This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
In 11 essays, Altschule discusses a variety of psychiatric historical topics. He reports at length on seventh century Isidore of Sentle's description of depression and on George Cheyne's 18th century report of the "English Malady," which is also depression. He tells of the Huron Indians' ideas about dreams and the unconscious, which strangely foreshadow Freud's. Acupuncture in 19th century America, the case history of James Tilly Matthews, and the pneuma concept of the soul are among other topics treated.
The entire work shows evidence of much scholarly research and includes lengthy quotations from little-known sources. It is well written, with delightful touches of wit. Not all historians or psychiatrists will agree with Altschule's interpretations, especially since he seems to use his historical material as a basis for expressing his prejudices against psychoanalysis and most other aspects of contemporary psychiatric practice.
Meehan MC. Origins of Concepts in Human Behavior: Social and Cultural Factors. JAMA. 1977;237(26):2856. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270530064033
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: