By Alison Haggett

This e-book is open entry less than a CC by way of license and explores the under-researched heritage of male psychological affliction from the mid-twentieth century. It argues that records suggesting ladies were extra prone to melancholy and anxiousness are deceptive considering they underplay a number of different displays of 'distress' extra universal in men.

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Extra resources for A History of Male Psychological Disorders in Britain, 1945–1980

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100 During this investigation, written evidence was obtained from twenty-seven members of the College who had expressed an interest in psychological medicine. Additionally, details were sought about the subjects taught at medical school in Britain. The correspondence from this investigation suggests that GPs were struggling to deal with a wide range of psychosomatic and neurotic presentations in both sexes. One contributor, a Dr S. I. Abrahams, provided a list of symptoms that were ‘difficult to fit in’ and which had ‘taxed [his] therapeutic resources’.

Goldberg’s screening instrument was designed to detect the less severe psychiatric disorders – the so-named ‘dysthymic states’ – and to identify the inability to carry out normal functions. It therefore detected personality disorders and patterns of adjustment associated with ‘distress’, but not schizophrenia or severe psychotic depression. The main version contained sixty questions, but abbreviated versions were developed for speed of use and consisted of thirty, twenty or twelve items. 47 However, the questions about symptoms that reflected physical illness relate to pressure or pain in the head, hot or cold spells and ‘feeling run down’.

Fry’s notes indicate that the individual was suffering from ‘overwork and tension’, for which he recommended ‘less work’ and ‘rest’. Another male, born in 1900, presented to the surgery in 1959 with dyspepsia, from which he had apparently suffered ‘for years’. The notes suggest that, as a child this patient had endured a ‘very disturbed home life’ and that he also complained of ‘chest pains and anxiety’. The patient was prescribed sodium amytal – a sedative barbiturate, which Fry prescribed with regularity.

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