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Revista de Neuro-Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-8597


STUCCHI-PORTOCARRERO, Santiago. Notes on the madness in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Rev Neuropsiquiatr [online]. 2019, vol.82, n.1, pp.66-83. ISSN 0034-8597.

Madness during the Viceroyalty of Peru was explained both in medical and supernatural terms, The medicine was based mainly on the theory of the four humors. To name madness and its various forms of manifestation were used terms such as lack of judgment, insanity, dementia, melancholy, mania and others, with meanings not equivalent to the current ones.The care of the insane was given by doctors, family or clergy. The Holy Inquisition had to determine whether the defendants were mentally sane or not, resorting to different strategies in the doubtful cases, including the opinion of the doctors. Psychiatry emerged in Peru long after the Viceregal era, and its attempts to explain the madness of those times led to the gathering of valuable information, especially by Hermilio Valdizán and Óscar Valdivia Ponce, and, on the other hand, to the formulation of retrospective diagnoses, which illustrate the nosological discourse of its speakers. In recent years, psychiatric opinions on the viceregal period have focused on the figure of Saint Rose of Lima, leading to varied approaches. Retrospective diagnoses are based on questionable premises, such as attributing a transhistorical and transcultural nature to mental disorders and normality idea, as well as believing that there are reliable historical sources that reflect the truth of the facts.

Keywords : History of medicine; Mentally Ill persons; Peru; psychiatry; mental disorders.

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