History of Psychiatry (HIST PSYCHIATR )

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists, SAGE Publications


History of Psychiatry publishes research articles, analysis and information across the entire field of history of mental illness and the forms of medicine, psychiatry, cultural response and social policy which have evolved to understand and treat it. It covers all periods of history up to the present day, and all nations and cultures. History of Psychiatry is ranked at 12 out of the top 17 journals in the History of Social Sciences, and at number 71 in Psychiatry in the most recent Journal Citation Reports (2001) published by the ISI.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    History of Psychiatry website
  • Other titles
    History of psychiatry (Online)
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

SAGE Publications

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Authors retain copyright
    • Pre-print on any website
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website, departmental website, institutional website or institutional repository
    • On other repositories including PubMed Central after 12 months embargo
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used
    • "as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article examines the treatment of madness as a theme in drama, opera and films, concentrating its attention for the most part on the period between World War II and the 1980s. These were the years in which psychoanalysis dominated psychiatry in the USA, and so Freud's influence in the broader culture forms the central though not the sole focus of the analysis.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):395-403.
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    ABSTRACT: A history of psychiatry cannot step back from the question of psychiatric diseases, but the field has in general viewed psychiatric entities as manifestations of the human state rather than medical diseases. There is little acknowledgement that a true disease is likely to rise and fall in incidence. In outlining the North Wales History of Mental Illness project, this paper seeks to provide some evidence that psychiatric diseases do rise and fall in incidence, along with evidence as to how such ideas are received by other historians of psychiatry and by biological psychiatrists.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):450-8.
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    ABSTRACT: After Eugen Bleuler introduced 'schizophrenia' in 1908, the term was hotly debated but eventually led to the abandonment of Kraepelin's previous term 'dementia praecox'. Bleuler's contribution has subsequently been interpreted in two main ways. One tradition holds that Bleuler merely renamed 'dementia praecox' while conceptually continuing the Kraepelinian tradition. The other, focusing on Bleuler's characterization of 'dementia praecox' in terms of specific psychological alterations, accredits him with a genuine re-conceptualization. Based on a close reading of 'Die Prognose der Dementia praecox', the paper in which Bleuler first mentioned 'schizophrenia', we suggest a further interpretation of Bleuler's contribution and argue that the main motive for his re-conceptualization is to be found in his rejection of Kraepelinian nosology.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):431-40.
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    ABSTRACT: The term nostalgia was first proposed in 1688 by Johannes Hofer as equivalent to the German term Heimweh. It referred to a state of moral pain associated with the forced separation from family and social environment. Consecutive clinical descriptions from the seventeenth century up to the present day have been subjected to the aetiopathogenic and clinical paradigms of each period. Golden-age descriptions of nostalgia that are of particular interest were derived from the observation of conscript soldiers in Napoleonic campaigns by authors such as Gerbois and Larrey. In 1909 Jaspers devoted his doctoral thesis to this topic (Nostalgia und Verbrechen). From a cultural history point of view, it could be considered today as an example of 'transient illness'. The nosological relay has taken place through clinical pictures such as the pathology associated with exile, forced displacements and psychosis of captivity.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):404-11.
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    ABSTRACT: This article reveals a set of formulations of masculine identity through the fragments of extant casebook evidence from nineteenth-century psychiatric institutions in Victoria, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. It shows that some patterns in the identification of masculinity and insanity emerge, also highlighting the relevance of individual stories and 'cases' to fully understand how masculine identities were fashioned through medical institutional language.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):468-76.
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    ABSTRACT: How does society imagine mental illness? Does this shift radically over time and with different social attitudes as well as scientific discoveries about the origins and meanings of mental illness? What happens when we begin to think about mental illness as madness, as a malleable concept constantly shifting its meaning? We thus look at the meanings associated with 'general paralysis of the insane' in the nineteenth century and autism today in regard to disability. In this case study we examine the claims by scholars such as the anthropologist Emily Martin and the psychiatrist Kay Jamison as to the relationship between mental illness, disability and creativity. Today, the health sciences have become concerned with mental illness as a form of disability. How does this change the meaning of madness for practitioners and patients?
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):441-9.
