Advances in psychiatry have paralleled rather closely the advances achieved in other branches of medicine. The initial descriptive phase gave recognition to the principal clinical entities to be dealt with in the field. This was accompanied and followed by a period concerned with psychodynamics and the relation of man to his environment. More recently, however, physiologic and biochemical advances have given a new impetus to psychiatry, in common with almost every other branch of medicine. Shock therapies have achieved dramatic results, and further experience has indicated the potentialities and limitations of these measures. Psychosurgery has also produced beneficial therapeutic effects and has proved to be a valuable tool in exploring the relation of neurophysiology to psychiatry. Still more recently a new field that may properly be designated as psychopharmacology has emerged and is advancing rapidly as the effects of various pharmacologic and endocrine preparations on psychiatric conditions are determined.
AIRD RB. Clinical Correlates of Electroshock Therapy. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(6):633-639. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340060029003