Anxiety-Panic History
c. 1950Behavioral therapy, which originated in the 1950s, called for patients to imagine themselves in fearful situations. Through this frequent confrontation using imagery, the patient theoretically gradually becomes desensitized to the subject of his fears. (48)
c. 1950Research on using what is now referred to as cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) for treatment of anxiety began in the Soviet Union during the 1950's. (26)
1952In 1952, three years after publication of the visceral brain hypothesis, MacLean introduced the term "limbic system" as a new name for the visceral brain. Limbic comes from Broca's description of the rim of the medial cortex that later became the rhinencephalon. But in contrast to Broca, MacLean had function, not structure, on his mind when he packaged Broca's limbic cortex and related cortical and subcortical regions into the limbic system. In addition to the areas of the Papez circuit, MacLean included regions like the amygdala, septum, and prefrontal cortex in the limbic system. He then proposed that the structures of the limbic system comprise a phylogenetically early neural development that functions in an integrated way, in fact as a system, in maintaining the survival of the individual and the species. This system evolved to mediate visceral functions and affective behaviors, including feeding, defense, fighting, and reproduction. It underlies the visceral or emotional life of the individual. (42)
1952In [1952], Betty Twarog, a recent Harvard Ph.D. working in the laboratory of Professor John Welsh, identified serotonin as a neurotransmitter (they worked with a small sample provided by Abbott Laboratories). A year later, she and Irvine Page of the Cleveland Clinic found serotonin in the mammalian brain. (31)
1952In 1948, the American Psychiatric Association's committee on naming went to work on a single national system of classification. A proposed draft was circulated to the membership, their suggestions were incorporated, and by 1952 the APA's first independent system of naming was published, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual [of] Mental Disorders, known subsequently as DSM-I. ... a naming system incorporates the dominant philosophy of the day, and in 1952 analysts were heavily represented in the APA, on its naming committee as well as its membership. (31)
c. 1953Once the [Korean War] settled down into a stalemate, there was still a need to maintain large, fully armed forces constantly on alert. During periods of prolonged noncombat stress, psychiatric casualties began to occur once again at rates not appreciably lower than during combat. (30)
1954in both Britain and the United States, it was the advent of [antipsychotic drugs] in the spring of 1954 that killed off lobotomy. (31)
1955Clinical psychologist Albert Ellis introduces Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). (49)
c. 1955Initially, in the late 1950s, Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally collaborated in the search for [brain hormones that regulate the pituitary. They had a falling out, however, and became competing rivals.] (41)
c. 1955In the mid-1950s, researchers at the National Institutes of Health - picking up on earlier English work - came to believe that imbalances of serotonin were responsible for some psychiatric illnesses. ... Yet at the beginning, these researchers were not interested in serotonin because they thought it was involved in depression but rather in psychosis. (31)
1955in 1955 at Bernard ("Steve") Brodie's Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology at the National Heart Institute... Brodie and team discovered that if one gave a compound called reserpine to animals, serotonin vanished from their tissues, including the brain. This finding was the first hard-core link between biochemistry and behavior. (31)
1956As far back as 1956, reports have appeared linking epilepsy with episodes of depression, anxiety, or fear (Weil 1956). (48)
1956One of the first to note this phenomenon of stress-induced analgesia was an anesthesiologist, Henry Beecher, who [had] examined injured soldiers as a battlefront medic in World War II and compared them to civilian populations. He found that for injuries of similar severity, approximately 80 percent of civilians requested morphine, while only a third of the soldiers did. He cited the French physician Dupuytren, who, more than a century earlier, noted the same pattern and pointed out that for the wounded soldier facing a medic in a field tent, the news of an injury is almost a relief - things could easily have been worse; there might have been no medic; at least I'm out of the battle now; and so on. ... Requests for morphine by soldiers verses civilians: Beecher, H. 1956. "Relationship of Significance of Wound to Pain Experienced." Journal of the American Medical Association 161, 17. (41)
