By Jeffrey A. Lieberman

Psychiatry has come far because the days of chaining "lunatics" in chilly cells and parading them as freakish marvels ahead of a gaping public. yet, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, finds, the trail to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medication" has been something yet gentle. the following, Dr. Lieberman strains the sphere from its start as a mystic pseudo-science via its formative years as a cult of "shrinks" to its past due blooming Read more...

summary: Psychiatry has come a ways because the days of chaining "lunatics" in chilly cells and parading them as freakish marvels prior to a gaping public. yet, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, unearths, the trail to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medication" has been something yet delicate. right here, Dr. Lieberman lines the sector from its delivery as a mystic pseudo-science via its early life as a cult of "shrinks" to its overdue blooming maturity--beginning after international warfare II--as a science-driven occupation that saves lives. it is a heritage jam-packed with fanciful theories--from Franz Mesmer's nineteenth-century concept of "animal magnetism" to the category of homosexuality as a psychological illness as overdue because the 1970s--and reckless remedies, together with "coma treatments" and ice-pick lobotomies. it is also the tale of a box divided opposed to itself, torn among mind-focused psychiatrists like Sigmund Freud, whose conception of psychoanalysis ruled American psychiatry for greater than part a century, and brain-focused neuroscientists like Eric Kandel, whose pioneering study helped convey the reign of Freud, his hero, to an in depth. At its middle, Shrinks is a detective story, propelled through the crucial questions, what's psychological disorder and the way can it's taken care of? the genuine heroes of this story are the lads and girls who dared to problem the established order in pursuit of answers.--From writer description

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Extra info for Shrinks : the untold story of psychiatry

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After Pinel, the conversion of mental institutions into places of rest and therapy led to the formal establishment of psychiatry as a clearly defined profession. To transform an asylum into an institution of therapeutic humanity rather than of cruel incarceration required doctors who specialized in working with the mentally ill, giving rise to the first common appellation for the psychiatrist: alienist. Alienists were given their nickname because they worked at asylums in rural locales, far removed from the more centrally located hospitals where the alienists’ medical colleagues worked and socialized and tended to physical maladies.

Mesmer then seated him near the piano; he had hardly begun to play when my friend was affected emotionally, trembled, lost his breath, changed color, and felt pulled toward the floor. In this state of anxiety, Mr. Mesmer placed him on a couch so that he was in less danger of falling, and he brought in a maid who he said was antimagnetic. When her hand approached my friend’s chest, everything stopped with lightning speed, and my colleague touched and examined his stomach with astonishment. The sharp pain had suddenly ceased.

She began to wonder… if the doctors say there is nothing wrong with my body, could something be wrong with my head? How does anyone really know if a disturbing psychic state is a genuine medical abnormality and not merely one of life’s natural ups and downs? How do we recognize whether we—or someone we care about—is suffering from a pathological state of mind, rather than ordinary fluctuations in mental acuity and of high and low spirits? What is mental illness, exactly? Oncologists can touch rubbery tumors, pulmonologists can peer through a microscope at strings of pneumonia bacteria, and cardiologists have little trouble identifying the yellowish plaques of artery-clotting cholesterol.

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