“Western culture throughout its long and tangled history provides us with a rich array of images, a

“Western culture throughout its long and tangled history provides us with a rich array of images, a remarkable set of windows into both popular and latterly professional beliefs about insanity,” writes Andrew Scull in his extensive look at images of madness throughout history, including an oddly peppy Thorazine ad. »4/25/15 12:20pm4/25/15 12:20pm

The crazy psychiatric treatment developed by Charles Darwin's grandfather

Doctor Joseph Mason Cox was a man to avoid. Unfortunately, those who went to the Fishponds Private Lunatic asylum didn’t have the option to avoid him. To be fair, Cox just wanted people to have long, healthful periods of sleep. At the dawn of the age of opiates, he turned his back on pharmacology and practiced… »7/15/13 9:20am7/15/13 9:20am

Traditional psychological diagnoses are going out of style

In a major milestone, a powerful organization of mental health researchers has said it will not be using the new, fifth edition of the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), a handbook that has virtually defined the field of psychiatry in the United States for decades. Here's what this means. »5/07/13 7:37pm5/07/13 7:37pm

How can you tell if you are suffering from Future Shock?

It's been four decades since futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler predicted a wave of "future shock," the sensation of panic and unease that happens when people are "overwhelmed by change." And, depending on who you talk to you, we're either in the middle of a huge epidemic of future shock, with people struggling to… »2/04/13 5:00pm2/04/13 5:00pm

Everything You Need to Know About the American Psychiatric Association's Updated Guidelines

On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association officially approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The new ‘psychiatric bible' features a number of important changes to the existing canon, including the elimination… »12/06/12 3:04pm12/06/12 3:04pm

Did you know that "running amok" originated as a medical term?

Chances are, you've at least seen the term. It refers to someone in an altered mental state creating havoc. Anything from a bunch of kids getting too crazy at a birthday party to a mass murder can "run amok." Except it can't, because the term refers to an actual psychiatric condition, albeit one that was… »11/02/12 10:44am11/02/12 10:44am

How the Soviets used their own twisted version of psychiatry to suppress political dissent

Over the course of its 69-year history, the Soviet Union was notorious for its heavy-handed suppression of political dissent — most infamously through its use of the Siberian GULAGs. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the Communist Party took their intolerance for ideological deviance to extremes by… »9/04/12 10:00am9/04/12 10:00am