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Medicine

addiction - anatomy - body - drugs - human - medicine show - mental illness - paraphilia - psychiatry - psychology - sexology - sickness - surgery

Heroin was commercially developed by Bayer Pharmaceutical and was marketed by Bayer and other companies (c. 1900) for several medicinal uses including cough suppression. --http://wings.buffalo.edu/aru/preprohibition.htm [Aug 2005]

Definition

Medicine is a branch of health science concerned with restoring and maintaining health and wellness. Broadly, it is the practical science of preventing and curing diseases. However, medicine often refers more specifically to matters dealt with by physicians and surgeons.

Medicine is both an area of knowledge (a science), and the application of that knowledge (by the medical profession and other health professionals such as nurses). The various specialized branches of the science of medicine correspond to equally specialized medical professions dealing with particular organs or diseases. The science of medicine is the knowledge of body systems and diseases, while the profession of medicine refers to the social structure of the group of people formally trained to apply that knowledge to treat disease.

There are traditional and schools of healing which are usually not considered to be part of (Western) medicine in a strict sense (see health science for an overview). The most highly developed systems of medicine outside of the Western or Hippocratic tradition are the Ayurvedic school (of India) and traditional Chinese medicine. The remainder of this article focuses on modern (Western) medicine. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine [Feb 2005]

Four humours

In traditional medicine practiced before the advent of modern technology, the four humours were four fluids that were thought to permeate the body and influence its health. An imbalance in the distribution of these fluids was thought to affect each individual's personality. The concept was developed by ancient Greek thinkers around 400 BC and was directly linked with another popular theory of the four elements (Empedocles). Paired qualities were associated with each humour and its season. The four humours, their corresponding elements, seasons and sites of formation, and resulting temperaments alongside their modern equivalents are: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_humours [Dec 2005]

Humor theory
The humour theory (Am. Eng. humor theory) was a theory of the makeup and workings of the human body adopted by ancient Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers. From Hippocrates onward, the humor theory was the most commonly held view of the human body until the nineteeth century and the understanding of the circulation of blood.

Essentially, it stipulates that the human body is filled with four basic substances, called humors, which are held in balance when a person is healthy. All diseases and disabilities result from an excess or deficit in one of these four humors. These four humors (corresponding to the four elements of earth, fire, water, and air) were black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood respectively. Greeks and Romans, and the Western civilizations that adopted Classical philosophy, believed that each of these humors would wax and wane in the body, depending on diet and activity. When a person had a surplus of one fluid, then that person's personality, and eventually health, would be affected.

Theophrastus and others developed a set of "characters" based on the humors. Those with too much blood were sanguine. Those with too much phlegm were phlegmatic. Those with too much yellow bile were choleric, and those with too much black bile were melancholy. The idea of human personality based on humors contributed to the character comedies of Menander and, later, Plautus.

Through the neo-classical revival in Europe, the humor theory dominated medical practice, and the theory of humorous types made periodic appearance in drama. Such typically "eighteenth century" practices as bleeding a sick person, or applying hot cups to a person, were, in fact, based on the humor theory of surpluses of fluids (blood and bile in those cases). Ben Jonson wrote humor plays, where types were based on their humor dominance.

Additionally, because people believed that there were finite amounts of humor in the body, there were folk/medical beliefs that the loss of fluids was a form of death.

See also: four humours * choleric * melancholic * phlegmatic * sanguine --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor_theory [Dec 2005]

Four temperaments
Under the ancient medical theory of the four humours, the four temperaments are personality types or moods ascribed to the imbalance of certain bodily fluids in each person.

Also the set of theme and variations for piano and orchestra composed by Paul Hindemith in 1940 where each variation represents one of these four temperaments. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments [Dec 2005]

In psychology, temperament is the general nature of an individual's personality, such as introversion or extroversion. It derives from the theory of the humours. It played an important part in premodern psychology, and was important to philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Hermann Lotze. Writers as different as William James and Tim LaHaye have written on temperament. It has also inspired artists like Carl Nielsen, and Hindemith, whose music is featured in George Balanchine's ballet "The Four Temperaments." See also Keirsey Temperament Sorter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperament [Dec 2005]

See also: personality - boredom - emotion - depression - humour - theory - spleen - melancholy - medicine - mood - fluid

Paraphilia [...]

