The Crazy History of Crazy Ideas in Psychiatry
Boris Cyrulnik is a neuro-psychiatrist and Head of Studies at the University of Toulon. He has written many books, all of which have become best-sellers.
Patrick Lemoine is a psychiatrist. He has written almost 30 books, including Le Mystère du placebo (“The Mystery of the Placebo”).
Contradictions, trial and error, dead ends, sadistic treatments: the history of psychiatry, both in France and around the world, could give one quite a fright when it is closely examined.
In the name of what principle, for instance, were World War I soldiers faradized before being sent back to the front lines? How did German psychiatrists justify the experiments they performed on the insane during the Nazi era? How could anyone have believed that malaria could cure psychosis? How can we be sure that psychiatry will no longer give in to superstitious beliefs, which it did for decades and is doing once again in some countries?
Along with nearly a dozen experts – psychiatrists, for the most part, as well as a hepatologist, an ethnologist and an epistemologist – Patrick Lemoine and Boris Cyrulnik debate about the history of a discipline that had a hard time coming into existence, as well as inviting us to focus on the only real question for the future: how much trust can we place in psychiatry? What