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Lecture 1

PSYC 4039 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Clinical Psychology, Biological Psychiatry, Neurosis

Course Code
PSYC 4039

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The First Biological Psychiatry 10/12/2017 3:09:00 PM
Asylum psychiatry and the putative increase in severe mental
The rise of minor mental illness (i.e., “The Psychoanalytic Hiatus”)
The beginning of university psychiatry and scientific research on
mental illness
Ascendance of the Clinical/Descriptive Method of Kraepelin
Minor mental disorders- ex. Neurosis
19th century goes into treating neurotic disorders
3rd chapter- last two bullet points
o Development of departments of psychiatry within medical
Important because universities have always done a lot
of research
o Kraepelin was one of the most imporant psychiatrist
The Beginning of University Psychiatry
Established modern psychiatric department in 1865 at Charite
Hospital in Berlin
o Clinic in a teaching department
o Integrated psychiatry with other services
o Research as well as teaching mission
Doctoral dissertation
Postdoctoral habilitation
Founded Archive for Psychiatry and Nervous Diseases in 1867
If you wanted to be trained in psychiatry, you would go to a mental
hospital were some prominent, well known psychiatrist worked
o No formal training
o Lectures were given though in the mental hospitals and that’s
how you got educated
Needed a clinic in medical school that would take in patients so that
the students could see the patients and their problems
o The purpose was to train doctors AND psychiatrists
o Patients had a diversity of disorders
o Weren’t interested in curing patients
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o Select patients because they were interesting and let doctors
observe, and then they would go off to a mental hospital
All started with Wilhelm Griesinger (Germans were leaders in
medicine at the time)
Research for mental disorders didn’t really happen until
Doctoral dissertations- author said they were scientific puff balls
If you wanted to be a doctor, did puff ball and then were a doctor
o However, being a professor was more prestigious
o A requirement to be a professor was that they had to do a
postdoctoral dissertation habilitation
Once you did habilitation, you could be a professor
Wilhelm thought mental illness was a disease of the brain (evidence
from the journal he wrote that focused on biology)
Thomas Kuhn in “The structure of Scientific Revolutions” sciences
cycle between two phases: 1) normal science, 2) scientific
Normal science refers to phases of “continuity”
o If you study biological research, there is a continuity of
biological research up until the present time (what teach
Revolutionary science refers to “discontinuity”
The term “The first biological psychiatry” implies discontinuity
o Periods of continuity and then periods of discontinuity
o Period of discontinuity refers to first biological psychiatry
because there must have been a second biological psychiatry
Wouldn’t need to label “first” if there wasn’t more than
However, research in biological psychiatry is a continuous
progression from the mid 1800s to present
The “first biological psychiatry” more accurately refers to research
ca 1850 1900 that had two principal subjects: 1) heredity, 2)
o First biological psychiatry, then the hiatus and then the
second biological psychiatry
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Hiatus implies disruption
o Research based on heredity mental illness and the search for
mental illness in the brain
Inheritance of Madness
19th century, new ideas:
o Degeneration
o Evolution
o Eugenics
Evolutionary decline, or
The idea that genetic disorders get worse as they pass through
successive generations
Widely accepted idea in 19th century: insanity is the end stage of
the degenerative process
Morel and others proposed a degenerative sequence:
o Criminality
o Sexual perversion
o Mental illness
Stigmatized the mentally ill and created fear and loathing of
psychiatrists (early roots of antipsychiatry)
Degeneration means evolutionary decline
o People thought it started in one generation and then the
offspring would inherit the bad genes and it would go on
o It was thought that as it went from generation to generation,
problems got worse and worse
Moral argued that the first sign of degeneration is criminality
o If that criminal can have offspring, they might show
degeneration in sexual perversion (after criminality)
o And then after sexual perversion, there was mental illness
o Mental illness was always at the very bottom of degeneration
o A severe mental illness was the worst you could be
Family members of mentally ill people were suspects?
o Suppose mental illness was a recessive trait
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