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Australian Left Review

Article Title

New frontiers in psychiatry


Dr. Heraclitus


JYJODERN Psychiatry is that branch of medicine concerned with the manifestations and treatments o f the disordered functioning o f an individual's personality, which adversely affects him in three ways—his inner subjective life, his relations with others and his capacity to adapt to life in society. The scope of psychiatry is vast in terms o f the numbers of sick people. About one half of all hospital beds in industrially developed countries are occupied by psychiatric patients; surveys have shown that at least one third of people attending their general medical practitioner have complaints essentially psychological in nature, and suicide, which is nearly always an end result o f a psychiatric illness, is one o f the commonest causes of death in young adults. (Fourth commonest in 1963 in the 20-44 age group.)