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Extra resources for A Short Introduction to Psychiatry (Short Introductions to the Therapy Professions)

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6. Hideyo Noguchi and Stanford Moore at the Rockefeller Institute demonstrated the presence of Treponema pallidum in the brains of patients suffering from General Paresis of the Insane (GPI – the neurological form of syphilis) in 1913. 7. Neurasthenia or ‘nervous debility’ is characterized by a variety of symptoms, notably fatigue, widespread aches and pains and insomnia. It remains a popular diagnosis today in some cultures (see Wessely and Lutz 1995). 8. Ben Shepherd points out that ‘doctors of the PTSD generation have gone through the same learning process as the World War One doctors’ and that there appears to be a ‘recurring cycle with the war neuroses’(2002: xxii).

Lessons from history: orientation, faction or split? What lessons can we learn from the history of psychiatry that will help us understand psychiatry today? qxd 32 5/21/04 2:34 PM Page 32 A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHIATRY and creeds. Understanding the genesis of these ideas will give us a framework for understanding where the profession stands today. Adolf Meyer in his book Psychobiology (1956) used this term to indicate an approach to psychiatry which considered a wide range of factors in aetiology: Each healthy person was unique and remained unique when ill; the psychiatrist had to understand his patients as individuals by understanding their biographies – it was not enough to assign them to diagnostic categories.

McHugh and Slavney consider that Freud was the premier post-modern psychiatric practitioner because he believed that the emphasis by Kraepelin on formal signs and symptoms and on searching for the ‘correct’ diagnosis was merely a superficial form of psychiatry that detracted from the true study of mental disorders: discovering and understanding the source of underlying conflict. Freud certainly moved beyond the modernist assumption that mental disorders were products of nature and helped us to question the dishonesty and rationalizations of everyday life.

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