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September 1969

100 Years of Psychiatry (Kraepelin)—50 Years Later

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(3):257-261. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740210001001

AT THE inauguration of the German Research Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, October 1917, Kraepelin reviewed the development of psychiatry during the previous 100 years. He could state with pride that the advances in psychiatry within the span of one century were comparable in every respect to those in other fields of the medical sciences, though much remained unknown. The greatest progress could be recognized in the professional attitude towards the mentally ill who now were approached with respectful objectivity and were given the same care that was granted to the physically sick. The foundation of the Research Institute was an outstanding illustration of this extraordinary change.

The plight of the mentally ill during the 18th century was shocking. Hospitals or asylums for the insane were rare and could accommodate only a few of the most disturbed patients. Kraepelin quotes many of

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