'On the different Species of Phobia’ and ‘On the different Species of Mania’ (1786): from popular furies to mental disorders in America

  title={'On the different Species of Phobia’ and ‘On the different Species of Mania’ (1786): from popular furies to mental disorders in America},
  author={Diederik F. Janssen},
  journal={Medical Humanities},
  pages={365 - 374}
Benjamin Rush’s twin 1786 letters on the different species of phobia and mania sit at an extended historical juncture at which an early modern quasi-medical troping of mental disorder in American social commentary sobered up to mental medicine. The letters’ satirical drive hinged on a perennial problem still occupying George Beard almost a century onward: which idiosyncratic trepidation or ill-grounded idea warranted the nomination of national and epochal ill? Rush’s mania letter exemplified an… 
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