By David Healy

This provocative heritage of bipolar ailment illuminates how perceptions of disorder, if now not the health problems themselves, are mutable through the years. starting with the origins of the concept that of mania -- and the time period maniac -- in historical Greek and Roman civilizations, popular psychiatrist David Healy examines how suggestions of psychological afflictions advanced as clinical breakthroughs validated connections among mind functionality and psychological sickness. Healy recounts the altering definitions of mania in the course of the centuries, explores the consequences of latest terminology and transforming into public information of the affliction on tradition and society, and examines the increase of psychotropic remedies and pharmacological advertising and marketing over the last 4 many years. alongside the way in which, Healy clears a lot of the confusion surrounding bipolar disease while he increases the most important questions about how, why, and through whom the affliction is clinically determined. Drawing seriously on fundamental assets and supplemented with interviews and perception received over Healy's lengthy occupation, this lucid and interesting evaluate of mania sheds new gentle on one in every of humankind's such a lot vexing illnesses.

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Extra resources for Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease)

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The word passion stems from the Greek pathos, which implies the experience of having one’s body being acted upon, as in suffering. People suffered powerful impulses. This idea took shape in a context that assumed that the body was porous and open to outside influences but that the control of the passions was the duty of a rational individual. Such control could be exercised through the notion of moderation in particular, and this notion of moderation was bound up with a humoral model that strove for balance.

Within the humoral framework, various “drug” treatments were developed of which the most famous—Theriac—was later closely linked to Galen. Roman and Greek remedies were drawn from herbs, some of which were recognized to contain a sole active principle (the simples), whereas others were thought to contain a number of active principles. Based on the patient’s predicament, the physician would take (thus Rx, the abbreviation for the Latin recipe, meaning “take”) a variety of active principles and mix them.

35 With a bit of updating of its language, this description could be slotted into a line-up of various formulations of the amine/serotonin theories of depression and not be picked out as anomalous—which might give readers worries about the epistemological character of some of the most cherished notions of modern psychiatry. When they began to focus on their own cases, physicians found themselves pushed into almost open revolt against the dominant Galenic ideas. As Christian Vater of Wittenberg in 1680 noted, “melancholia often passes into mania and vice versa.

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