Tag Archives: Psychology

Enlightenment from Sherlock Holmes on COVID-19 associated perilous boredom

Daniel M. Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Evening silhouette of Sherlock Holmes’s statue at Baker street, the real place where he never lived. Photo by dynamosquito. Taken January 11, 2010. Via Wikimedia Boredom can useful. It can motivate people to do great things. It can also be dangerous by increasing the risk of depression […]

A moonie

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   Untitled blue face, Acrylic on Canvas, 50/70 cm, 2017. Painting by Daniel Wein. Published with permission of the artist. Wally Moon was a legend who stood at least 1.90 meters tall. The most striking things about him were his appearance and his gruffness. When I met him during my […]

The Yellow Wallpaper: the flawed prescription

Mahek Khwaja  Karachi, Pakistan   Yellow Wallpaper Art: A Bowl with “The House”~ Tower, the Yellow Room. By Julie Jordan Scott on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote her short story The Yellow Wallpaper in nineteenth-century America when gendered norms prevailed in society at large and notably in medicine. In a previous article, “Charlotte Perkins […]

The literary breakdown in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Carol-Ann Farkas Boston, Massachusetts, United States   The Goldfinch By Carel Fabritius. 1654. Mauritshuis. Public Domain. Wikimedia. I. Diagnostically speaking, the “nervous” or “mental” breakdown is not a thing. The term has never been formally used in psychology, which has long preferred specific, definable categorizations of symptoms and conditions: stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, trauma.1 And yet […]

Hölderlin’s madness

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   The only representation on which Hölderlin looks people directly in the face – a pastel picture by Franz Karl Hiemerthat that the poet gave to his sister Rieke in 1792. According to his mother and sister, it does not resemble him. German Literature Archive, Marbach, Germany. Accessed via Wikimedia.  […]

Modern neuroscience and the ideas of the Enlightenment

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom   Fig. 1. Mrs. Jane Wilkinson, one of the first independent Georgian music teachers. English, Philip Gaugain, 1835. UK private collection. The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement in eighteenth-century Europe that had a major influence on the arts, science, education, religion, and politics. Its principles paved the way for women […]

W.H.R. Rivers and the humane treatment of shell shock

Soleil Shah London, UK   A shell-shocked soldier receives electro-shock treatment from a nurse during the First World War. Image Source: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine (ref Reeve 041476) via Flickr “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” – Hippocrates War neurosis, or “shell shock” […]

Edvard Munch: the child who never grew up

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas   Figure 1: The Dead Mother The paintings of Edvard Munch are often used as an example of the association between creativity and mental illness. Can we, however, analyze them from the perspective of the feelings of a child? Traumatized by the death of his mother when he was only five […]

Of men and brains and rats

Observers of the affairs of man in an age of mass destruction weaponry have long worried about the future of the human race. Why do men so often make erroneous decisions and act in ways detrimental to their interests and even to their survival? Is not homo sapiens the epitome of millions of years of […]

A song for me

Steve Sobel St. Albans, Vermont, United States   Taylor Swift by WEZL Sometimes the obvious is revealed to us as a life-altering revelation that shifts the tectonic plates of our world. Such was the case when I sat in a stuffy, cramped bedroom listening to Taylor Swift singing “Love story” on the radio. Suddenly I […]