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Book Forum––Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria

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Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria: The Invention of a Medical Category Between 1670 and 1820 focuses on the socio-medical category before its better-known (and more heavily studied) late nineteenth century instantiations, not to trace the prehistory of hysteria from the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, but in order to demonstrate how hysteria takes unexpected form during these earlier epochs. The …

Books

John Foot’s The Man Who Closed the Asylums: Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care

man who closed asylums coverThe Man Who Closed The Asylums: Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care

by John Foot

Verso Press, 2015, 404 pages

Embracing change is the best way to keep up with John Foot’s pace in his book, The Man Who Closed The Asylums: Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care (2015). Foot’s holistic approach will appeal …

Features

Prevalence of self-harm reflects our social isolation

Since the late 1980s growing numbers of mental health professionals and media commentators in Britain and the USA have been concerned with a behaviour labelled as ‘self-harm’, ‘deliberate self-harm’ or ‘self-injury’. It is often seen as a secret or hidden practice, and it is almost always ‘on the rise’, especially among adolescent females. Most commonly it refers to self-cutting or …

Books

Elizabeth Lunbeck’s The Americanization of Narcissism

lunbeckcover

The The Americanization of Narcissism

Harvard University Press, 2014, 384 pages.

Historians have not handled psychoanalysis very well. The clumsy reductionism of much of the psychohistory movement is usually Exhibit A, though historians such as Dominick LaCapra and Joan Scott have been developing more nuanced ways of using psychoanalytic ideas for History. But the historiography of psychoanalysis has also had …

Books

Nicolas Langlitz’s Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain

neuropsychedlia
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain

by Nicolas Langlitz

University of California Press, 2012, 336 pages.

Humphry Osmond wrote to Aldous Huxley in 1956 proposing the term “psychedelic,” coined from two Greek words to mean “mind manifesting.” The scholars, one a psychiatrist and the other a celebrated novelist and philosopher, were exuberant about the …

In the Journals

The Practice of Constraint in Psychiatry: Emergent Forms of Care and Control — A special issue of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

CMP CoverI must apologize for the belated notice, but I want to draw attention to the December issue of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, which is a special issue entitled “The Practice of Constraint in Psychiatry: Emergent Forms of Care and Control.” Of the issue and its five articles, the guest editors, Paul Brodwin and Livia Velpry, write of …