15 February 2019

15th February 1856 Emil Kraepelin was born

On 15th February 1856 Emil Kraepelin was born. Kraepelin is considered by some as the founder of modern psychiatry and psychopharmacology, although he remains relatively unknown to the general public. He devised an early classification for mental health issues, including new terms such as manic-depressive and dementia praecox (later to be reclassified as schizophrenia).

He spent his career teaching psychiatry and treating patients at universities and hospitals in Germany. Kraepelin rejected the theories of Sigmund Freud which he felt focused too much on early sexual experiences and too little on biology.

He was a founder of psychopharmacology, the study of the effects of psychiatric drugs on the nervous system - Kraepelin called it ‘pharmacopsychology.’ He also campaigned for the prohibition of alcohol and asylum reform.

Kraepelin developed a classification system for mental illness that influenced subsequent classifications. Throughout his career, he continued to refine his classification and was working on the ninth edition of his textbook when he died. Kraepelin’s most important innovation was examining and recording mental health issues in a large number of patients over many years, including collecting case histories from other experts.

More on Emil Kraepelin on wikipedia. Thanks to wiki_February_15 for the date.

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