Kraepelin and manic-depressive insanity: An historical perspective

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Since the time of the ancient Greeks, physicians have recognized a certain relatedness between the mental states of depression and mania. In the mid-Nineteenth century, French alienists proposed a 'double' or 'circular' illness consisting of alternating depressed and manic episodes and at the beginning of the twentieth century, Emil Kraepelin introduced the term 'manic-depressive insanity.' Kraepelin's broad clinical experience resulted in compelling descriptions of the symptoms of mood disorders that have arguably never been surpassed. The Kraepelinian nosology continues to provide a touchstone for modern classification systems of the mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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