First Physician


First Book Pulbicated


The Canon of Medicine – One of the first medical books ever, it listed all known conditions at the time of its publication in 1025. Published first in Arabic by Ibn Sina, it listed several mental health conditions including mania, insomnia, dementia, epilepsy, vertigo, and many others.

insane asylum


Insane asylum built in Padua, Italy.

Anatomy of Melancholia


Robert Burton, Britain, published Anatomy of Melancholia, a description of depression



The term neurosis was coined by Doctor William Cullen (Scottish) to refer to "disorders of sense and motion" caused by a "general affection of the nervous system."

Observations of Insanity


John Haslam (British) describes general paralysis of the insane in Observations of Insanity, a condition that is now known to be caused by syphilis.

The word Psychiatry


The word psychiatry was coined by Professor Johann Christian Reil in his seminal paper “On the term of medicine and its branches, especially with regard to the rectification of the topic in psychiatry”. The word psychiatry itself derives from the two greek words psyche, meaning soul or mind, and iatros, meaning physician.

Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind.


Rush wrote the first American book on psychiatry, Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind. The only psychiatric text in the U.S. for the next 70 years emphasized moral treatment: respect and re-education, not punishment.

Practices old and new



Europeans increasingly begin to isolate mentally ill people, often housing them with handicapped people, vagrants, and delinquents. Those considered insane are increasingly treated inhumanely, often chained to walls and kept in dungeons.

First Textbook


Benjamin Rush, M.D. (1745-1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Father of American Psychiatry, published the first psychiatric textbook in the United States, Inquiries and Observations on Diseases of the Mind.

John Charles Bucknill


British psychiatrist John Charles Bucknill used electrical stimulation of the skin and potassium oxide to treat asylum patients with melancholic depression. Electrical stimulation became widespread during the late nineteenth century, but safety concerns reduced its use.

First Labratory


Wilhelm Wundt opens first experimental laboratory in psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Credited with establishing psychology as an academic discipline, Wundt's students include Emil Kraepelin, James McKeen Cattell, and G. Stanley Hall.



Drugs, electro-convulsive therapy, and surgery are used to treat people with schizophrenia and others with persistent mental illnesses. Some are infected with malaria; others are treated with repeated insulin-induced comas. Others have parts of their brain removed surgically, an operation called a lobotomy, which is performed widely over the next two decades to treat schizophrenia, intractable depression, severe anxiety, and obsessions.



Schizophrenia is treated by inducing convulsions, first induced by the injection of camphor, a technique developed by psychiatrist Ladislaus Joseph von Meduna in Budapest. In 1938 doctors run electric current through the brain -- the beginning of electro-shock therapy -- to induce the convulsions, but the process proves more successful in treating depression than schizophrenia.

Ice Pick


Using an ice pick and a hammer, neurosurgeon Walter Freeman performed a lobotomy on 34-year-old Frances Farmer, actress and political activist, after all other treatments failed to subdue her communist leanings and aggression. She became mediocre and slow after the surgery, ending her days as a hotel clerk. She died of cancer in 1970.



Judge Bazelon, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, wrote for the majority that psychologists who are appropriately qualified can testify in court as experts in mental disorder. Forensic psychology begins.



APA published the DSM-III. One of the changes is a more exact criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia. Triggered research that evaluated the reliability, validity and usefulness of criteria used in DSM-III for mental disorders. Psychopathology research expanded substantially.

Outlook for the next 20 years

cognitive therapy


It is the combination of identifying negative thoughts and processes, as well as modifying negative feelings and behaviors. Cognitive-behaviorists believe that what has been learned can be unlearned. The cognitive-behavioral therapist will be very specific about what the problems are and provide specific homework assignments for the patient to practice in order to overcome ways of thinking and behaving. Cognitive behaviorists treat mild depression, anxiety, eating disorders, specific phobias

Zorumski 1


I think there’s a probability that will happen in the next 10 to 20 years because technology is advancing, and science in connectivity mapping is advancing at an incredible pace.



The Human Connectome Project, an effort that is mapping brain connections, is very exciting. I think in 10 years there will be five-minute brain scans that will highly predict whether someone is developing autism or other psychiatric illnesses, which will allow us to use interactive therapies to help these children’s brains while they are at their most plastic.

Rubin 2


the brain is able to continually change by adding cells and making new connections between cells, even in adulthood. So another approach to care would be the combination of psychological and somatic treatments. For instance, if a psychologist is working with a patient with a fear of heights and, at the same time, the patient is given a medicine that influences the ability of the brain to be more plastic, the chances for that patient experiencing a lasting change may be improved

Zorumski 2


treatments to heal the networks. It will be personalized medicine

Rubin 3


Researchers may change the whole structure of how diagnoses are made when we understand brain networks better.