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    ABSTRACT: This anniversary Classic Text, the 'Introduction' from Strömgren's 'Episodic Psychoses', provides a comprehensive, concise and erudite exposition of the history, nosography and nosology of these conditions. Strömgren traces the origin of this term and concepts back to Magnan's degeneration psychoses and associated 'syndromes épisodiques'. Especially inspired by 'the psychogenic psychosis' (1916), the seminal work by his mentor, August Wimmer, he convincingly shows that the episodic psychoses constitute an intermediate link between the degeneration psychoses, now an obsolete term, and the psychogenic psychoses, reactive psychoses and brief reactive psychoses, which in their own right have been a bone of contention in international psychiatry for many decades and an obstacle in achieving consensus in international psychiatric classification.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):492-508.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to contribute to the analysis of the origins of psychiatric semiology, which by emphasizing subjectivity in clinical practice, gave birth to psychopathology as the scientific and intellectual enterprise of alienism. In other words, beyond simple anatomical and clinical observation, there was an effort to 'listen to' and 'read' the patient's delirium. In essence, the basic thesis which this short paper seeks to defend is that, despite a growing anatomical and clinical mind-set and a clear interest in physically locating mental illness within the body, during the Romantic period, psychiatry was able to construct a semiology largely based on the experience of the ego, on the inner world of the individual. This makes it possible to establish, from a clinical perspective, that the birth of alienism - of psychiatry - must be situated within the framework of a modernity in which the culture of subjectivity was one of its most characteristic features.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):459-67.
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    ABSTRACT: Les historiens datent la naissance de la psychiatrie de l'époque où les médecins renoncent à utiliser le latin comme langue scientifique internationale. A partir de la fin du XVIIIe siècle ils publient désormais leurs travaux sur la pathologie mentale dans une langue européenne moderne comme l'anglais, le français, l'allemand, l'italien ou l'espagnol. Certains de textes publiés dans une de celles-ci d'entre sont traduits plus ou moins rapidement dans une ou plusieurs autres. Mais des textes importants ne le sont pas ou très tardivement; les nouveaux concepts psychopathologiques introduits restent méconnus des médecins qui ne connaissent pas la langue originale. Ils sont oubliés et les termes qui les désignent sont remplacés dans les classifications récentes des troubles mentaux par de nouvelles dénominations sans référence à une conception théorique du trouble initialement décrit. L'histoire de la psychiatrie doit étudier l'évolution dans le temps de ces termes traditionnels depuis leur premier emploi par un auteur dans une de ces langues modernes jusqu'à leur éventuel abandon actuel pour comprendre si celui-ci est justifié.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):422-30.
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    ABSTRACT: Writing the recent history of a subject is notoriously difficult because of the lack of perspective and impartiality. One way to gain insight and understanding into the recent past of a discipline of knowledge is to consult directly the living practitioners who actually experienced first-hand the major changing circumstances in the discipline during the period under study. This article seeks to explore the most significant changes occurring in Western, and especially American, psychiatry from the end of World War II up to the present by interrogating a representative selection of psychiatrists and psychologists about the subject. Over a three-year period, the author surveyed approximately 200 mental health experts on their perceptions of change in the world of psychiatric theory and practice during this enormously eventful 70-year period. After presenting the survey results, the article then attempts to analyse the answers that the author did (and did not) obtain from his poll-taking subjects.
    History of Psychiatry 12/2014; 25(4):485-91.
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    ABSTRACT: Contrary to the often-voiced opinion that the birth of modern psychiatry should be regarded as a victory of enlightened science and rationality over outdated religious beliefs and ecclesiastical authority, it is argued in this article that the emergence of medical and psychiatric approaches to pathology in modernity takes place in the context of intensified religious life and mutual rivalry between the various religious denominations. Notably the two main types of demonological possession appearing in the context of Protestant and Catholic religious life, theological reflections and pastoral practices play a major role in the conceptualizations of melancholy and hysteria. The heritage of this can be viewed in the works of psychiatrists such as Charcot and Kraepelin, and also in Freud's psychoanalysis.
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):335-49.
