Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography

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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/1
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Wilhelm Reich
B. (1897-03-24)March 24, 1897 – d. November 3, 1957(1957-11-03) (aged 60)

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry. He was the author of several notable books, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis, both published in 1933.

Reich worked with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s and was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He tried to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis, arguing that neurosis is rooted in the physical, sexual, economic, and social conditions of the patient, and promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives, abortion, and divorce, and the importance for women of economic independence. His work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including Saul Bellow, William S. Burroughs, Paul Edwards, Norman Mailer, A.S. Neill, and Robert Anton Wilson, and shaped innovations such as Fritz Perls's Gestalt therapy, Alexander Lowen's bioenergetic analysis, and Arthur Janov's primal therapy.

Later in life he became a controversial figure who was both adored and condemned. He began to violate some of the key taboos of psychoanalysis, using touch during sessions, and treating patients in their underwear to improve their orgastic potency. He said he had discovered a primordial cosmic energy, which he said others called God and that he called "orgone". He built orgone energy accumulators that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.

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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/2
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Karl Jaspers
B. (1883-02-23)February 23, 1883 – d. February 26, 1969(1969-02-26) (aged 86)

Karl Theodor Jaspers (February 23, 1883 – February 26, 1969) was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept this label.
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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/3
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Benjamin Rush
B. (1746-01-04)January 4, 1746 – d. April 19, 1813(1813-04-19) (aged 67)

Benjamin Rush (January 4, 1746 [O.S. December 24, 1745] – April 19, 1813) was a Founding Father of the United States. Rush lived in the state of Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, educator, humanitarian and a Christian Universalist, as well as the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Rush was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and attended the Continental Congress. He was also a staunch opponent of Gen. George Washington and worked tirelessly to have him removed as the Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army. Later in life, he became a professor of medical theory and clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Despite having a wide influence on the development of American government, he is not as widely known as many of his American contemporaries. Rush was also an early opponent of slavery and capital punishment.

Despite his great contributions to early American society, Rush may be more famous today as the man who, in 1812, helped reconcile the friendship of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams by encouraging the two former Presidents to resume writing to each other.

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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/4
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Carl Jung
B. (1875-07-26)July 26, 1875 – d. June 6, 1961(1961-06-06) (aged 85)

Carl Gustav Jung (German pronunciation: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf ˈjʊŋ]; (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Though not the first to analyze dreams, he is one of the best known pioneers in the field of dream analysis. While he was a fully involved and practicing clinician, much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts; all of which were extremely productive in regard to the symbols and processes of the human psyche, found in dreams and other entries to the unconscious.
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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/5
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Emil Kraepelin
B. (1856-02-15)February 15, 1856 – d. October 7, 1926(1926-10-07) (aged 70)

Emil Kraepelin (Neustrelitz, 15 February 1856 – 7 October 1926, Munich) was a German psychiatrist. H.J. Eysenck's Encyclopedia of Psychology identifies him as the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, as well as of psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics. Kraepelin believed the chief origin of psychiatric disease to be biological and genetic malfunction. However, Kraepelin was criticized for considering schizophrenia as a biological illness in the absence of any detectable histologic or anatomic abnormalities. While Kraepelin tried to find organic causes of mental illness, he adopted many theses of positivist medicine, but the basis for understanding is not etiology, as the causes of madness cannot be established with any precision. His theories dominated psychiatry at the start of the twentieth century and, despite later psychodynamic incursions by Sigmund Freud and his disciples, appeared to enjoy a revival at century's end.

Kraepelin began his medical studies at 18, in Leipzig and Wurzburg, Germany. At Leipzig, where he studied neuropathology under Paul Flechsig and experimental psychology with Wilhelm Wundt, he wrote a prize-winning essay, "The Influence of Acute Illness in the Causation of Mental Disorders." He received his M.D. in 1878. In 1879, Kraepelin went to work with Bernhard von Gudden at the University of Munich, where he completed his thesis, "The Place of Psychology in Psychiatry". Returning to the University of Leipzig in 1882, he worked in Wilhelm Heinrich Erb's neurology clinic and in Wundt's psychopharmacology laboratory. His major work, "Compendium der Psychiatrie", was first published in 1883. In it, he argued that psychiatry was a branch of medical science and should be investigated by observation and experimentation like the other natural sciences. He called for research into the physical causes of mental illness and established the foundations of the modern classification system for mental disorders. Kraepelin proposed that by studying case histories and identifying specific disorders, the progression of mental illness could be predicted, after taking into account individual differences in personality and patient age at the onset of disease.

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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/6
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John Hunt (psychiatric patient)
B.  (1981-07-16) July 16, 1981 (age 33)

John Hunt (born July 16 1981), an Irish citizen, is a writer, artist and an involuntarily detained psychiatric patient. The conditions of Hunt's detention have been the subject of a sustained campaign by his former partner and mother of his child Gráinne Humphrys. He was committed as an involuntary psychiatric patient in 2005 and was detained at a secure psychiatric unit in Cork until August 2011 when he was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin. Until 2010 he was not granted leave for any temporary release from the Cork facility to visit his family. As a result of the campaign of his former partner that year the Cork hospital allowed Hunt six hours unsupervised leave every two weeks. However, following a violent altercation with a psychiatric nurse this leave was rescinded and Hunt was transferred to the main Irish forensic psychiatric unit in Dundrum.
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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/7
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Ronald David Laing
B. 7 October 1927 – d. 23 August 1989

R.D. Laing (1927 – 1989) was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience of psychosis. Laing's views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder. Laing was associated with the anti-psychiatry movement, although he rejected the label. Politically, he was regarded as a thinker of the New Left.
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Portal:Psychiatry/Selected biography/8
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David William Oaks
David W. Oaks is the founder and executive director of MindFreedom International, based in Eugene, Oregon. The organization includes psychiatric survivors and dissident psychiatrists who reject what they say is the "domination" by the biomedical model that defines contemporary psychiatry. Oaks says that the psychiatric drugs that patients take are debilitating and have harmful side effects, and people can often recover without them. He has protested against drug companies and participated in hunger strikes to "demand proof that drugs can manage chemical imbalances in the brain".

David Oaks himself was institutionalized and forcibly medicated in the 1970s, while studying at Harvard University, for what was diagnosed as schizophrenia. He recovered, he says, by rejecting drugs and getting support from family and friends. Oaks says he "maintains his mental health with exercise, diet, peer counseling and wilderness trips — strategies that are well outside the mainstream thinking of psychiatrists and many patients". Oaks is on the board of directors for the United States International Council on Disability.

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