[The French Revolution and mental troubles 1789-1799]

Vesalius. 1997 Dec;3(2):67-72.
[Article in French]


Are wars and political strife factors in the cause of mental diseases? For instance what do we know about the French Revolution? Contemporary writers of memoirs are untrustworthy, whether opponents or supporters. We have neither morbiditiy nor mortality statistics nor accurate diagnostics, for the patients in public hospitals or private mental homes. A few cases are described for some mystical or political lunatic women, and some Jacobin leaders. The "psychiatrists" of that time have not noticed any increasing of insanity: a revolution is not enough to provoke mental disease, but it may reveal it.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Civil Disorders / history*
  • France
  • French Revolution*
  • History, 18th Century
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / history*
  • Warfare