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October 9, 1967

Short-Term Psychiatric Treatment

JAMA. 1967;202(2):154-155. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130150122036

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To the Editor:—  In his letter "Psychiatrists as Physicians" in The Journal (201:334, 1967), Earle M. Chapman calls for professional courtesy by psychiatrists, stating, "Modern psychiatric treatment is short term...."Modern psychiatric treatment is not short term in many instances. Often when it is short term, it is not because that is the treatment of choice, but because of the pressure of numbers in public clinics and financial pressure in the private setting. Doctors and their families are usually able to afford long-term psychiatric treatment which others may need, but cannot afford.Short-term psychiatric treatment is indicated in certain situations, some acute depressions, family or individual crises, some marital problems, etc, and often makes a profound difference in the outcome.Drugs are indicated to relieve symptoms in certain neuroses and are a primary treatment in most cases of schizophrenic reactions and severe depressions. However, neurotic, psychophysiologic, and less malignant