, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 3-12

A Brief History of Psychiatry: Millennia Past and Present

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Abstract

As a new millennium dawns, it is worth looking at where we have been and where we are going. In an age in which the only constant is change, the only new thing, in fact, is technology. In psychiatry there are promises of advances in diagnosis with search of the human genome, in the development of newer pharmacological agents through molecular biology, and in better understanding of psychosocial treatment using sophisticated contemporary research techniques. These represent extensions of theories about mind, disease, and treatment reaching back into antiquity. Many excellent books and a multiplicity of articles have been published in the 1990s about the history of all of these areas. This series of four articles will provide a selective summary of that literature and an up-to-date guide to the history of psychiatry.