A new issue of the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry is now available online and includes the following article dealing with the history of psychiatry: Ó Gudmundsson, History of Icelandic psychiatry. The abstract reads:
The history of Icelandic psychiatry is in many ways comparable with neighboring countries. Mentally ill people were badly treated in the country and received no medical treatment until at the beginning of the 20th century. Kleppur Hospital for the mentally insane was built in 1907; hence the development was approximately 150 years later than in comparable countries. Only two doctors contributed significantly to policy making in Icelandic psychiatry until 1959 and they were very different personalities. Dr Thórdur Sveinsson was famous for his interest in hydrotherapy and Dr Helgi Tómasson for his prohibition of all physical restraints like straitjackets, restraining straps and belts. He was also known for his decision to prohibit his patients undergoing ECT and lobotomy; hence such methods were never practiced at Kleppur Hospital. In other respects, it may be said that the history of Icelandic psychiatry is similar to that in the other Nordic countries.
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