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    ABSTRACT: The first part of this two-part paper presents a comparative history of paranoia querulans, also known as litigants' delusion, in German-speaking countries and France from the nineteenth century onwards. We first focus on two classic literary works which describe litigious behaviours that were later pathologized, then give an insight into the history of Querulantenwahn (litigants' delusion), a term coined in 1857 by Johann Ludwig Casper and adopted by German-speaking psychiatrists and forensic experts. The last section is devoted to its French equivalent, the delusion of the litigious persecuted-persecutors. We show how this category, widely popular among French fin-de-siècle alienists, was replaced by another: the delusion of revendication (litigious subtype). The history of the vexatious litigants in the English-speaking world will be explored in the Part 2.
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):299-316.
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    ABSTRACT: The ancient concept of 'sympathy' originally referred to a putative affinity or force that linked all natural objects together. This notion was later used to explain the manner in which human beings related and felt for each other. A large literature exists on both the physical and psychological definitions of sympathy. Until the nineteenth century the conceptual apparatus of medicine preserved the view that the organs of the human body had a sympathetic affinity for each other. In addition to these 'physiological' (normal) sympathies there were morbid ones which explained the existence of various diseases. A morbid sympathy link also explained the fact that insanity followed the development of pathological changes in the liver, spleen, stomach and other bodily organs. These cases were classified as 'sympathetic insanities'. After the 1880s, the sympathy narrative was gradually replaced by physiological, endocrinological and psychodynamic explanations. The clinical states involved, however, are often observed in hospital practice and constitute the metier of 'consultation-liaison psychiatry'. Hence, it is surprising that historical work on the development of this discipline has persistently ignored the concept of 'sympathetic insanity'.
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):364-76.
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    ABSTRACT: Jaspers' nosology is indebted to Immanuel Kant's theory of knowledge. He drew the distinction of form and content from the Transcendental Analytic of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The distinction is universal to all knowledge, including psychopathology. Individual experience is constituted by a form or category of the Understanding to give a determinate or knowable object classified into the generic type of a real disease entity. The application of form and content is limited by the boundaries of experience. Beyond this boundary are wholes whose conception requires Ideas of reason drawn from the Transcendental Dialectic. Wholes are regulated by Ideas of reason to give an object or schema of the Idea collected into ideal types of an ideal typical disease entity. Jaspers drew ideal types from Max Weber's social theory. He anticipated that, as knowledge advanced, ideal typical disease entities would become real disease entities. By 1920, this had been the destiny of general paralysis as knowledge of its neuropathology, serology and microbiology emerged. As he presented the final edition of General Psychopathology in 1946, Jaspers was anticipating the transition of schizophrenia from ideal typical to real disease entity. Almost 70 years later, with knowledge of its aetiology still unclear, schizophrenia remains marooned as an ideal typical disease entity - still awaiting that crucial advance!
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):317-34.
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    ABSTRACT: The cause of death, at the age of 37, of Louis-Victor Marcé (1828-64), one of the most innovative alienists of the nineteenth century, was concealed by his contemporaries and colleagues. Recently it has been discovered that he committed suicide, but the circumstances and reasons for this were unknown. Information has now been found about his family, the events of the last year of his life and an unprecedented correspondence from his father-in-law, the chemist and academician Jules Pelouze, describing Marcé's condition during the last month of his life. All of these point towards a diagnosis of melancholy, for which none of the appropriate measures were taken, probably as a result of the ailing Marcé's social situation.
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):265-82.
  • History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):383-4.
  • History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):377-8.
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores an example of the transmission of Dutch psychiatric knowledge to Japan in the Edo period (1600-1868), through the translation of a case study first published by Schroeder van der Kolk in 1826. The translation appeared in an innovative new journal of Western medicine edited by the Japanese rangaku (Dutch-learning) scholar, Mitsukuri Genpo. The case study describes the symptoms and treatment of a woman who experienced delusions following an ear infection, in terms largely familiar to the Japanese doctors of the time. This translation provides opportunities to consider the globalization and localization of psychiatric knowledge, the medicalization of mental health care in Japan, and the growing interest in Western psychiatry before its official introduction to Japan after 1868.
    History of Psychiatry 09/2014; 25(3):350-63.