Tag Archives: Psychiatry and Psychology

The Barbie doll syndrome

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   1959 first edition Barbie doll. Barbie copyright held by Mattel. Barbieologin on Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0. Fair use. “In all the years I’ve been a therapist, I’ve yet to meet a girl who likes her body.”1 – Mary Pipher, PhD, clinical psychologist   In 1959, the Mattel toy company introduced […]

Dancing with spiders: tarantellas and tarantism

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “There are always hysterical people undergoing extraordinary cures.” – Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man Etching of people dancing the tarantella and playing music as an antidote to a tarantula bite. Wellcome Collection. Public domain.   The industrial city of Taranto is in the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. The Romans called […]

The mystique of psychiatry: a closer look

Lawrence Climo Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by Larry Ayalo on Unsplash As a retired psychiatrist, I have been thinking about the mystique that surrounds our profession. Psychiatrists seem to trigger three provocative associations that set them apart from other physicians. The first, sometimes interpreted as a wish, is that psychiatrists read minds and therefore […]

Qualis artifex pereo

Henri Colt  Laguna Beach, California, United States   Man sitting. Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash. This short story is a work of fiction. Translation: “What an artist the world is losing with me!” — cited by Suctonius, The Twelve Caesars, Nero 49; Loeb ed., 2:177   Michael had jet black hair and sorrowful brown […]

Hypochondria

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1: Cover of Hypochondriasis. A practical treatise by John Hill. Source. In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold; Alike fantastic, if too new, or old: Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. — […]

“On Being Sane in Insane Places”1: psychiatric hospitalization as seen by Gabriel García Márquez and Dr. David Rosenhan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Crowded bedroom at Brooklyn State Hospital. World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick De Marsico. 1961. Library of Congress. No known copyright restriction. Literature and science may complement each other. Sometimes they actually describe the same phenomenon. Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014) was a Colombian novelist, journalist, and short story writer. He […]

Modern day obstinacy: the persistence of pangalintaw

Halima Abdulmaguid North Cotabato, Philippines   A Doctor’s Substitute by Mr. Jihad Pangandigan. In the first week of June, my mother was rushed to the hospital because her cough was getting worse and her shoulder pain no longer bearable. On her x-ray film we saw that half of her lungs were not visible; there was fluid […]

Past, present, and future of psychedelic medicine

Jennifer Keehn Baja California, Mexico   Photo by Merlin Lightpainting from Pexels While there are now more clinical trials than ever before on the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, the medicinal use of such substances is not new. Indigenous cultures worldwide have used plants, roots, vines, and fungi that produce altered states of consciousness in healing rituals […]

Psychiatric care at the historical Athens Mental Health Facility

Cherron Payne Farmington, Connecticut, United States   Athens Asylum for the Insane, Athens State Hospital Administration Building, Circa late 19th Century to early 20th Century. Ohio University Archives. When I was an undergraduate student at Ohio University in Athens, my friends and I would often hike to an intriguing place called the Ridges, overlooking the picturesque […]

Poe’s murder mystery as a model of neurodiverse inclusion

Geoff Hoppe Virginia, United States   Edited illustration by Harry Clarke of the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 A murder mystery might seem like a strange place to find hope, but hope is what Edgar Allan Poe’s mysteries can provide—if you know how to look. […]