November 1968

Psychiatry in the Communist World.

Author Affiliations

Edited by Ari Kiev, MD. Price, $10. Pp 276. Science House, New York, 1968.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(5):639-640. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740110127019

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This is a compendium of reports on psychiatric theories and practices in the USSR, East Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, and China, each written by an authority resident in the respective communist country.

Ari Kiev's introduction, although occasionally overlaid with statistics, discerningly reviews the political, economic, and doctrinaire evolution of Soviet psychiatry, its rejection of strictly individualistic motivations, (Freud, consequently, is anathema) and its derivative emphasis on the sociocultural determinants of human behavior. Paradoxically, however, psychiatric disorders—which are rising as rapidly in the communist world as elsewhere—are not placed in this context, but are classified as separate no sologic entities somewhat obscurely explicable on Pavlovian principles. Therapy is generally eclectic: there is considerable reliance on ECT, insulin, ataractics and prolonged sleep, but with special emphasis on a warm, personalized, supportive doctor-patient relationship directed toward an early

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