To cram 2000 years of the history of psychiatry into the space allowed me in this paper is like attempting to transcribe the Lord's Prayer onto the back of a postage stamp. It's well-nigh impossible, but it can be done. Fortunately for me, the task has been made infinitely less difficult by the fact that psychiatry as an organised, independent discipline dates back only as recently as the last decades of the 18th century and its history is, therefore, correspondingly short. So, I'll begin there.
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