Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted
Part Two. The Political Economy of Psychiatry
The New Psychiatric Deal
The Psychoanalytic Interlude
...The advent of psychoanalysis and office-based psychotherapy in the early decades of the twentieth century introduced a new element into the established socioeconomic order of psychiatry. Traditionally, being a psychiatrist meant being an employee of a state hospital. In most of Europe, Jewish doctors could therefore not become psychiatrists.
However, they could become general practitioners and neurologists, or so-called nerve doctors, listen to and talk to their patients, call it "psychotherapy" or "psychoanalysis," and sell their services to fee-paying customers. Psychoanalysis thus came into being as part of the private practice of medicine, then one of the so-called free professions.
The Economic And Legal Basis Of Deinstitutionalization
Psychiatry between the End of the War and 1960
After victory in war, the United States needed a new Good War against an Evil Enemy. For a while, the Cold War did the job. But the Soviets acquired nuclear weapons and the conflict became an emotionally unsatisfying stalemate. Luckily, there were many helpless enemies at home. The first to be attacked was mental illness. Poverty, drugs, and homelessness soon followed.*
*There are some obvious similarities among these wars. The greater the danger, the more federal funds required to protect the nation from it, and the more intractable the problem becomes.
...Except for operating Veterans Administration Hospitals and a few drug addiction facilities-and, in 1950, establishing the modestly funded National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to promote psychiatric research-the federal government played no role in caring for mental patients. It is worth noting here that the initial appropriation for NIMH was a minuscule $870,000. Ten years later, NIMH cost the taxpayer $68 million, and in 1992 more than $1 billion. Let that be a lesson to those who cling to the belief that Reagan and Bush were trying to get the government off the backs of the American people.