Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: schizophrenia

  • “What’s a soul?”: Richard Selzer finds the spirit in the flesh

    Mahala Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Richard Selzer at the Elizabethan Club, 2004. Photo courtesy James L. Stripling. When he was a child, Dickie Selzer asked his father, “What’s a soul?” Julius replied, “No such thing.” When his inquisitive son pressed him further, he gave this answer: “Oh, a little bag of air,…

  • Movie review: Kings Row – Assassins in white coats

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Above all, I must not play God.”— Revised Hippocratic Oath2 Kings Row (1942) is a film set in a small American town in the early nineteen-hundreds. It features two doctors who are best avoided as well as a bright young man called Parris sent by his wealthy grandmother to study medicine in…

  • The mystique of psychiatry: a closer look

    Lawrence ClimoLincoln, Massachusetts, United States 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 know what is concealed or hidden inside…

  • Serendipity in science and medicine

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Photo by Tyler Merbler on Flickr. CC BY 2.0. The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!”, but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov   Horace Walpole (son of the first British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole) coined the word…

  • “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…

  • 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…

  • A note on handedness

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom Handedness (chirality) refers to the preferential use of one hand over the other. It is a matter of degree; it is seldom absolute. Population left and right preference existed in the Neanderthals (lived from 400,000 to about 40,000 years ago) onwards. Only homo sapiens amongst the great apes shows strong…

  • Arthur Bispo do Rosário: Creation in psychosis

    Rebecca Grossman-KahnMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States In a sprawling, cavernous art museum in Buenos Aires, I turned a corner and my eye caught on what appeared to be, from across the room, cardboard. As I walked closer to the display, I saw a large brown rectangle plastered with smaller blue rectangles in two rows. Each blue…

  • The Joker and his Frankenstein

    Snaiha Iyer NarayanIndia In recent decades, cinematic portrayals of medical conditions have garnered variant review. The Joker has been an iconic film in popular culture in part because of its portrayal of mental illness and depiction of societal stereotypes. An often disregarded facet in the character of the Joker lies in the realm of epigenetics.…

  • Medicine and cinema—A cultural symbiosis

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom For doctors and lovers of cinema, 1895 was an important year. On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen, a fifty-year-old professor of physics, discovered X-rays in his laboratory in Wurzburg, Germany. On March 22 1895, the Lumiere brothers presented the first film on a screen to an audience of 200 in…