These lectures will attempt to tell something of psychiatry, the study of the suffering of human minds. They will deal with the nature of the disorders affecting the mind, their genesis, their methods of expression and their impact on society. In doing so, there may be a danger of involving the listener in these sicknesses, and at least if he does not see himself, he may seem to see certain of his relatives and friends in one or other of the conditions to be described. Try not to be alarmed or disturbed by this. It's common indeed for the medical student to feel the same thing about himself as he learns of new diseases. The student gets over it as his objective interest in medicine quickens and he learns to stand outside the disease surrounding him. To help in this effort, you will be introduced only slowly to the patients who form the clinical substance of psychiatry. As an earnest of this we shall not actually meet with a case history of a patient until much later on.

    Psychiatry is the study of people showing abnormal behaviour, and as such is a specialty of clinical medicine. Its practitioners are therefore doctors: physicians who have qualified themselves by at least four years of recognized training subsequent to obtaining their medical degree and licence to practice medicine. The study of normal behaviour is the province of psychology. Psychologists may hold doctorates, but these are Ph.Ds., not M.Ds. The distinction between psychologists and psychiatrists only tends to overlap when the two sorts of doctors engage in research programs (when the distinction just doesn't matter) or when the psychologist extends his interest into the field of abnormal psychology, and here the boundaries may become blurred indeed. Broadly, the psychologist is a natural scientist and psychiatrists are medical men. But the psychologist is also sometimes a practising clinical psychologist in the field of abnormal psychology, sometimes even a therapist rather than a scientist at all, and this can be confusing for the layman.