Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: mental disorders

  • Pica: Eating starch and clay

    The habit of eating non-nutritious or nonfood substances goes by the name of pica and strikes one as a rather peculiar phenomenon. It applies most commonly to people consuming starch or clay, but at different times and in different areas people have also eaten paper, dirt, soap, cloth, hair, ice, pebbles, charcoal, chalk, hair, or…

  • Vincenzo Chiarugi, who freed the insane from their chains

    Vincenzo Chiarugi. Via Wikimedia. Vincenzo Chiarugi was one of the pioneers of a more humane treatment of the mentally ill, along with William Tuke (1732–1822) in York and Philippe Pinel (1745–1826) and Étienne-Jean Georget (1795–1828) in Paris. They all lived at a time when those with mental illness were frequently confined in dungeons and ill-treated,…

  • Understanding so little: Cinema and mass shootings

    Eelco Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Caleb Landry Jones in Nitram. IFC Films/Photofest. Used with permission. The horrific 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, was serendipitously preceded by a trailer for Gangster Squad, which showed a fictitious shooting of a movie theater audience. Filmmakers have revisited the…

  • “Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Emil Kraepelin, 1921 at the Department of Psychiatry, Munich. Source “Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”1   The pages of history seen through the retrospectroscope often provide dull facts rather than insights into the personalities and driving forces of its famous subjects. Such is the case of Emil Wilhelm…

  • The beginnings of humane psychiatry: Pinel and the Tukes

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Portrait of Philippe Pinel by Anna Mérimée. 1826. Public domain. From Wikimedia. “It is perhaps not going too far to maintain that Pinel has been to eighteenth-century psychiatry what Newton was to its natural philosophy and Linnaeus to its taxonomy.” -George Rousseau, Historian, 1991 Although modern treatment of…