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Reactive psychosis since the early XX century european psychiatry
Author/s: Augusto C. Castagnini 
Year:  2010 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  21 Pg. 129-149 FullText PDF:  348 KB
DOI:  10.3280/RSF2010-003010
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In the early twentieth century the Danish psychiatrist August Wimmer (1872-1937) developed the concept of psychogenic or reactive psychosis as a category of mental disorders separate from schizophrenia and manic depression. It subsumed a variety of clinical conditions with affective, confusional and paranoid features typically triggered by a "psychical trauma". This paper describes the original meaning of reactive psychosis and sets it in context, then discusses the implications arising from the usage of the diagnostic categories introduced to replace it in the modern psychiatric classifications, particularly ICD-10 "Acute and transient psychotic disorders" (ATPD). It is argued that the changes affecting reactive psychosis reflect the transformation of the classification of psychoses and illustrate well the vagaries of twentieth century psychiatric nosography. ATPD is a speculative category made out of features plucked from different conditions and bears little continuity to reactive psychosis
Keywords: ICD, epistemology, psychiatric classification, psyhcogenic psychosis, Wimmer

Augusto C. Castagnini, Reactive psychosis since the early XX century european psychiatry in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 3/2010, pp. 129-149, DOI:10.3280/RSF2010-003010


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