Tuesday, June 05, 2012
The Archives of General Psychiatry has published another of James Harris' wonderful discussions of art and psychiatry. This month Harris discusses the American painter Benjamin West's (1738-1820) painting of Erasistratus Discovering the Cause of Antichochus' Disease. He uses the painting as an opportunity to provide brief, incisive discussion of Lovesickness. I have had a longstanding interest in lovesickness. As Stanley Jackson pointed out many years ago Lovesickness provided one of the earliest circumstances where doctors diagnosed and treated pathogenic secrets as the cause of illness. Thanks to Harris for expanding my appreciation of this interesting disorder.