Medical term for perversion.

1850-1900: Doctors Medicalize Sex

Doctors at the middle of the 1800s struggled to expand the market for their services and to garner greater professional respect even though few of the cures they offered did any good. Books like Acton's Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs used scare tactics to warn readers that even innocuous practices like masturbation could be lethal, and that dangerous sexual disorders like spermattorhea could occur surreptitiously. The best course, Acton advised, was consultation with a qualified physician who could diagnose and treat such insidious threats.

The medical specialty that enjoyed the least prestige was the treatment of mental diseases. Early psychiatrists ("alienists" in the language of the day) lacked even diagnoses for the disorders they claimed to treat. By the 1850s, psychiatrists began an orgy of classification that included lists of sexual aberrations. Sexual inversion figured prominently in these lists after Karl Westphal coined the term in 1869. Diagnostic enthusiasm reached its apex in Krafft-Ebing's monumental Psychopathia Sexualis published in 1886.

Medicalization was greeted with mixed feelings by men who called themselves urnings, inverts, and homosexuals. Many were glad to be regarded as merely sick instead of desperately depraved, but others like Marc Andre Raffalovich insisted that they felt neither sick nor sinful. -- 1999 Andrew Wikholm, http://www.gayhistory.com/rev2/factfiles/ffmedicalization.htm

Medicine and sex

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s made most of the severe venereal diseases of the time curable, removing the threat of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis.

Twenty years later, The Pill became available; at first for married women only, but demand soon lead to it becoming available to unmarried women as well.

With the twin threats of disease and pregnancy removed, many of the traditional constraints on sexual behavior seemed unjustified.

The advent of genital herpes and AIDS have started the pendulum swinging in the reverse direction, but modern trends are towards harm reduction through education and safer sex rather than a return to sexual puritanism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_revolution [Oct 2004]

The Medical "Discovery" of Addiction

The earliest British medical writing that characterized excessive drinking as a disease was Thomas Trotter's (1804) An Essay, Medical, Philosophical, and Chemical on Drunkenness and Its Effects on the Human Body. Trotter's notion remained undeveloped for years. British medical writers treated the topic desultorily and unevenly. Some physicians who were active in the temperance and teetotal movements, such as William B. Carpenter and Norman Kerr, went on to write and speak about the "medical" side of the problem. Although isolated forays into the field were made in the middle decades of the century, the medicalization of habitual drunkenness and drug habituation did not gather momentum until the 1870s.

Key elements of a modern notion of addiction appeared in two scandals about medical treatment, one a debate about whether or not doctors should prescribe alcohol to their patients. Some patients, it was argued, went on to develop drinking habits. This certainly seemed to be the case when physicians began prescribing morphine and the newly-improved, cheap hypodermic needles with which to inject it. At first glance, hypodermic morphine seemed to be medicine's contribution to nineteenth-century technology - advocates such as Francis Edmund Anstie and T. Clifford Allbutt claimed it would be as important as gaslight or the railway. The speed with which medicines could take effect was impressive. But the patients who injected themselves quickly built up a tolerance, and seemed to develop new symptoms that only a repetition of the dose could relieve. Meanwhile their original complaints often went unabated. Physicians were quick to take back the syringe and suggest dosage guidelines as well as offer descriptions of "narcotized" patients. Although physicians had little understanding of how morphine worked, they argued that only they could safely administer it. The sensations of well-being the syringe produced could only be generated as a cure for pain, not for the production of pleasure.

