Archives for History of Psychiatry

Current News & Research

The War on Psychiatric Diagnosis

One of the first psychotic patients I treated during my residency was a middle-aged man who was burrowing through the wall of his room. Yes, I mean “burrowing,” as in using his bleeding hands, fists and finger nails to tear through the flimsy plaster and...
Continue Reading

Eating Disorders

The Sociocultural History of Eating Disorders

February 22–28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Learn more at  Eating disorders are a major public health issue in the US. They are the deadliest of any mental illness. But their causes are hard to pin down. Eating disorders are complex psychosocialbiological illnesses...
Continue Reading



Strange New World: History, Hypnosis & Trance

The phenomenon we commonly term hypnosis actually refers back to the half-century old theories of animal magnetism and mesmerism. Scholars later adopted an altered-state view and described ancient healing rituals in Western and Eastern civilizations as forerunners of modern hypnosis. To understand hypnosis, it is essential to...
Continue Reading