chapter  1
Historical Perspective on Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Pages 4

Ironically, these agents and the study of other psychotropics remained the exclusive domain of medicine and neurology for many years. Psychiatry, or at least the mental illness with which psychiatrists now concern themselves, was more a topic of philosophy than of science. The concept of insanity as a spiritual and thereby nonphysical illness dominated the late 18th and early 19th centuries, perhaps contributing to the dominance of psychotherapeutic treatments. German physician Johann Christian Reil has been credited with the first systematic practice of such therapy, and in his "Rhapsodies About the Application of Psychotherapy to Mental Disturbances" (1803), he voiced the opinion that emotional illness could not be cured by physical treatments.1