The debacles over medicinal alcohol and morphine suggest that addiction emerged in the nineteenth century in part because professional medicine did, too. First there is the obvious point that in the process of treating them, doctors undoubtedly gave some patients actual habits. Beyond this, however, is a more complicated relationship of cause and effect that involves knowledge of the effects of drugs. Historians of medicine have long identified a "revolution in Paris medicine" beginning around 1800, in which the patient's own well-being became less important than the observation of the disease unfolding inside his or her body. As medicine became more empirical (based on observation and ascultation), more scientific (conducted on hospital populations where various remedies could be compared to control groups), and more precise (dependent on standardized technology and measures) throughout the nineteenth century in Britain, physicians were transformed from the status of aristocrats' servants to knowledgeable authorities on disease. Whereas in the eighteenth century, their patients' subjective feelings were paramount, in the nineteenth, the patient's feelings increasingly became irrelevant, since the doctor was the one who knew what signs to look for. This meant that the doctor was the one with the authority to cure ailments. Patient self-medication was to be discouraged. Addiction lies at the heart of this gradual shift in knowledge, institutions, and attitudes, because it could only come about in a world in which self-medication was the illicit alternative to legitimate medical practice. After the rise of medicine, no one - not even doctors - could legitimately treat themselves. In this way, popular and folk cures and comforts, such as poppy head tea, gradually disappeared as medical knowledge became institutionalized. In the nineteenth century, this medical knowledge grew geometrically, bringing drug and alcohol use into the fields of "morbid psychology" and physiology alike. The recent introduction of anti-addiction drugs brings us full circle, back to the origins of addiction in medical treatment. --Susan Zieger, Addiction in the Nineteenth Century, Sept 2002, http://www.victorianweb.org/science/addiction/discovery.htm [Jun 2004]

Medicine Show

But this was not Hollywood promotion. In fact, Hollywood spent 20 years campaigning to get rid of movies like Mom and Dad. This was the last wave of the 19th-century medicine shows -- part biology lesson, part sideshow, part morality play, part medical "shock footage" -- and to this day many old-timers regard it as the purest and most successful exploitation film in history. It played continuously for 23 years, still booking drive-ins as late as 1977, and grossed an estimated $100 million. --Joe Bob Briggs, http://reason.com/0311/fe.jb.kroger.shtml, Nov 2003

Another method of publicity undertaken mostly by smaller firms was the "medicine show," a travelling circus of sorts which offered vaudeville style entertainments on a small scale, and which climaxed in a pitch for the nostrum being sold. Muscleman acts were especially popular on these tours, for this enabled the salesman to tout the physical vigour offered by the potion he was selling. Shills were frequently employed by the showmen, who would step forward from the crowd and offer "unsolicited" testimonials about the benefits of the medicine for sale. Oftentimes, the nostrum was manufactured and bottled in the same wagon that the show travelled in. The Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company became one of the largest and most successful medicine show operators; their shows had an American Indian or Wild West theme, and employed many Native Americans as spokespeople. The medicine show lived on in American folklore and Western movies long after they had vanished from public meeting places.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_medicine#Patent_medicines_and_advertising [Feb 2005]

Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions and trepanation

18th century French illustration of trepanation
image sourced here. [Apr 2005]

Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions () - John Michell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
John Michell was a Russian interpreter and Chartered Surveyor before publishing his first book, The Flying Saucer Vision, in 1967. This and its successor, The View Over Atlantis (1969), helped to change the attitudes of a whole generation to the culture, wisdom and science of ancient societies. His other books include The Earth Spirit, A Little History of Astro Archaeology, Simulacra, Megalithomania, The New View Over Atlantis, and, with Robert Rickard, Phenomena and Living Wonders. He lives in London.

Laurence Urdang is a professional lexicographer whose interest in words and language is undiminished after almost 40 years' exposure to dictionaries of all kinds. His magnum opus was the unabridged edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language.

Product Description:
The passionately misguided individuals profiled in this entertaining book form an unforgettable portrait of human imagination run wild.

