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“If there is one central intellectual reality at the end of the twentieth century, it is that the biological approach to psychiatry--treating mental illness as a genetically influenced disorder of brain chemistry--has been a smashing success. Freud's ideas, which dominated the history of psychiatry for the past half century, are now vanishing like the last snows of winter.”
“What has typically happened over the past two hundred years is the slow emergence of a concept as a gradual, evolutionary exercise in collective wisdom: People see something in their patients that hadn’t occurred to them before; they write about it; others start seeing the same thing – for example, that some patients seem to be driven by a kind of furious rage – and slowly the concept emerges. But what comes out of this collective filtering is often a powerful notion, because lots of thoughtful people have endorsed it. (..) in the absence of actual science, the disease designers of the 1970s who produced DSM- 3 in 1980 settled for “consensus”: If a group of influential persons sitting about a table could agree that a disease existed, then it existed.”
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A History of Psychiatry
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