Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Studies on Hysteria

The dark side of Freud’s legacy

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 21 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1606

The Retrospectoscope

History can be a harsh judge. It can reduce our lives to facts, without regard for
circumstances or mitigating factors. This seems to happen especially with great
people, who have foibles and flaws just like the rest of us. Before we judge
such people, we should try to understand the times and circumstances of their
lives. This will enable us to better appreciate their contributions, and at the
same time, to forgive their errors. Sooner or later, we will all be part of history,
and we would like the same merciful judgment.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 April 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA