Rotation therapy for maniacs, melancholics and idiots: theory, practice and perception in European medical and literary case histories

Dickson, S. (2018) Rotation therapy for maniacs, melancholics and idiots: theory, practice and perception in European medical and literary case histories. History of Psychiatry, 29(1), pp. 22-37. (doi: 10.1177/0957154X17733176)

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Abstract

This article examines the development and use of rotation therapy in the emerging field of psychiatry at the beginning of the 19th century, and the cross-fertilization between British, Irish, German, French and other European proponents of ‘Cox’s Swing’. Its short-lived popularity is linked to prevalent Enlightenment thought, to the development of an industrial and technological society, to the modern medical theories of irritability, and to the new practice of ‘moral management’ of the mentally ill. Case studies documenting the use of the Swing are considered from these perspectives, and are compared with contemporary public reactions in the form of publications in newspapers and of a literary text by German Romantic author Ludwig Achim von Arnim.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dickson, Professor Sheila
Authors: Dickson, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Journal Name:History of Psychiatry
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0957-154X
ISSN (Online):1740-2360
Published Online:28 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in History of Psychiatry 29(1): 22-37
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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