Other Writing

In The Birth of Neurosis, Dr. Drinka examines the doctors, patients, and ideas that shaped notions of neurosis before Freud. This work is an exploration of the mass psychology and mythology of the Victorian age as well as a social history of its broader culture. Dr. Drinka describes the work of the fascinating, often eccentric physicians whose ideas were inextricably bound up in the profound technological and intellectual turmoil of their era—Jean-Martin Charcot’s use of hypnosis to treat “grand hysteria,” George Miller Beard’s prescription of electricity to cure neurasthenia, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s studies of perversion and inversion in his treatments for “acquired degeneracy.” The Birth of Neurosis provides a new perspective on the tumultuous period in which our present understanding of human psychology had its beginnings.

His various books reviews in The Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association and the New York Times all pertain to writings in the area of the history of psychiatry and medicine.

Book Reviews of The Birth of Neurosis

“In this masterly work, physician and medical historian George Drinka explores the Victorian influence on our thinking about the relationship between behavior and the human brain. The book is rich with vivid and memorable description…Drinka skillfully imbeds this narrative of medical geniuses and charlatans within the larger framework of the social and technological developments of the period.”
                        — Richard Restak, M.D.
                          Washington Post Book World

“Dr. Drinka has unearthed no end of curiosities.”
                        — Rosemary Dinnage, The New
                          York Times Book Review

“It is a fascinating and often amusing story that Dr. Drinka has to tell, and he presents it well.”
                        –The Atlantic

“A multilevel and superlative survey [marked by] clarity of thought and expression…The ideas throughout are exceptionally thought-provoking…Read it for the sheer enjoyment of being led by an expert teacher into a weird but fascinating terrain.”

“It is indeed an impressive achievement weaving together as it does thumbnail biographies, case histories, and synopses of relevant novels…It is must reading for all interested in the history of psychiatry, and should in addition have a wide popular appeal.”
                        –Jerome D. Frank, M.D.,Ph.D.,
                          Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry,
                          The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

  • Violence online is becoming more and more realistic
    Violence online is becoming more and more realistic

    A truly valuable article that highlights the new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding parental guidance of children and their media diet. Commenting on these just-released guidelines of the AAP, Dmitri Christakis, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle says that violence, especially online, is becoming more intense. Continue reading

  • Is there a clear link between media violence and bad behavior in kids?

    An article that captures some of the controversy surrounding the issue of the impact of violent media on kids. Three experts are cited and quoted. One expert, Dr. Dmitri Christakis from Seattle, takes the side of grave concern and supports the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sees a clear link between media violence and problematic behaviors in children. He argues, for instance, for parents to play violent video games with their children and form opinions about the game and then make parental decisions about media diet accordingly. Continue reading

  • Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just affect adults
    Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just affect adults

    A disturbing and thought-provoking article about how Candidate Trump, through his penetration into the lives and psyches of many Americans via the media, has turned up the dial on bullying in many schools around the country. Continue reading

  • Not enough excercise

    A must-read article about the dangers of too much screen time and the flip-side. Not enough time and energy being expended on actual physical activity had its dangers too. One of the major upshots of the article is that when kids are in front of screens too many hours a day, even though they have done little physical activity, they are often very, very tired. Continue reading

  • More on managing screen time

    A solid article that outlines six basic steps that concerned parents can take to safeguard their kids from the pernicious effects of the media. The sixth mentioned is setting limits on media involvement at bedtime and specifically in bed. Parents setting such limits is no small task, and, further, since many, many families in America have already enshrined screens in the bedrooms of their kids and for that matter in their own bedrooms, this major step would involve many parents needing to make a drastic change in their lifestyles. Continue reading

  • Managing screen time is a real issue for modern parents

    An article with six simple ways to impact positively on a family's involvement with the media. The ideas are simple but effective. They include parents playing video games and watching media with their children, putting down their own cell phones and electronics to be with their kids, setting limits on time spent with the media, and perhaps quite crucial to any sanity here, the parents getting TVs and electronics out of their children's bedrooms at bedtime. Continue reading

  • Parents need to look at their media habits

    A short and sad article written by a woman who is a self-proclaimed "screen addict" and who realizes how detrimental this addiction is to her parenting of her kids. She realizes that one of the most serious indications of her addiction is her children often complaining that she spends more time looking at the screen than relating to them. Continue reading