The intimate geographies of panic disorder: parsing anxiety through psychopharmacological dissection

Callard, F. (2016) The intimate geographies of panic disorder: parsing anxiety through psychopharmacological dissection. Osiris, 31(1), pp. 203-226. (doi: 10.1086/688503) (PMID:28446834) (PMCID:PMC5402871)

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The category of panic disorder was significantly indebted to early psychopharmacological experiments (in the late 1950s and early 1960s) by the psychiatrist Donald Klein, in collaboration with Max Fink. Klein’s technique of “psychopharmacological dissection” underpinned his transformation of clinical accounts of anxiety and was central in effecting the shift from agoraphobic anxiety (with its spatial imaginary of city squares and streets) to panic. This technique disaggregated the previously unitary affect of anxiety—as advanced in psychoanalytic accounts—into two physiological and phenomenological kinds. “Psychopharmacological dissection” depended on particular modes of clinical observation to assess drug action and to interpret patient behavior. The “intimate geographies” out of which panic disorder emerged comprised both the socio-spatial dynamics of observation on the psychiatric ward and Klein’s use of John Bowlby’s model of separation anxiety—as it played out between the dyad of infant and mother—to interpret his adult patients’ affectively disordered behavior. This essay, in offering a historical geography of mid-twentieth-century anxiety and panic, emphasizes the importance of socio-spatial setting in understanding how clinical and scientific experimentation opens up new ways in which affects can be expressed, shaped, observed, and understood.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:I thank the European Neuroscience and Society Network (funded by the European Science Foundation) for a Short Visit Grant, which funded my trip to the United States, and the New York University Child Study Center. Earlier research for this article was supported by a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship. My research is supported by the Wellcome Trust (103817/Z/14/Z).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Callard, Professor Felicity
Authors: Callard, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Osiris
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN (Online):1933-8287
Published Online:01 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The History of Science Society
First Published:First published in Osiris 31(1):203-226
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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