New Issue of Gesnerus

The most recent issue of Gesnerus contains several articles related to the history of psychiatry.

Titles, authors and abstracts are listed below.

“Une stabilisation difficile. La chlorpromazine dans les années 1950 en Belgique” by Benoît Majerus (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Through a Belgian case study the article tries to trace the gradual stabilisation of chlorpromazine as an antipsychotic in the 1950s. By varying ranges and angles of approach it shows the heterogeneity of actors involved and the semantic bricolage that accompany the marketing of the first antipsychotic. Far from being a revolution, the presence of Largactil® in psychiatric practice is rather characterised by integration into a wider range of medicines and sinuous searching to give sense to this new drug.

“Psychische Ereignisse – organische Interpretationen: Traumakonzepte in der deutschen Psychiatrie seit 1889” by Ruth Kloocke (Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Newham Centre for Mental Health), Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach (Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf) and Stefan Priebe (Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Charité Campus Mitte, Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

This paper examines the debate on psychological trauma in German psychiatry since 1889. A content analysis of five leading German psychiatric journals between 1889 and 2005 is realised. An organic concept of psychological trauma has been prominent in the professional debate until today. Psychiatrists frequently referred to physical traumatisation, constitutional factors and genetic predisposition, exogenous reaction types according to Bonhoeffer, and to biological markers in the context of the PTSD concept. The biological tradition in German psychiatry resulted in a specific adoption of concepts on psychological trauma. However, integrating various models of psychological trauma into a psychiatric tradition focusing on a biological model proved to be difficult and inconsistent.

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