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“Essenzialissimo” e “assoluta necessità”: l’igienista Beniamino Sadun e l’insegnamento della freniatria a Pisa (2022)

“Fra tutte le facolta’ di Medicina e Chirurgia del Regno Italiano” – scrisse Sadun – “Pisa e’ la sola che manchi dell’insegnamento della freniatria, il quale essenzialissimo per qualsiasi esercente medicina, per lo meno dal lato diagnostico, e’ […] ad assoluta necessita’ per avere esplicato uno degli argomenti piu’ interessanti a piu’ in voga nella medicina legale.

E sebbene in Pisa non vi sia Manicomio, nelli Spedali comunali accolgono in osservazione tanti Alienati di mente, da risultare piu’ che sufficienti ad insegnamento propedeutico.”

In uno dei suoi scritti politici, un dialogo nel contesto storico del Risorgimento o Rivoluzione italiana, Sadun descrive uno dei personaggi come “birro per educazione, persecutore dei liberali per proposito, bigotto per interesse ha saputo addossarsi tante giubbe che e’ pervenuto a eta’ avanzatissima stimato dai piu’”.

Aldous Huxley, 1958: intervista Rai in italiano su ‘Ritorno al mondo nuovo’ (2022)

“Dunque ho trovato che ci sono parecchie cose nel mondo attuale, delle forze impersonali e poi delle scoperte tecnologiche che spingono l’umanita’ verso quel totalitarianismo che ho descritto nella mia favola di trenta anni fa.”

“E poi ci sono scoperte tecnologiche soprattutto nel campo della psicologia, della farmacologia e della fisiologia che possono essere utilizzate per dittatori futuri. In questo senso mi trovo un po’ pessimista sull’avvenire.”

“Votate Ugo Cerletti, candidato al Senato”, aprile 1948 (2022)

“Un volantino rosso con l’effige di Garibaldi, e una scritta: “Votate Ugo Cerletti. Candidato al Senato”. Siamo all’indomani della seconda guerra mondiale. Sconvolto dal conflitto, il Paese va incontro alle sue prime elezioni democratiche dai tempi di Mussolini; le consultazioni politiche del 1948 sono, infatti, alle porte. Nella competizione elettorale si scontrano la democrazia cristiana di Alcide De Gasperi e il Fronte popolare (“blocco del popolo”). Uno schieramento, quest’ultimo, che raccoglie le forze di diversi partiti democratici e di sinistra, il partito d’azione, il partito comunista, quello socialista, il partito democratico dei lavoratori.

Nella battaglia elettorale Cerletti e’ in prima fila. E’ stato reclutato da Giancarlo Pajetta, il “ragazzo rosso” del partito comunista italiano.”

‘Entheogens’ and ‘The Road to Eleusis’ (2022)

“When the recent surge of recreational use of so-called ‘hallucinogenic’ or ‘psychedelic’ drugs first came to popular attention in the early 1960’s, it was commonly viewed with suspicion and associated with the behavior of deviant or revolutionary groups.”

“Not only is ‘psychedelic’ an incorrect verbal formation, but it has become so invested with connotations of the pop-culture of the 1960’s that it is incongruous to speak of a shaman’s taking a ‘psychedelic’ drug.”

“We therefore, propose a new term that would be appropriate for describing states of shamanic and ecstatic possession induced by ingestion of mind-altering drugs.”

‘Hallucinogens, not psychedelics’. A letter to the Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine (2021)

“Narcotics that induce hallucinations are variously called hallucinogens (hallucination generators), psychotomimetics (psychosis mimickers), psychotaraxics (mind disturbers), and psychedelics (mind manifesters).

No one term fully satisfies scientists, but hallucinogens comes closest. Psychedelic is most widely used in the United States, but it combines two Greek roots incorrectly, is biologically unsound, and has acquired popular meanings beyond the drugs or their effects.”

Leading London psychiatric hospital starts a partnership with Nasdaq-listed hallucinogens company (2022)

“South London and Maudsley has announced a new partnership to launch The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation to accelerate psychedelic research and develop new models of care for mental health in the UK.

