. Sheridan, A.. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Gay, P. 1988. Freud, a life of our time. New York.
Geyer-Kordesch, J. 1985. Cultural habits of illness: The enlightened and the pious in eighteenth–century Germany. In Patients and practitioners, ed. Porter, R.. Cambridge.
Goldstein, J. 1982. The hysteria diagnosis and the politics of anticlericalism in late nineteenth-century France. Journal of Modern History 54.
Goldstein, J. 1987. Console and classify: The French psychiatric profession in the nineteenth century. New York.
Goodwin, D., and Guze, S.. 1984. Psychiatric diagnosis, 3d edition. New York.
Gosling, F. G. 1987. Before Freud: Neurasthenia and the American medical community. Urbana.
Grob, G. 1973. Mental institutions in America: Social policy to 1875. New York.
Grob, G. 1983. Mental illness and American society, 1875–1940. Princeton, N.J..
Hale, N. G. 1971. Freud and the Americans. New York.
Hunter, R., and Macalpine, I.. 1963. Three hundred years of psychiatry, 1535–1860. London.
Jacyna, L. S. 1982. Somatic theories of mind and the interests of medicine in Britain, 1850–1879. Medical History 26.
Jewson, N. 1974. Medical knowledge and the patronage system in 18th-century England. Sociology 8.
Jimenez, M. A. 1987. Changing faces of madness: Early American attitudes and treatment of the insane. Hanover, N.H..
Kleinman, Arthur. 1988. Rethinking psychiatry. New York.
Lawrence, C. 1979. The nervous system and society in the Scottish Enlightenment. In Natural order: Historical studies of scientific cultures, ed. Barnes, B. and Shapiro, S.. London.
MacDonald, M. 1981. Mystical bedlam: Madness, anxiety and healing in seventeenth-century England. Cambridge.
MacDonald, M. 1982. Religion, social change, and psychological healing in England, 1600–1800. In The church and healing, ed. Shields, W. J.. Oxford.
MacDonald, M. 1986. The secularization of suicide in England, 1600–1800. Past and Present 111.
McGrath, W. 1986. Freud’s discovery of psychoanalysis. Ithaca, N.Y..
Mechanic, David. 1978. Medical sociology, 2d edition. New York.
Midelfort, E. 1980. Madness and civilization in early modern Europe. In After the Reformation: Essays in honor of J. H. Hexter, ed. Malament, B.. Philadephia.
Mora, George. 1980. Historical and theoretical trends in psychiatry. In Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 3d edition, ed. Kaplan, Harold, Freedman, Alfred, and Sadock, Benjamin. Baltimore.
Parry-Jones, W. L. 1972. The trade in lunacy. London.
Porter, R. 1979. Medicine and the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century England. Bulletin of the Society of the Social History of Medicine 25.
Porter, R. 1981. Being mad in Georgian England. History Today 31.
Porter, R. 1983. The rage of party: A glorious revolution in English psychiatry? Medical History 27.
Porter, R. 1987. Mind-forg’d manacles: A history of madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency. Cambridge, Mass.
Powell, R. 1979. The “subliminal” versus the “subconscious” in the American acceptance of psychoanalysis, 1906–1910. Journal of the History of Behavioral Science 15.
Ray, L. J. 1981. Models of madness in Victorian asylum practice. Archives of European Sociology 22.
Risse, G. 1988. Hysteria at the Edinburgh infirmary: The construction and treatment of a disease, 1770–1800. Medical History 32.
Risse, G. (In press). The great neurosis: Clinical constructions of hysteria, 1876–1895.
Rosenberg, C. 1968. The trial of the assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and law in the Gilded Age. Chicago.
Rosenberg, C. 1989. Body and mind in the nineteenth-century medicine: Some clinical origins of the neurosis construct. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 63.
Rothman, D. 1971. The discovery of the asylum: Social order and disorder in the New Republic. Boston.
Rothman, D. 1980. Conscience and convenience: The asylum and its alternatives in progressive America. Boston.
Rousseau, G. S. 1976. Nerves, spirits and fibres: Towards defining the origins of sensibility. Studies in the Eighteenth Century 3.
Scull, A. 1975. From madness to mental illness: Medical men as moral entrepreneurs. European Journal of Sociology 16.
Scull, A. ed. 1981. Madhouses, mad–doctors, and madmen. London.
Scull, A. 1982. Museums of madness: The social organization of insanity in nineteenth-century England. New York.
Shortt, S. E. D. 1986. Victorian lunacy: Richard M. Bucke and the practice of late nineteenth-century psychiatry. New York.
Showalter, E. 1980. Victorian women and insanity. Victorian Studies 23.
Sicherman, Barbara. 1977. The uses of a diagnosis: Doctors, patients, and neurasthenia. Journal of the History of Medicine 32.
Smith, R. 1973. Trial by medicine: Insanity and responsibility in Victorian trials. Edinburgh.
Smith-Rosenberg, C. 1972. The hysterical woman: Sex roles and conflict in nineteenth-century America. Social Research 39.
Spitzer, R., and Williams, Janet. 1980. Classification in psychiatry. In Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 3d edition, ed. Kaplan, Harold, Freedman, Alfred, and Sadock, Benjamin. Baltimore.
Stone, L. 1982. Madness. New York Review of Books 16 Dec:.
Sulloway, F. 1979. Freud: Biologist of the mind. New York.
Szasz, T. 1972. The myth of mental illness. London.
Temkin, Owsei. 1971. The falling sickness: A history of epilepsy from the Greeks to the beginnings of modern neurology, 2d edition. Baltimore.
Tischler, G., ed. 1987. Diagnosis and classification in psychiatry: A critical appraisal ofDSM–III. New York.
Tomes, Nancy. 1984. A generous confidence: Thomas Storykirkbride and the art of asylum–building, 1840–1883. Cambridge.
Zilboorg, Gregory, and Henry, George W.. 1941. A history of medical psychology. New York.