The History of Psychiatry

today2020.07.10. 802


The field of psychiatry has evolved rapidly over the last centuries. From explanations like karma and demons to treatment like straitjackets and psychosurgery – no stone was left unturned. Only within the last 70 years psychopharmacology and brain scanning have revolutionized the field again, created some answers but opened up many more questions. What do you think will the next big milestone in psychiatry be? What can new technology and AI contribute? We are excited to find out!


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  1. Koenig, Harold G. (2009). Faith and Mental Health: Religious Resources for Healing. Templeton Foundation Press.  
  2. Neuner, F., Pfeiffer, A., Schauer-Kaiser, E., Odenwald, M., Elbert, T., & Ertl, V. (2012). Haunted by ghosts: Prevalence, predictors and outcomes of spirit possession experiences among former child soldiers and war-affected civilians in Northern Uganda. Social Science & Medicine, 75(3), 548-554. 
  3. Elkes, A. & Thorpe, J.G. (1967). A Summary of Psychiatry. London: Faber & Faber, p. 13. 
  4. Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Lee, S. H., Ripke, S., Neale, B. M., Faraone, S. V., Purcell, S. M., Perlis, R. H., Mowry, B. J., Thapar, A., Goddard, M. E., Witte, J. S., Absher, D., Agartz, I., Akil, H., Amin, F., Andreassen, O. A., Anjorin, A., Anney, R., Anttila, V., Arking, D. E., … International Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC) (2013). Genetic relationship between five psychiatric disorders estimated from genome-wide SNPs. Nature genetics, 45(9), 984–994 
  5. Marneros A. (2008). Psychiatry’s 200th birthday. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 193(1), 1–3. 
  6. Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Lee SH, Ripke S, et al. (2013). Genetic relationship between five psychiatric disorders estimated from genome-wide SNPs. Nat Genet., 45(9):984-994. 

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