Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Reading about … the history of psychiatry

  • Allan Beveridge (a1)
Extract

In recent decades ideological battles have raged over how the history of psychiatry should be interpreted. Should the emergence of psychiatry in the late 18th century be seen as the triumph of the Enlightenment, ushering in a rational approach to mental illness and overturning the primitive and often barbaric ideas of previous eras? Or should the rise of psychiatry be seen in a more sinister light? Does it represent the extension of the state into the lives of its citizens, controlling and policing the disaffected and discontented? Are psychiatrists benign humanitarians or agents of oppression? Should the historical narrative be one of progress, as psychiatry steadily extends its knowledge of mental illness and develops more and more effective therapy? Or is the reverse true: has the advent of psychiatry been a calamity for the mad?

    • 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.

      Reading about … the history of psychiatry
      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.

      Reading about … the history of psychiatry
      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.

      Reading about … the history of psychiatry
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
1 Foucault, M. Madness and Civilisation: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (trans Howard, R). Tavistock, 1965 (originally published in French in 1961).
2 Scull, A. Museums of Madness: The Social Organisation of Insanity in Nineteenth Century England. Penguin Books, 1979.
3 Beveridge, A. Madness in Victorian Edinburgh: a study of patients admitted to the Royal Edinburgh Asylum under Thomas Clouston, 1874–1908. Part I. Hist Psychiatry 1995; 6, 2154.
4 Beveridge, A. Madness in Victorian Edinburgh: a study of patients admitted to the Royal Edinburgh Asylum under Thomas Clouston, 1874–1908. Part II. Hist Psychiatry 1995; 6, 133–56.
5 Doody, GA, Beveridge, A, Johnstone, EC. Poor and mad: A study of patients admitted to the Fife and Kinross District Asylum between 1874 and 1899. Psychol Med 1996; 26: 887–97.
6 Turner, T. A Diagnostic Analysis of the Casebooks of Ticehurst House Asylum, 1845–1890. Psychological Medicine Monograph Supplement 21. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
7 Tuke, DH. Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles. Kegan Paul, Trench & Co, 1882.
8 Zilboorg, G. A History of Medical Psychology (in collaboration with Henry, GW). WW Norton, 1941.
9 Shorter, E. A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac. John Wiley and Sons, 1997.
10 Fulford, KWM, Thornton, T, Graham, G. Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press, 2006.
11 Hunter, R, Macalpine, I. Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry 1535–1860. Oxford University Press, 1963.
12 Macalpine, I, Hunter, R. George III and the Mad Business. Penguin Press, 1969.
13 Peters, T, Beveridge, A. The madness of King George III: a psychiatric re-assessment. Hist Psychiatry 2010; 21: 2037.
14 Freeman, H (ed). A Century of Psychiatry. Mosby, 2000.
15 Berrios, GE, Freeman, H (eds). 150 Years of British Psychiatry 1841–1991. Gaskell, 1991.
16 Berrios, GE, Freeman, H (eds). 150 Years of British Psychiatry: The Aftermath. Volume II. Athlone, 1996.
17 Bynum, WF, Porter, R, Shepherd, M (eds). The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Madness. Volumes 1–3. Tavistock Publications, 1985; 1985; 1988.
18 Porter, R. A Short History of Madness. Oxford University Press, 2002.
19 Scull, A. Madness: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011.
20 Healy, D. The Antidepressant Era. Harvard University Press, 1997.
21 Healy, D. The Creation of Psychopharmacology. Harvard University Press, 2002.
22 Shorter, E, Healy, D. Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness. Rutgers University Press, 2007.
23 Valenstein, E. Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. Basic Books, 1986.
24 Ellenberger, FH. The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry. Basic Books, 1970.
25 Scull, A, Hervey, N, MacKenzie, C. Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade. Princeton University Press, 1996.
26 Wilkinson, G. Talking About Psychiatry. Gaskell, 1993.
27 Beveridge, A. Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man: The Early Writing and Work of R. D. Laing, 1927–1960. Oxford University Press, 2011.
28 Berrios, G. The History of Mental Symptoms: Descriptive Psychopathology since the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, 1996.
29 Berrios, G, Porter, R (eds). A History of Clinical Psychiatry. Athlone, 1995.
30 Healy, D. Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
31 Scull, A. Hysteria: The Biography. Oxford University Press, 2009.
32 Peterson, D. A Mad People's History of Madness. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982.
33 Porter, R. A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987.
34 Porter, R (ed). The Faber Book of Madness. Faber & Faber, 1991.
35 Showalter, E. The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture, 1830–1980. Virago Press, 1987.
36 Appignanesi, L. Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present. Virago, 2008.
Recommend this journal

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

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 52 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 199 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 3rd January 2018 - 21st April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Reading about … the history of psychiatry

  • Allan Beveridge (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

When did the history of psychiatry begin?

Edward Reynolds, Consultant Neurologist
24 May 2012

I greatly appreciated Allan Beveridge's synopsis of literature on thehistory of psychiatry (1). It is striking how the great majority of the publications relate to the last two centuries, no doubt reflecting the emergence of psychiatry as an independent medical discipline in the early 19th century (2). However, psychiatric disorders evolved long before that. Hunter and Macalpine (3) began their history in the 16th century, but Burton's monumental 1621 treatise describes the origins of "melancholia" in Greek and Roman antiquity, which is confirmed by Jackson's (4) more recent history of melancholia and depression. In the last 25 years James Kinnier Wilson and I have studied earlier Babylonian accounts of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, stroke, psychoses, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and psychopathicbehaviour (5). Although the Babylonians had no understanding of brain or psychological function they were remarkable describers of human disease and behaviour. These are the earliest detailed accounts of some psychiatric disorders from the first half of the second millennium BC, within about a millennium of the origins of writing.

I have been puzzled for some time why there is no Section or Special Interest Group on the History of Psychiatry in the Royal College of Psychiatrists? However, as Allan Beveridge points out it is a subject also of interest to psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and historians, to which I would add neurologists. On reflection it seems to me that the history of psychiatry and neurology are inseparable. I would be interested to learn from any psychiatrists who would support a forum for the history of psychiatry and neurology in the UK?

Edward Reynolds, Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer,Department of Clinical Neurosciences, King's College, University of London. e-mail: reynolds@buckles.u-net.com.

1.Beveridge A. Reading about ...The history of psychiatry. Br J Psychiatry 2012; 200: 431-3.

2.Marneros A. Psychiatry's 200th birthday. Br J Psychiatry 2008; 193: 1-3.

3.Hunter R, Macalpine I. Three Hundred years of Psychiatry 1535-1860. Oxford University Press, 1963.

4.Jackson SW. Melancholia and Depression: From Hippocratic times to modern times. Yale University Press, 1986.

5.Reynolds EH, Kinnier Wilson JV. Obsessive compulsive disorder and psychopathic behaviour in Babylon. J. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2012; 83: 199-201.

... More

Conflict of interest: None declared

Write a reply

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *