Saturday, November 04, 2006

Johann Christian Reil, 1800-1808

Johann Christian Reil coined the term "psychiatry" in 1808. The word literally means "healing the soul" from Greek "psyche". Yet Reil had already concluded in 1803 - without evidence - that mental disturbances were of the brain, not the soul. He advocated punishment, intimidation, loud noises, flogging and opium as treatments, describing them as "non-injurious torture." For a man that suffered "delusions about the purity of the female sex," Reil recommended "a prostitute who will cure his delusions."

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