Never has so much energy been poured into such oddly misbegotten ideas, inventions, enterprises and movements. The 22 individuals and groups described here with wit and understanding represent the widest range of true eccentricity. Lady Blount believes that the earth is flat; Cyrus Teed, that it is a hollow shell with us on the inside; Baron de Guldenstubbe that statues write him letters. Nesta Webster devotes her life to exposing international conspiracies; John Carden to pestering one young lady. Geoffrey Pyke invents a giant battleship made of ice; and Amanda Feilding and Joey Mellen live in peace and prosperity after drilling holes in their heads. The peculiarities of their beliefs are surpassed only by the boundless enthusiasm with which they defend them, and their stories are all here, told in John Michell's lively prose and accompanied by historic photographs and drawings. --via Amazon.com

Self-trepanation
In a chapter of his book, Eccentric Lives & Peculiar Notions, John Michell describes a British group which advocates self-trepanation, that is, the drilling of a hole in the skull to allow the brain access to more space and oxygen. The chapter is called "The People With Holes in their Heads".

According to Michell, the Dutch doctor Bart Huges (sometimes written as "Bart Hughes") pioneered the idea of trepanation. Huges' 1962 monograph, Homo Sapiens Correctus, is cited by most advocates of self-trepanation. Among other arguments, he contends that since children have a higher state of consciousness, and children's skulls are not fully closed, that one can return to an earlier, childlike state of consciousness by self-trepanation. Further, by allowing the brain to freely pulsate, Huges argues that a number of benefits will accrue.

Michell quotes a book called Bore Hole written by Joseph (Joey) Mellen. At the time the passage below was written, Joey and his partner, Amanda Feilding, had made two previous attempts at trepanning Joey. The second attempt ended up placing Joey in the hospital, where he was scolded severely and sent for psychiatric evaluation. After he returned home, Joey decided to try again. Joey describes his third attempt at self-trepanation:

After some time there was an ominous sounding schlurp and the sound of bubbling. I drew the trepan out and the gurgling continued. It sounded like air bubbles running under the skull as they were pressed out. I looked at the trepan and there was a bit of bone in it. At last!

There is an active advocacy group for the self-trepanation procedure, the International Trepanation Advocacy Group. Their webpage [1] (http://www.trepan.com) includes MRI images of trepanned brains. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-surgery#Self-trepanation [Apr 2005]

Hole in the Head:
Early in 1965, I heard of someone who had drilled a hole in his head to get a permanently high {sic}. I put it down as another crankish idea and didn't think much about it. Later that year I went to Ibiza, looking for mescalin or LSD. I knew a few people who had taken acid and said it was even greater than mescalin [...] -- Joe Mellen, Other Scenes magazine, November 1970

  • http://www.noah.org/trepan/hole_in_the_head.html
  • http://www.noah.org/trepan/photos

    Self-medication

    Mainstream treatments for ADHD
    The first-line medication used to treat ADHD are mostly stimulants, which work by stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for focus, attention, and impulse control.

    These include:

    • Caffeine -- though not an official mainstream treatment, the ubiquitous use of caffeine means that it probably one of the most frequently used, unofficial treatments for ADHD. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and cola soft drinks. Many students and adults will self-medicate with caffeine. Signs that one is self-medicating would be the observation that one's focus improves with the stimulant, and that one cannot function as well without it. Users often report that drinking caffeine in the evening does not impair their sleep, and that in fact, it may help soothe and relax them, thus helping them sleep better. Drinking only 1-2 cups daily is probably not self-medication, but someone who needs over 5 cups daily throughout the day in order to stay awake and focus may possibly be self-medicating.
    • Nicotine -- found in cigarettes, many students and adults will self-medicate by needing to smoke several times daily.
    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Mainstream_treatments [May 2005]

    DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis

    1. DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis - Michael B. First, Allen, Md Frances, Harold Alan, MD Pincus [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      This reference gives clear guidelines on psychiatric differential diagnoses for practitioners and trainees. Six crucial steps in differential diagnosis are outlined, and 27 decision trees trace pathways from common presenting symptoms to a final diagnosis. Tables provide direct comparisons of 62 specific disorders with each disorder's differential diagnostic contenders. A symptom index for the DSM-IV-TR lists those disorders that should be considered when formulating a differential diagnosis given a particular symptom in the patient's presentation. Author information is not given. --From Book News, Inc., amazon.com

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