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Abstract

Julian Tudor Hart, a retired GP, widely respected for his contribution to general practice and epidemiological research, recaptured his memories of ‘going to the doctor’ in a paper published in an edited collection in 2000. Drawing upon a lifetime of experience, he emphasised the importance of the social context of disease. Citing a British study on clinical consultations undertaken in 1975, he reminded readers that this research had indicated ’85 per cent of all final diagnoses were reached by simply listening to patients’ stories’.1 Recalling over fifty years of experience of treating patients who presented with ill-defined symptoms with no detectable organic disease, he eloquently articulated much of what has been described throughout this book. Somatic labels, he noted, were often dependent on the current ‘fashion’. In his lifetime, hysterical paralysis had become chronic, post-viral fatigue, while ill-defined abdominal pains were consecutively labelled ‘grumbling’ appendix, spastic colon and irritable bowel syndrome. When it came to psychological illness, Tudor Hart remarked stridently: ‘It is hard for later generations to appreciate the hostility of almost all British GPs in the first two thirds of the [twentieth] century to any psychiatric diagnoses other than the gross institutionalised end-stage psychoses they had seen as students.’2

Notes

  1. 1.
    Julian Tudor Hart, ‘Going to the doctor’, in R. Cooter and J. Pickstone (eds), Medicine in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam, Harwood Academic Press, 2000), pp. 543–58, on p. 549.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Royal College of General Practitioners, The Future General Practitioner (London, RCGP, 1972), pp. 4, 6.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Bernice Tanner (ed.), Language and Communication in General Practice (London, RCGP, 1976).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    David Wilkins, Untold Problems: A Review of the Essential Issues on the Mental Health of Men and Boys (London, Men’s Health Forum, 2011), pp. 15, 6. It is acknowledged that not all people who end their lives are mentally ill; however, there is a much greater risk of suicide among those with mental illness.Google Scholar
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    Linda Morison, Christina Trigeorgis and Mary John, ‘Are mental health ser vices inherently feminised?’, The Psychologist (2014), 27 (6), 414–16 on 414.Google Scholar
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    Roger Kingerlee, Duncan Precious, Luke Sullivan and John Barry, ‘Engaging with the emotional lives of men’, The Psychologist (2014), 27 (6), 418–20.Google Scholar
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    Collectively put forward in a number of papers and articles, cited in Lynda W. Warren, ‘Male intolerance of depression: A review with implications for psychotherapy’, Clinical Psychology Review (1983), 3, 147–56, on 150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    David Mechanic, Editorial, ‘The concept of illness behaviour: Culture, situation and personal predisposition’, Psychological Medicine (1986) 16, 1–7, on 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Arthur M. Kleinman, ‘Depression, somatisation and the “new cross-cultural psychiatry”’, Social Science and Medicine (1977), 11, 3–10 on 3–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Daniel Freemen and Jason Freeman, The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth about Men, Women and Mental Health (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013) andGoogle Scholar
  11. Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman, ‘The Stressed Sex?’, The Psychologist (2014), 27 (2), February 2014, 84–7; and James Ball, ‘Women 40% more likely to develop mental illness, study finds’, Guardian Online, 22 May 2013 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/22/women-men-mental-illness-study, Last accessed 26 January 2015.Google Scholar
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    See for example, N. McLaren, ‘A critical review of the biopsychosocial model’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (1998), 32, 86–92 andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Ali Haggett 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Haggett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK

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