Posts in Category: english

Heinz Hartmann and the Ego

Did you now that…..

Heinz Hartmann (1894-19729), the American psychiatrist, defines the EGO as the substratum of the personality ?

Hartmann defines the Ego in terms of its function, especially the control of the apparatus of motility and perception (internal and external), the contact with reality, and the inhibition of primary instinctual drives.

This definition of Hartmann implies, besides the genetic, the adaptive point of view-namely, the mediating function of the ego between present reality and needs of other psychic systems.



(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

Heinz Hartman

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The physician’s role and the patient compliance

Topic : The physician’s role and the patient compliance.

Making a correct diagnosis and establishing a good treatment marks the beginning of all therapeutic process. In this process it is essential a good communication between patient and the physician.
Medical guidelines should be clear and precise. The physician should consider the circumstances of each patient.
The physician should discuss with the patient about possible drugs adverse effects of the prescribed medication. If those drugs adverse effects appeared, the patient must not stop taking the medication, and he should visit his doctor.
Inappropriate termination of the therapeutic regime may be prevented if the physician explain the delay associated with the onset of apparent benefit characteristics of some drugs.

The belief that education improves compliance is not supported by hard evidence. Dealing specifically with patient factors that underline noncompliance is far more effective. Trust, in the personal physician, in the prescribed therapy or perhaps in medical science in general, appears most crucial to patient compliance.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)


medical icons

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Schizophrenia (English)

Topic: Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic disorders are a type of mental disorder that is characterized by its tendency to chronicity, the deterioration of the individual’s functioning and psychotic symptoms associated with disturbances of thinking, feeling and behavior. Other characteristics of schizophrenia are the existence of strange ideas, dissociation of thought and emotion, and social withdrawal.

From the 17th to 19th century psychiatrists attempted to differentiate what today we call schizophrenia, from Melancholia, dementia in the elderly, and brain damage occurring in the wars. Those early clinicians tried to make a modern psychiatric classification by using criteria of symptomatology, in the course of the disease, and the outcome.

What nowadays we know as Schizophrenia received many other names over the centuries: Stupidity, Vesania, Idiocy, Insanity of puberty, Monomania, Paranoia, etc.

The concept of Dementia Praecox was developed in 1896, based on the early onset of the tendency towards a deterioration course. But it was not until 1908 that the name of Schizophrenia was coined, referring to the disconnection or splitting of the psychic functions believed to be an outstanding symptom of that disease.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)

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Havelock Ellis and Human Sexuality

Who was Havelock Ellis ?

Havelock Ellis was a British physician (1859-1939) . He was pioneered  the study of human sexuality, and the results of his researchs were published in a series of volumes entitled: “Studies in the Psychology of Sex” in 1896.

In this treatise on sexology, Havelock Ellis said that human sexuality begin long before puberty. He also claimed that male impotence and female frigidity is due to psychological problems, and that masturbation is frequent in both sexes. He affirmed that women also have sexual desire, and not men only.
Havelock Ellis said that homosexuality and heterosexuality are present in a simultaneous in both sexes.

Around the same time Sigmund Freud came to similar results. The freudian theories were a scandal at that time.

Havelock Ellis in his autobiography “My Life” (1939), among other things, called for equal rights for women and sex education for children.



(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)



Havelock Ellis

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Heroin and Hypodermic Needle

Did you know that…..

the invention of the hypodermic needle played an important role in the story of addiction to drugs ?

In 1853 an Scottish physician, Alexander Woods, invented the hypodermic needle. At the time of hypodermic’s discovery doctor thought that the use of hypodermic needle would prevent addiction to  drug. The explanation for that if the drug did not reach the stomach, the person would not develop a “hunger” for them.

The first narcotic drug administrated by hypodermic needle was Morphine. The second one was Heroin, which was isolated from opium in 1898.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)
hypodermic needle

hypodermic needles

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The Use of Cocaine Ages the Human Brain

Did you know that …..
according to a recent study the use of cocaine ages the human brain ?

So says an investigation conducted by Karen Ersche entitled “Cocaine dependence: a fast-track for brain aging?“. This study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The researchers found that psychological and physiological changes, such as cognitive decline and brain atrophy, typicals of the aged are seen in middle-aged people addicted to cocaine.

Karen Ersche and colleagues worked with a sample of 120 cocaine users. They found that this group of people had lost more brain volume than the control group of non-users of cocaine.


The conclusion was that chronic exposure to cocaine accelerates the aging brain.
They also claim that cocaine users have a mortality rate eight times higher than healthy individuals.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)


human brain



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Hermine Hug-Hellmuth Biography

Topic: Hermine Hug-Hellmuth Biography

Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth (1871-1924), actually her name was von Hug Hugenstein, was a pioneer in child psychoanalytic therapy. She was the daughter of a military in good standing. Hermine never married and died tragically murdered by her nephew Rolf. That nephew of 18 years was the natural son of his sister Antoine, who had been at her charge after the death of her sister.

Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth, following the footsteps of her sister, Antoine, became a children teacher. Later she entered the University of Vienna, graduating and obtaining a doctorate in Sciences Physics. In 1909 he defended his doctoral thesis about the physical and chemical properties of radioactive substances. Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth was one of the first Viennese women in college.

She became interested in the theories of Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis when  she started her own psychoanalysis with the analyst Isidor Sadger.

In 1910 Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth published in the Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse her first article entitled “The Analysis of a Dream of a 5-Year Old Boy“. Later she published another interesting article entitled “The Nature of the Child’s Soul (Or Psyche” (1913), and in 1919 “A study of the mental life of the child“.

Hermine became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1913, and was closely involved in its journal “Imago” and in the “International Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse “.

In 1920 Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth participates at the Congress of Psychoanalysis in The Hague where she has a paper entitled “On the Technique of the Analysis of Children“.

Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth published the book “The Analysis of a Dream of a 5-Year Old Boy” in 1912, when Anna Freud was 18 and Melanie Klein began to be interested in the studies of Freud. That’s why she is considered the pioneer in the psychoanalytic treatment of children and the use of the game (play therapy) to understand the child’s mind. Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth was really the first to adapt psychoanalytic technique at the age of the child. She said: “The purpose of analysis, both adults and children, is the same: restoring mental health.”

At first it was thought that psychoanalysis could only be carried out after 17 or 18, but Hug-Hellmuth adapted psychoanalysis to the child’s age.

It was thought that Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth wrote a book called “A Young Girl’s Diary“, published anonymously in 1919. The book was a great success and several editions were sold in no time. The book is written in first person by a young woman named Rita who speaks, among other things, about “awakening sexuality”. People as influential as Lou Andreas-Salome or the writer Stefan Zweig spoke very highly of that book.

Hermine Hug-Hellmuth stayed true to psychoanalytic orthodoxy, and was among the favorite disciples of Freud.


(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)


Hermine Hug-Hellmuth



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