Working together with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, and COMPASS Pathways, a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, this pioneering collaboration will provide patient access to cutting edge research studies in multiple areas of high unmet need in mental health.

The Centre will accelerate research of emerging psychedelic therapies, support therapist training and certification, evaluate real-world evidence, and prototype digital technologies to enable personalised, predictive and preventative care models.”

Carlo Angela, allievo di Babiński e politico (2022)

La Rai, radiotelevisione italiana, ha realizzato nel 2017 un documentario intitolato “Carlo Angela, un medico stratega”.

Angela fu anche Maestro Venerabile della loggia “Propaganda” di Torino e, come il collega neuropsichiatra Ugo Cerletti sviluppatore dell’elettroshock o terapia elettroconvulsivante, membro del Supremo Consiglio dei 33.

Roots of Polish psychiatry (2022)

“The roots of Freemasonry, one of the most important cultural and social phenomena of modern times, are clearly European, but the origins of this fraternal organization are as obscure as they are legendary.”

“There has been very little or no research so far into the impact of the Masonic ideas of tolerance, freedom, equality and brotherhood on the development of psychiatry. The degree of this influence was certainly different from one country to another.”

“Polish Freemasonry was reborn in 1920, with an important role played by three psychiatrists: Rafał Radziwiłłowicz, Witold Łuniewski and Jan Mazurkiewicz, who were Grand Masters of the Grand National Lodge of Poland.”

“Freemason psychiatrists headed the Polish Psychiatric Association throughout the entire inter-war period: Chodźko in 1920–23 and 1928–30, and Mazurkiewicz in 1923–28 and 1930–47.  Radziwiłłowicz was the General Secretary of the Association between 1920 and 1928, and he was also the founder of Rocznik Psychiatryczny (Psychiatric Annual), the journal published by the Association.”

Biden: “Un fenomenale impatto psicologico negativo che il CoViD ha avuto sulla psiche pubblica” (2022)

“Come sottolinea Vivek Murthy, il Surgeon General, penso che una delle cose significative che troveremo tra dieci anni sia un fenomenale impatto psicologico negativo che il CoViD ha avuto sulla psiche pubblica.

E quindi ci sono un sacco di persone che, nonostante il fatto che le cose siano migliorate molto per loro dal punto di vista economico, che stanno pensando, ma come fai ad alzarti la mattina sentendoti felice – felice che tutto sia a posto?

Anche se il tuo lavoro è migliore, anche se hai più reddito”.

‘The Last King of America’ and proto-psychiatry (2022)

“Though the incapacity of the King had been discussed in Parliament […] the British Constitution (was) not merely shaken, it (was) dissolved, and the reign (was) given to every revolutionary projector, who may seek to raise himself hereafter upon the ruins of his country,” and the situation makes “the sovereign a slave of his servants.”

“The two accounts” – Jain and Sarin concluded – “preserved in the same set of documents by Arthur Cole, regarding events in Coorg in 1809 and London in 1810, highlight the tension between madness and a sense of political order. The account in the Madras Courier emphasizes that the paramount power of the Regent cannot, and should not, be restricted by any other process, parliamentary or medical, as it was absolute, even though the King was insane. The suggestion that there should be parliamentary oversight was tantamount to treason.”

Fanon, Third World revolutionary and psychiatrist between Moscow and Washington, D.C. (2022)

“Frantz Fanon’s psychiatric career was crucial to his thinking as an anti-colonialist writer and activist. Much of his iconic work was shaped by his experiences working in hospitals in France, Algeria and Tunisia. [His psychiatric writing] from 1951 to 1960 in tandem with his political work reveals much about how Fanon’s thought developed, showing that, for him, psychiatry was part of a much wider socio-political struggle. His political, revolutionary and literary lives should not then be separated from the psychiatric practice and writings that shaped his thinking about oppression, alienation and the search for freedom.”

