Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Looking Back at Psychiatry in General Practice

  • Arthur Watts
Extract

As students at the Durham medical school in Newcastle during the early thirties, we were taught that illness could be due to certain factors and these were listed. The malady could be caused by infection, acute or chronic, trauma, neoplasia. … there were many possibilities but at the very end was a sort of garbage bin for all the diseases which did not fit neatly into the organic syndromes; these were called hysteria or psychoneurosis. These functional cases were diagnosed in a purely negative way, by a process of exclusion. No attempt was made to explain possible reasons for these troubles and there were no suggestions as to how to treat them. We were led to believe that such people were no more than time-wasters, suffering from unworthy maladies. If neurosis in all its forms gave rise to disdain, psychosis produced overt panic, as exemplified in the following case history. A young woman of 20 was admitted to a medical ward in the late stages of pregnancy because she was suffering from severe Sydenham's chorea. She was so bad, she was constantly in danger of falling out of bed and she was quite unable to speak coherently. It must have been because of this she was deemed mad, and a respectable medical ward was certainly no place for a lunatic. Fear in both the medical and nursing staff had completely obliterated all feelings of compassion. She was certified and transferred to the asylum where she died the next day. It was well known that chorea gravis carried with it a bad prognosis and, after all, there were side wards. The poor lass should have been allowed to die in dignity in one of them.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Looking Back at Psychiatry in General Practice
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Looking Back at Psychiatry in General Practice
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Looking Back at Psychiatry in General Practice
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All
1. Dewar, H. A. (1986) Personal Communication.
Recommend this journal

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

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 34 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 21st June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Looking Back at Psychiatry in General Practice

  • Arthur Watts
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *