A History of Male Psychological Disorders in Britain, by Alison Haggett

By Alison Haggett

This e-book is open entry lower than a CC via license and explores the under-researched historical past of male psychological sickness from the mid-twentieth century. It argues that records suggesting girls were extra prone to melancholy and anxiousness are deceptive considering that they underplay a bunch of different displays of 'distress' extra universal in males.

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Additional resources for A History of Male Psychological Disorders in Britain, 1945-1980 (Mental Health in Historical Perspective)

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75 One of the most prominent figures to promote such theories was James Lorimer Halliday (1898–1983) who worked as a Regional Medical Officer with the Scottish Department of Health. 78 Psychological Illness and General Practice 35 Halliday provided psychoanalytically inflected criticism of a variety of changes in the ‘world of the child’ and the ‘world of the adult’ to explain the rise in psychosomatic illness in the mid-twentieth century. He was critical, for example, of the increasing popularity of bottlefeeding and the growing emphasis on child rearing in accordance with medical ‘experts’, arguing that these moves had resulted in a loss of body contact with the mother.

Speaking about patients with digestive disorders, his testimony was typical of those interviewed on the subject: I have no doubt that amongst all these people there were a lot who were also worriers . . So, in other words, it was anxiety presenting as gastric symptoms. Similarly, what is now called, well in those days it was called spastic colon, and now irritable bowel, we prescribed 32 A History of Male Psychological Disorders in Britain DSNT [double-strength nerve tonic], a mild sedative, because we thought people might be worrying.

This was a study of the clinical records from 106 general practices (171 doctors) across England and Wales. 25 Unfortunately, the study did not elaborate on what precisely these consultations covered; however, the oral histories of general practitioners suggest that women often visited the doctor to disclose personal problems, many of which related to male members of the family. Through the 1950s and 1960s, many studies appeared in the medical press on the extent of psychological illness in general practice populations.

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