“It was out of desperation and his lack of success with Soviet doctors, Fanon’s biographer David Macey reports, that Fanon had agreed to American offers to fly him to the United States.”

‘Psichiatria’ e ‘antipsichiatria’ (2021)

La parola “psichiatria” fu coniata nel 1808 da un medico tedesco, Christian Reil (“Psychiaterie” modificata in seguito da Reil in “Psychiatrie”) e la parola “antipsichiatria” (“Antipsichiatrie”) fu coniata un secolo dopo, nel 1908, da un altro medico tedesco, Bernhard Beyer.

Per la prima volta qui – e attraverso due ritratti – vengono presentati insieme gli inventori delle due parole.

Sartori: “l’animale multimediale è già descritto e iscritto, tal quale, nei trattati sulla schizofrenia” (2022)

“Il video-bambino di oggi, della prima ondata, si limita a dispiegare un cervello logicamente e razionalmente atrofizzato; quello mutimedializzato di domani, della seconda ondata, sarà anche, allora, un io disintegrato, un io “decostruito” che andrà a popolare le cliniche psichiatriche. A detta di Negroponte, nell’era digitale “io sono io”. Accadrà invece, secondo me, l’esatto contrario. La mia previsione è che il mondo multimediale sarà popolato da un io virtuale disfatto in personalità multiple, e quindi dal perfetto e compiuto “io nevrotico”.

I generali americani della guerra del Vietnam erano malati di mente? Jervis sul potere e la follia (2021)

“L’attribuire il comportamento dei generali o degli imperialisti a una sorta di irrazionalità mostruosa comunemente accettata come normale significa impedirsi di considerare che la logica della guerra, o della bomba, o della fame, non è il risultato di processi psicologici particolari, ma di un sistema sociale che non è né pazzo né irrazionale e semplicemente difende con la massima coerenza certi interessi costituiti.”

“Depsichiatrizzare significa appunto interpretare in termini politici i problemi umani.”

Trump, spettacolo e psicolingua (2020)

“Zimbardo vede la TV della realtà come un formato logico per insegnare la psicologia. “Il motivo per cui la TV della realtà è così popolare è perché osservare il comportamento umano è affascinante, ” osservò. “Passo tutta la mia vita a fare questo”.

Biden: “A phenomenal negative psychological impact that CoViD has had on the public psyche” (2022)

“As Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General, points out, I think one of the significant things we are going to find ten years from now is a phenomenal negative psychological impact that CoViD has had on the public psyche.

And so you have an awful lot of people who are, notwithstanding the fact that things have gotten so much better for them economically, that they are thinking, but how do you get up in the morning feeling happy – happy that everything is alright?

Even though your job is better, even though you have more income.”

Putin, Pirandello e i cento anni di ‘Enrico IV’ (2022)

Secondo il Financial Times “ci sono analisti che temono che il leader russo si stia trasformando in Vlad il Matto. Pensano che Putin sia al potere da troppo tempo e stia diventando sempre più insensibile e paranoico. Il suo isolamento durante la pandemia ha peggiorato le cose”.

Scrisse Murray – capo psicologo dell’OSS durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale e poi professore ad Harvard – nel 1937 su Hitler: “È un uomo insignificante, che mi sembra comportarsi al di là delle sue capacità. È sotto la costante cura di uno psichiatra di Monaco della vecchia scuola.

Sintomi: grave depressione e incubi (insonnia) – probabilmente di persecuzione. Pensare che la pace dell’Europa dipende dal sistema elettrochimico in quel cranio!”

‘Structures of Capital’: Centre d’étude des problèmes humains, CEPH (2022)

“Coutrot was probably the first French businessman to perceive the possible use of psychology and sociology in business.”

“This was the spirit in which he created the Centre d’Etude des Problèmes Humains, CEPH, in association with the writer Aldous Huxley, the archeologist Robert Francillon, and the economist Georges Guillaume. Hyacinthe Dubreuil, Jean Ullmo, Alfred Sauvy (who coined the expression ‘Third World’), Teilhard de Chardin (a close friend of Coutrot’s), Tchakotine, and others participated in the CEPH meetings, which included eight commissions: economic humanism, applied psychology, rational and humane limitation of inequality, propaganda, industrial decentralization, psychobiology, history and analysis of Marxism.”