1957In 1957, pharmacologist Arvid Carlson and coworkers of the University of Lund in Sweden discovered that dopamine was a neurotransmitter. (31)
1957In a great face-off, Walter Cannon and Curt Richter (a grand old man of psychosomatic medicine) differed in their postulated mechanisms of psychophysiological death. Cannon thought it was due to overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system; in that scheme, the person becomes so nervous at being cursed that the sympathetic system kicks into gear and vasoconstricts blood vessels to the point of rupturing them, causing a fatal drop in blood pressure. Richter thought death was due to too much parasympathetic activity. The parasympathetic projection to the heart (the vagus nerve) becomes very active, slowing the heart down to the point of stopping - death due to "vagal storm," as it was called. Both Cannon and Richter kept their theories unsullied by never examining anyone who had died of psychophysiological death, voodoo or otherwise. ... Curt Richter, by contrast [with Walter Cannon], didn't gather any firsthand accounts [of voodoo death] of his own. Instead, he noted the similarity between the accounts in Cannon's paper and cases of parasympathetic-induced death in rats undergoing severe stressors in his own laboratory (1957, "On the Phenomenon of Sudden Death in Animals and Man," Psychosomatic Medicine 19, 191). (41)
1958The film "Vertigo" is released; a drama involving phobia and PTSD. (49)
c. 1958The TCA medications are widely used in psychiatry beginning in the 1950s with the introduction of imipramine.
1958Imipramine was the first drug in the history of psychiatry to act specifically against depression. ... In the spring of 1958 Geigy named the compound imipramine (Tofranil). Imipramine was the first of the "tricyclic" antidepressants, so named because of their three-ring chemical structure. (31)
1958It is generally accepted that Joseph Wolpe started the behavioral therapy movement with his 1958 book Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition (Stanford University Press). From this simple beginning a wide variety of new techniques developed. (48)
1958an experiment conducted by Joseph Brady in 1958 with monkeys gave rise to the view that more control and more predictability cause ulcers. Out of these studies came the popular concept of the "executive stress syndrome" and associated images of executive humans weighed down with the stressful burdens of control, leadership, and responsibility. [This study, however, was flawed and], in general, executives of all species are more likely to be giving ulcers than to be getting them. (41)
1958Harry Harlow, "The Nature of Love," 1958, American Psychologist 13, 673. ... [From the 1950s through 1970s, Harlow conducts monkey studies on nurturing and social deprivation.] (41)
1959Clinical psychologist Albert Ellis established the Institute for Rational Living (later renamed the Albert Ellis Institute) in a townhouse on East 65th Street in Manhattan. There, he lived on the top floor and pursued his work on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) introduced in 1955. (49)
1959Harlow, H., and Zimmerman, R., 1959, "Affectional Responses in the Infant Monkey," Science 130, 421. (41)
c. 1959Starting in the late 1950s ... a critical realization roared through the research community: the physiological stress-response can be modulated by psychological factors. ... Inevitably, the next step was demonstrated: in the absence of any change in physiological reality - any actual disruption of allostatus - psychological variables alone could trigger the stress-response. (41)
1959By 1959, ECT had become "the treatment of choice," as Kalinowsky put it, for manic-depressive illness and major depression. It was more effective than any of the other physical therapies, acted swiftly, and was not unpopular with the patients. The year 1959 was a kind of golden year for psychiatry, when neither Kalinowsky nor anyone else knew that the antipsychiatry movement was about to bring ECT to an end. (31)
1959In 1959, [Viennese psychiatrist Erwin] Stengel published an influential critique of the lack of reliability in psychiatric diagnosis. He said that both the analysts and the American followers of Adolf Meyer "stress the uniqueness of the individual." "Such an approach," he noted drily, "has tended to discourage the categorization of mental disorders." This was the opening cannon in the campaign to revive diagnosis. (31)
Anxiety-Panic History