Silvano Arieti

Last updated

Silvano Arieti (June 28, 1914 in Pisa, Italy – August 7, 1981 in New York City) was a psychiatrist regarded as one of the world's foremost authorities on schizophrenia. He received his M.D. from the University of Pisa and left Italy soon after, due to the increasingly anti-Semitic racial policies of Benito Mussolini.

Contents

Arieti was professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College. He was also training analyst in the Division of Psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute, and editor of the six-volume American Handbook of Psychiatry. His Interpretation of Schizophrenia won the 1975 National Book Award in Science. [1] His The Will to be Human won the 1973 National Book Award in Philosophy and Religion category. [2]

Arieti undertook psychotherapy of schizophrenic patients, an unusual approach that few of his colleagues chose to pursue. His work was considered in his time as a major revision of the concept of schizophrenia after Kraeplin and Bleuler. The views he expressed in Interpretation of Schizophrenia reflected a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach to the disorder, which contrasted with the firmly biological approach taken by many other mid-century psychiatrists. Childhood anxieties and psychological experiences by the child were considered as a primary cause of later-age development of schizophrenia. He advanced the ideas from the psychodynamic school, and his contributions became the foundations of much of the later work in psychotherapy of schizophrenia. [3] Silvano Arieti is remembered as an intellectual giant who devoted his life to the care of the most seriously mentally ill. [4]

Arieti's book The Will to Be Human (signed copy) Silvano Arieti book autographed.jpg
Arieti's book The Will to Be Human (signed copy)

Treatment methods and Anti-Psychiatry misconceptions

Silvano Arieti is frequently erroneously associated with the anti-psychiatry movement, but this is a misconception, as he himself was never part of the movement, and in fact disapproved of the views of R. D. Laing and Thomas Szasz regarding schizophrenia. In fact, Arieti himself supported the use of anti-psychotic medication in the treatment of people with schizophrenia, in order to make them more accessible to psychotherapy, and he frequently sent patients with disorganized schizophrenia to receive electroconvulsive shock therapy, in order to reduce their symptomatology. He wrote extensively on the use and efficacy of neuroleptics in Interpretation of Schizophrenia, and their benefit in treating patients.

Arieti mainly treated patients in the acute stage schizophrenia using psychotherapy, sometimes with additional neuroleptics, and described the difficulty in treating those in the chronic phase of the illness with the same methods, due to the crystallization of both the delusions and the psychotic way of thinking in this stage of the illness, and noted that the associated mental decline present at this stage also makes treatment with psychotherapy difficult. He also explored the behavior and symptomatology of those in the pre-terminal stages of the illness, and the eventual terminal stage, noting that patients in these stages are rarely seen in modern times, thanks to the widespread use of neuroleptic medication, which prevent such levels of regression.

See also

Related Research Articles

Anti-psychiatry Movement against psychiatric treatment

Anti-psychiatry is a broad movement based on the view that psychiatric treatment is more often damaging than helpful to patients. Followers of anti-psychiatry are motivated by a diverse set of objections. Objections encompass the whole range of controversies about psychiatry. They may include concerns about the effectiveness and potential harm of treatments; for example, followers of anti-psychiatry may point out dangerous procedures.

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal thought processes and an unstable mood. The diagnosis is made when the person has symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder—either bipolar disorder or depression. The main criterion for the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis is the presence of psychotic symptoms for at least two weeks without any mood symptoms present. Schizoaffective disorder can often be misdiagnosed when the correct diagnosis may be psychotic depression, psychotic bipolar disorder, schizophreniform disorder, or schizophrenia. It is imperative for providers to accurately diagnose patients, as treatment and prognosis differs greatly for each of these diagnoses.

Delusional disorder Mental illness featuring beliefs with inadequate grounding

Delusional disorder is a generally rare mental illness in which a person presents delusions, but with no accompanying prominent hallucinations, thought disorder, mood disorder, or significant flattening of affect. Delusions are a specific symptom of psychosis. Delusions can be bizarre or non-bizarre in content; non-bizarre delusions are fixed false beliefs that involve situations that occur in real life, such as being harmed or poisoned. Apart from their delusion or delusions, people with delusional disorder may continue to socialize and function in a normal manner and their behavior does not necessarily generally seem odd. However, the preoccupation with delusional ideas can be disruptive to their overall lives.

R. D. Laing

Ronald David Laing, usually cited as R. D. Laing, was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience of psychosis. Laing's views on the causes and treatment of psychopathological phenomena were influenced by his study of existential philosophy and ran counter to the chemical and electroshock methods that had become psychiatric orthodoxy. Taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of mental illness, Laing regarded schizophrenia as a theory not a fact. Though associated in the public mind with anti-psychiatry he rejected the label. Politically, he was regarded as a thinker of the New Left. Laing was portrayed by David Tennant in the 2017 film Mad to Be Normal.

Biological psychiatry or biopsychiatry is an approach to psychiatry that aims to understand mental disorder in terms of the biological function of the nervous system. It is interdisciplinary in its approach and draws on sciences such as neuroscience, psychopharmacology, biochemistry, genetics, epigenetics and physiology to investigate the biological bases of behavior and psychopathology. Biopsychiatry is the branch of medicine which deals with the study of the biological function of the nervous system in mental disorders.

