- ISSN: 0007-1250 (Print), 1472-1465 (Online)
- Frequency: 12 issues per year
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The British Journal of Psychiatry was originally founded in 1853 as the Asylum Journal and was known as the Journal of Mental Science from 1858 to 1963. The complete archive of contents between 1855 and 2000 has been digitised.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych) is a leading international peer-reviewed journal, covering all branches of psychiatry with a particular emphasis on the clinical aspects of each topic.
The journal is committed to improving the prevention, investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and care of mental illness, as well as the promotion of mental health globally.
The journal is essential reading for psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and all professionals with an interest in mental health. The print version of BJPsych is sent to all members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which includes most psychiatrists working in the UK. There is also a substantial international subscriber base.
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The journal is owned and managed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and published monthly by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the College. The College grants editorial freedom and independence to the Editor-in-Chief of BJPsych.
Both the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Cambridge University Press are not-for-profit organisations, committed to fulfilling their respective objectives of securing the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning difficulties and developmental disorders and advancing learning, knowledge and research worldwide .
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Upon acceptance, BJPsych articles may be selected for press release by the author's institution, the RCPsych media team (firstname.lastname@example.org), or CUP media team (email@example.com). The press release will be distributed under strict embargo, usually with advance access to the full article. Those registered to receive our press releases understand that the embargo is a strict one, and that no information about the article can be published or broadcast until the embargo has lifted. Journalists can contact the authors for comment or further details before the embargo date.
BJPsych is not responsible for statements made by contributors. Unless so stated, material in this journal does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor-in-Chief or the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The publishers are not responsible for any error of omission or fact.
- On the cover
Sonja Gerstner, You Came?
1952–1971 • Oil on fiberboard • 30 x 40 cm • Inv.No. D 8073/2 (2007)
© Prinzhorn Collection, Heidelberg University Hospital
Sonja Gerstner (1952–1971) was 16 years old when she first showed symptoms of a psychiatric disorder. Her parents were celebrities in the GDR (East Germany): her father, Karl-Heinz Gerstner, was a television journalist, her mother, Sybille, was a painter and costume designer, founder of the famous GDR fashion magazine Sibylle. She later wrote about her daughter's misfortune under a pseudonym in the book Flucht in die Wolken (Flight into the Clouds, 1981), detailing her daughter's three stays in a closed psychiatric ward (with insulin coma and electroconvulsive therapy), the increasing helplessness and social isolation. The demands of Sonja's parents for different treatments and psychotherapeutic supervision remained unsuccessful. Sonja Gerstner's forced separation from her boyfriend Peter, following medical advice, was a traumatic experience for her. In the psychiatric clinic, she kept a diary, wrote poems, composed songs, and displayed a remarkable artistic talent. In her drawings and paintings, she processed her love for “Peer” and her first sexual experiences, which she was ashamed of, but also her doubts, her fears, and her suicidal thoughts. ‘You came?’ Is the title of a self-portrait with her boyfriend, which she painted after receiving an electroshock treatment in 1970.
In December 1970, Sonja Gerstner was released from the psychiatric ward. She felt lonely, unloved, and worthless, and took her own life on March 8, 1971 (on International Women's Day) at the age of 19. In 2007, her mother entrusted the largest part of her daughter's artistic legacy, 150 works in total, to the Prinzhorn Collection on permanent loan.
Text by Ingrid von Beyme, reproduced with permission
We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal andwould welcome suggestions or pictures,which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB, UK or firstname.lastname@example.org.