Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Psychiatry and Psychology

  • Caring for the mentally ill: The cycle repeats itself

    Robert BiggarBethesda, Maryland, United States A traveler driving through Weston, a small community in the hills of West Virginia, will find it typical of the hundreds of similar bypassed towns: pleasant but a bit run-down and sliding into poverty and abandonment. However, it has one spectacular and historic monument that lies just off the highway:…

  • Important figures in the history of neuropsychiatry

    Avi OhryTel Aviv, Israel The life of William Alwyn Lishman (1931–2021) was dedicated to neuropsychiatry.1-2 His classic textbook, Organic Psychiatry (1978), is a foundational book for neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and physiatrists. Lishman was the first UK professor of neuropsychiatry whose “abiding message was that neuropsychiatry was not a subspecialty but the whole of psychiatry—biopsychosocial—with the…

  • The Truman delusion: All the world’s a stage

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players”– William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7“You know you’ve made it when you have a disease named after you.”– Andrew Niccol, writer of The Truman Show Movies may influence people in unexpected ways. An example…

  • France’s most notorious serial killer

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “This Frenchman comes to the assistance of foreign Jews he does not even know.”– Eryane Kahan, a Romanian Jew living in Paris, at Petiot’s trial “He lured the desperate, the frightened…to his lair…and murdered them.”– Pierre Véron, a plaintiff’s attorney at Petiot’s trial In March 1944, in the 16th arondissement of Nazi-occupied…

  • Pavel Ivanovich Jacobi (1841–1913)

    Avi Ohry Tel Aviv, Israel   Pavel Jacobi. Via Wikimedia. Pavel Ivanovich Jacobi (1841–1913), largely forgotten and rarely featured in the psychiatric literature, was a Russian socialist who made as great an impact on the treatment of the mentally ill as Jonathan Swift in Dublin, Phillipp Pinel in Revolutionary France, Father William Tuke and his…

  • Mental health issues in medical students: The prejudice and the injury

    Amairani Gómez RodríguezPuebla, Mexico   The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893. National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway. I had my first panic attack at seventeen. Biochemistry was a total headache; no matter how hard I studied, it was never enough to pass. As a school overachiever, I had never experienced failure. I…

  • Mrs. Dalloway and shell shock

    Cristóbal S. Berry-Cabán Fort Liberty, North Carolina, United States   Shell shock. Upon suffering a head injury and the loss of his eardrum, this soldier developed shell shock and was put in the Sunshine Room at Chaumont Hospital, installed by the American Red Cross. The room contained absolute quiet, harmonious colors, and cheerful surroundings. Library…

  • Psychopathological aspects of the war in Ukraine

    Sergei Jargin Moscow, Russia   Euromaidan, Kiev, April 2015. Paranoid leaders can remain in positions of great power in nations that lack appropriate checks and balances.1 This is particularly likely in one-party states where mass intimidation and imposed homogeneity of thinking prevail and where everyone conforms with the ruling party. Grave consequences can occur when…

  • John E. Fryer, M.D.: A majority of one

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Historical marker honoring John Fryer. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2017. Photo by NMGiovannucci on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0.  “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.” – Henry David Thoreau   Homosexuality was defined as a psychiatric disorder in 1952, in the first edition of…

  • Breaking Bad: A case study of antisocial personality disorders

    Jason Liu San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States   Both psychopathy and the non-clinical “sociopathy”1 have been diagnosed in infamous serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and John Gacy, and popular films and TV shows, like American Psycho and Dexter, have drawn from these diagnoses. Psychopathy and sociopathy are amongst the most complex mental…