Schizophreniform disorder is a mental disorder diagnosed when symptoms of schizophrenia are present for a significant portion of time, but signs of disturbance are not present for the full six months required for the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Soteria (psychiatric treatment)

Soteria is a community service that provides a space for people experiencing mental distress or crisis. Based on a recovery model, common elements of the Soteria approach include primarily non-medical staffing; preserving resident's personal power, social networks, and communal responsibilities; finding meaning in the subjective experience of psychosis by "being with" clients; and no or minimal use of antipsychotic medication.

Theodore Lidz was an American psychiatrist best known for his articles and books on the causes of schizophrenia and on psychotherapy with patients with schizophrenia. An advocate of research into environmental causes of mental illness, Lidz was a notable critic of what he saw as a disproportionate focus on biological psychiatry. Lidz was a Sterling Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University. In his lifetime, he did a great amount of research on interpersonal causes of schizophrenia.

The trauma model of mental disorders, or trauma model of psychopathology, emphasises the effects of physical, sexual and psychological trauma as key causal factors in the development of psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety as well as psychosis, whether the trauma is experienced in childhood or adulthood. It conceptualises victims as having understandable reactions to traumatic events rather than suffering from mental illness.

Interpretation of Schizophrenia is a book by Italy-born American psychiatrist Silvano Arieti in which the author sets forth demonstrative evidence of a psychological etiology for schizophrenia.

The biopsychiatry controversy is a dispute over which viewpoint should predominate and form a basis of psychiatric theory and practice. The debate is a criticism of a claimed strict biological view of psychiatric thinking. Its critics include disparate groups such as the antipsychiatry movement and some academics.

Austen Riggs Center Hospital in Massachusetts, United States

The Austen Riggs Center is a psychiatric treatment facility in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was founded by Austen Fox Riggs in 1913 as the Stockbridge Institute for the Study and Treatment of Psychoneuroses before being renamed in honor of Austen Riggs on July 21, 1919.

Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. These include various maladaptations related to mood, behaviour, cognition, and perceptions. See glossary of psychiatry.

The American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (AAPDPP)is a scholarly society including psychiatrists interested in all aspects of psychodynamic psychiatry.

Post-schizophrenic depression is a "depressive episode arising in the aftermath of a schizophrenic illness where some low-level schizophrenic symptoms may still be present." Someone that suffers from post-schizophrenic depression experiences both symptoms of depression and can also continue showing mild symptoms of schizophrenia. Unfortunately, depression is a common symptom found in patients with schizophrenia and can fly under the radar for years before others become aware of its presence in a patient. However, very little research has been done on the subject, meaning there are few answers to how it should be systematically diagnosed, treated, or what course the illness will take. Some scientists would entirely deny the existence of post-schizophrenic depression, insisting it is a phase in schizophrenia as a whole. As of late, post-schizophrenic depression has become officially recognized as a syndrome and is considered a sub-type of schizophrenia.

The Critical Psychiatry Network (CPN) is a psychiatric organization based in the United Kingdom. It was created by a group of British psychiatrists who met in Bradford, England in January 1999 in response to proposals by the British government to amend the 1983 Mental Health Act (MHA). They expressed concern about the implications of the proposed changes for human rights and the civil liberties of people with mental health illness. Most people associated with the group are practicing consultant psychiatrists in the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), among them Dr Joanna Moncrieff. A number of non-consultant grade and trainee psychiatrists are also involved in the network.

<i>Anatomy of an Epidemic</i> Work by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America is a book by Robert Whitaker published in 2010 by Crown. Whitaker asks why the number of Americans who receive government disability for mental illness approximately doubled since 1987.

A religious delusion is any delusion involving religious themes or subject matter. Though some psychologists have characterized all or nearly all religion as delusion, most focus solely on a denial of any spiritual cause of symptoms exhibited by a patient and look for other answers relating to a chemical imbalance in the brain.

<i>Doctoring the Mind</i>

Doctoring the Mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail is a 2009 book by Richard Bentall, his thesis is critical of contemporary Western psychiatry. Bentall, a professor of clinical psychology, argues that recent scientific research shows that the medical approach to mental illness is fatally flawed. According to Bentall, it seems there is no "evidence that psychiatry has made a positive impact on human welfare" and "patients are doing no better today than they did a hundred years ago".

Svein Haugsgjerd is a Norwegian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He is notable for using psychodynamic psychotherapy to treat patients with schizophrenia.

References

  1. "Interpretation of Schizophrenia – 1975". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  2. "The Will to be Human - Finalist"- National Book Awards 1973 for Philosophy And Religion
  3. Ruffalo, Mark L. (2019-07-03). "Understanding Schizophrenia: Toward a Unified Biological and Psychodynamic Approach". Psychoanalytic Social Work. 26 (2): 185–200. doi:10.1080/15228878.2019.1616570. ISSN   1522-8878.
  4. Ruffalo, Mark (January 2018). "The Wisdom of Silvano Arieti, Pioneer in Schizophrenia". Psychology Today.