About the Author

Deborah Blythe Doroshow is a historian of medicine, mental health, and childhood. She received her PhD in history from Yale University and her MD from Harvard Medical School. Previous work has focused on insulin coma therapy in American psychiatry, the bedwetting alarm and its role in the history of child rearing, and state laws mandating premarital syphilis testing. 

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Emotionally Disturbed is a clearly written and meticulously researched account of residential treatment centers, a largely forgotten strategy for addressing the needs of children with mental illness. This book will remind those who work with, live with, and love such children how a combination of ingenuity, resources, and focused care greatly improved the lives of those whom society had left behind.”

–Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD, author of The Good Doctor: A Father, A Son, and the Evolution of Medical Ethics

“Doroshow’s work exemplifies a new generation of historians bent on reinterpreting the history of American psychiatry from a fresh, twenty-first-century perspective. Artfully researched and beautifully written, Emotionally Disturbed explores a little-known aspect of twentieth-century mental health care: the efforts to devise new therapeutic options for ‘leftover’ children, that is, children and youth so troubled that neither their families nor existing institutions would care for them. Doroshow’s work deepens our understanding of the past and present challenges of caring for this very important, very vulnerable group of Americans.”

–Nancy Tomes, PhD, author of Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers

Upcoming Events

May 15, 5:30-7pm

Wassermann Before Wedding Bells:
Premarital Examination Laws in the United States, 1937-1950
American Cultures Workshop, University of Sydney

Sydney, NSW

May 22, 2019

History on Wednesday, Department of History, University of Sydney

Sydney, NSW

May 27, 5:30-7pm

HPS Research Seminar Series

University of Sydney