Mental illness in Sweden (1896–1905) reflected through case records from a local general hospital

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Abstract

Mental illness in a hospital in a medium-sized town in Sweden was studied. Consecutive case records from 1896 to 1905, and also from 2011, were selected. In the historical sample, neurasthenia was the most common diagnosis, followed by affective disorders and alcohol abuse. ICD-10 diagnoses corresponded well with the historical diagnoses. Melancholia resembled modern criteria for depression. Mania, insania simplex and paranoia indicated more severe illness. Abuse was more common among men and hysteria among women. Those with a medical certificate for mental hospital care were very ill and showed no gender difference. There were no diagnoses for abuse, but 17% had a high level of alcohol consumption. The pattern of signs and symptoms displayed by patients does not appear to change with time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-231
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Feb 22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History
  • Other Clinical Medicine

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • classification
  • depression
  • history
  • nineteenth century
  • psychosis
  • Sweden

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