By Kieran McNally
Schizophrenia was once twentieth century psychiatry's arch proposal of insanity. but for many of that century it was once either not easy and contentious. This background explores schizophrenia's historical instability through issues comparable to indicators, definition, class and anti-psychiatry. In doing so, it opens up new methods of figuring out twentieth century madness.
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Extra info for A Critical History of Schizophrenia
Nor does he use the terminology ‘split personality’. Instead he uses the closely related term ‘dissociated’: ‘in the agonised womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling. ’ (Stevenson, 1886/1994, p. 71). The story became a best seller in Great Britain and America, when it was published in 1886. As such, the idea of the Jekyll and Hyde personality quickly passed into popular mythology. There is obviously no evidence to suggest that the public at this time conceived of the Jekyll and Hyde personality as schizophrenia.
Could Hall not have said, ‘I am in two minds about the war’, or ‘I am indecisive and emotionally torn’? The most plausible answer to such a question is that Hall was not deliberately misusing the term in some new way. Most likely, he was, in fact, using it in a sense that psychologists were using it at the time. Hall’s claim that the term was ‘much used by psychologists’ suggests that he believed his understanding of the word was familiar to co-workers. Hall’s area of expertise was education and developmental psychology—not schizophrenia or dementia praecox.
LONDON, May 18 (UP)—The Marquess of Donegal, writing in The Sunday Dispatch under the headline ‘Complete Explanation of Hess’, said that the Nazi deputy leader was suffering from schizophrenia or a Jekyll–Hyde personality (New York Times, 1941, p. 4). Academic reports were little different. G. Hoskins could also claim, ‘Rather literally several warring persons exist in the same body and the patient is truly bewildered as to which one to accept as “I”’ (1946, p. 92). In 1950, New York psychotherapist Margaret Naumburg reported, in Schizophrenic Art: Its Meaning in Psychotherapy, that she had postponed proposed electric shock treatment after her pressurised patient Harriet produced therapeutic data: an image titled ‘Showing How the Split in the Girl’s Personality is Being Healed’ (1950, p.