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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Bacciagaluppi, M. (2015). Psychosis, Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry in Postwar USA: On the Borderline of Madness, by Orna Ophir, Routledge, East Sussex and New York, 2015, 196 pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(4):458-461.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(4):458-461

Psychosis, Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry in Postwar USA: On the Borderline of Madness, by Orna Ophir, Routledge, East Sussex and New York, 2015, 196 pp.

Review by:
Marco Bacciagaluppi, M.D.

This book is based on a study carried out at Tel Aviv University, and was originally published in Hebrew. The author now works in the United States, and the English edition is part of the ISPS (International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) Book Series. The author—both a historian of science and a practicing clinician—examines the shifting relationships between the three subjects listed in the title during the last four decades of the 20th century.

The main trend identified by the author is what she calls the neosomatic revolution in American psychiatry, that took place in four stages: (1) the emergence of antipsychotic medication, which increased the power of drug companies; (2) the suggestion of the “dopamine hypothesis” by Snyder, which postulated brain pathology in schizophrenia, and the view that schizophrenia has a genetic component, upheld by Kety; (3) the introduction of DSM-III in 1980, a purely descriptive classification of mental disorders, that may be regarded as going back to the tradition of Kraepelin; and (4) the Decade of the Brain, proclaimed by President Bush in 1990, in which schizophrenia was described as a brain disease. This implied a shift in federal financing resources.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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