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By Petteri Pietikäinen

Madness: A History is an intensive and obtainable account of insanity from antiquity to fashionable instances, providing a large-scale but nuanced photograph of psychological sickness and its types in western civilization.

The booklet opens via contemplating perceptions and reports of insanity beginning in Biblical instances, old historical past and Hippocratic drugs to the Age of Enlightenment, prior to relocating directly to advancements from the overdue 18th century to the past due twentieth century and the chilly struggle period. Petteri Pietikäinen appears at concerns corresponding to 18th century asylums, the increase of psychiatry, the heritage of diagnoses, the reports of psychological overall healthiness sufferers, the emergence of neuroses, the impression of eugenics, the improvement of alternative remedies, and the past due twentieth century emergence of anti-psychiatry and the fashionable malaise of the frightened good. The e-book examines the historical past of insanity on the diversified degrees of micro-, meso- and macro: the social and cultural forces shaping the clinical and lay views on insanity, the discovery and improvement of diagnoses in addition to the theories and remedy tools by way of physicians, and the sufferer studies in and out of the psychological establishment.

Drawing widely from fundamental documents written by way of psychiatrists and money owed by way of psychological well-being sufferers themselves, it additionally supplies readers an intensive grounding within the secondary literature addressing the historical past of insanity. an important learn for all scholars of the heritage of psychological disorder, medication and society extra commonly.

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Extra info for Madness: A History

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In order to be cured, an ill person has to develop an insight into the true cause of madness, Satan, who cunningly tries to hide himself and make people believe that their satanic or mad ideas have sprung from their own heads (Sura 7:200). But those who follow the right way will not be tempted by the Satanic madness. Just like Jesus in the New Testament, the prophet Muhammed was accused of being merely mad, and not God’s messenger. Sura 68 deals with this accusation: By the pen! By all they write!

In Christian theology, paganism itself was demonic, and, from the early third century onwards, the healthy converts needed to be exorcised as a necessary preparation for baptism. Beliefs in demonology and in exorcism, magic spells and rituals as forms of healing permeated all levels of Christian societies. As Michael Dols has noted, ‘it may even be said that demonology became a way of defining reality; it shaped the way an afflicted person could describe his inner experiences and others could account for his outward behaviour’ (Dols 1992, 191).

Especially during the heyday of the Caliphate (between 929 and 1031), the Islamic kingdom experienced a large expansion of trade and culture. The tenth-century library of Al-Hakam II in Córdoba, the cultural and intellectual centre of Al-Andalus, was one of the largest libraries in the world, housing at least 400,000 volumes. A university was founded in Córdoba at the end of the tenth century, more than a century before the first university in Christian Europe was established in Bologna. Compared to Europe, the level of medical learning was much higher in Al-Andalus.

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