Who is mentally ill? Psychiatry and the Individual in the Interwar Period in Germany

Rab, Virag and Agora, Zsuzsanna (2016) Who is mentally ill? Psychiatry and the Individual in the Interwar Period in Germany. In: Psycho-Politics: The Cross-Sections of Science and Ideology in the History of Psy-Sciences International conference, 30–31 October 2015, Central European University. (Submitted)

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Sixteen nations were involved in the First World War with over 65 million soldiers in active service and nearly one million soldiers suffered, according to medical documentation, from psychic consequences of war. The authors are historians who analyzed historical sources and present psychic consequences of the First World War from two aspects: on the one hand, from the viewpoint of German psychiatry, which denied the vulnerability of the human psyche; on the other hand, from the viewpoint of an individual (Hungarian politician, Loránt Hegedüs), who was an inpatient of an elegant Berlin sanatorium between 1921 and 1924 and argued critically against war. The question posed by the title, Who is mentally ill? will be examined. Norms can also be insane if they do not serve man but instead they are inhuman. How do people react to these expectations? The normative order of the state and of psychiatry expected soldiers to die a heroic death for the nation and stigmatized “weaklings” as “abnormal”. Hegedüs, the Hungarian minister of finance was faced with the issue of normality as he failed with his financial program in 1921, in other words he “collapsed” under the weight of responsibility for the nation. Researching these social phenomenon adds to our understanding in the history of Central European societies.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > H Social Sciences (General) / társadalomtudomány általában
Q Science / természettudomány > Q1 Science (General) / természettudomány általában
R Medicine / orvostudomány > R1 Medicine (General) / orvostudomány általában
Depositing User: Virág Rab
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2016 19:26
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2016 19:26

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