“Open to psychology, even psychiatry and sociology, the new managers wanted to take into account the human factor and analyse the motivations buried deep inside managers, at the very heart of the spirit of capitalism.”

“Social psychology techniques, and industrial psychology imported from the U.S. Thus, a mixed discourse can be seen to be forming in which the words and expressions borrowed from the spiritualist and personalist vocabulary (community, person, man, liberty, dialogue) are blended with terms used for technical efficiency and psychoanalysis. The switch to human relations and the social sciences by the heirs of Social Catholicism.”

“A new generation of psychosociologists followed the importing of group techniques… Most received, after their university studies, a complementary education in the United States from the “masters” of American social psychology, in particular Carl Rogers.”

Huxley’s introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (2022)

“Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul.”

“The evil, folly and ignorance which constitute the thing we call our personality and provent us from becoming aware of the spark of divinity illuminating the inner man.”

“The invention of the steam engine produced a revolution, not merely in industrial techniques, but also and much more significantly in philosophy. … External circumstances came to be regarded as more important than states of mind about external circumstances, and the end of human life was held to be action, with contemplation as a means to that end.”

“The solution… must be be sought in the domain, not of philosophy, but of psychology.”

“The Gita, where the psychological facts are linked up with general cosmology.”

“It is only to a mind purified from egotism that intuition of the Divine Ground can come.”

“There will never be enduring peace unless and until human beings come to accept a philosophy of life more adequate to the cosmic and psychological facts than the insane idolatries of nationalism and the advertising man’s apocalyptic-faith in Progress towards a mechanized New Jerusalem.”

Charles Reade, the Medico-Psychological Association, and “conspiracy theory” (2021)

“The theory of Dr. Sankey – the President concluded – as to the manner in which these injuries to the chest occurred in asylums deserved our careful attention. It was at least more plausible that the conspiracy theory of Mr. Charles Reade, and the precautionary measure suggested by Dr. Sankey of using a padded waistcoat in recent cases of mania with general paralysis – in which mental condition nearly all these cases under discussion were – seemed to him of practical value.”

“The only wonder is that in public asylums – Dr. Tuke added – considering the savage nature of some of the half-educated victims of mental disease, and the liberty which the non-restraint system allows them, accidents do not more frequently happen; that within the last few years several superintendents, and many attendants, have been seriously hurt, would show there are two sides to this question. The fact is that in the refractory wards of our public asylums the attendants, too few in number, carry their lives in their hands. The remedy is to increase their number, and add to the surveillance over them.”

Eugen Bleuler and the influence of the Enlightenment (2021)

“A liberal revival movement, under the influence of the French Revolution, began in Switzerland too.”

“The Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coined several terms such as ‘schizophrenia’, ‘schizoid’, ‘autism’, depth psychology and what Sigmund Freud called “Bleuler’s happily chosen term ‘ambivalence’.”

“He had little interest in the Church and religion. Both Eugen and Hedwig Bleuler didn’t usually go to Church, and there were no prayers said in the family. Both lived under the influence of the Enlightenment: one should live in this world, seek beauty and help others. Eugen Bleuler was critical of the time when theologians rather dogmatically imparted religious education, and children had to learn off the catechism by rote and without any understanding of it.”

Lady Ida Darwin and the ‘Cambridge Association for the Care of the Feeble-Minded’ (2021)

“In 1912 the Association, jointly with Cambridge University Eugenics Society, held a meeting in the Guildhall, where Ellen Pinsent read a paper on ‘Mental Defect and its Social Dangers’.”

“Since its formation in 1914 the Central Association for Mental Welfare has on numerous occasion drawn public attention to the social problem presented by mental deficiency and to the grave consequences and serious cost entailed by the presence of mental defectives in the community.”

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