New issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine

The Fall issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine is accessible online. In this issue, you’ll find an article by Elizabeth A. Williams entitled Stomach and Psyche: Eating, Digestion, and Mental Illness in the Medicine of Philippe Pinel. The abstrac reads:

In premodern medicine eating and digestion were often linked to psychic disturbance, yet modern “mental medicine” is generally thought to have abandoned this ancient assumption. The work of Philippe Pinel, founder of French psychiatry and advocate of the “moral treatment,” has been regarded as indicative of this process, but in fact eating and digestion remained important to Pinel’s understanding of the néuroses, the variety of disease within which he classified both mild and severe forms of mental illness. Pinel’s theoretical and clinical innovations in regard to maladies that blended mental and gastric distress left an important legacy both to asylum-based psychiatry and to medical generalists working in private settings in the nineteenth century. Today his work remains valuable for its insistence on the inextricability of the “physical and the moral” in psycho-gastric illness.

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