July 25, 2016 |
A memorial service will be Sunday, July 24, for Oscar R. Weiner, 92, of Bala Cynwyd, a physician and practicing psychiatrist who died Wednesday, June 29, of heart disease at the Lankenau Hospital hospice. Well before the advent of drugs as a standard treatment for mental illness, Dr. Weiner dealt with patients suffering from anxiety, addiction, depression, and stress by talking them through their problems. In time, the talk therapy that he practiced gave way to psychotropic drugs, leaving Dr. Weiner feeling like "a dinosaur," his family said.
May 5, 2016 |
Before the mid-'70s, a psychiatrist would have been mad to admit he was gay. Quite literally. At the time, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Philadelphia psychiatrist John Ercel Fryer, however, did just that in 1972 - and of all places at the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference in Dallas. "I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist," he said, opening a now-famous speech. To protect himself - he already had lost a job at the University of Pennsylvania because he was gay - he wore a rubber Halloween mask, calling himself Dr. H. Anonymous.
April 20, 2016
ISSUE | SUICIDE Making a difference Kevin Hines, who survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, said the act of a stranger might avert a tragedy ("As Penn grapples with suicide, one man's tale," Friday). It brought to mind an experience I had about 20 years ago on the Ben Franklin Bridge. I was bicycling to the Jersey Shore when I noticed a woman at an overlook on the bridge with her pocketbook on the ground. By chance, my riding companion was a psychiatrist. We stopped, he spoke with her, and she admitted that she was thinking of jumping.
March 25, 2016 |
Richard G. Lonsdorf, 93, of Gladwyne, a professor of psychiatry and law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a nationally known expert on the insanity defense, died Friday, March 18. Dr. Lonsdorf died of congestive heart failure at the Waverly Heights retirement community. In the 1950s, Dr. Lonsdorf, by then a psychiatrist, agreed to help the school develop a course in forensic law, dealing with legal issues relating to the criminal mind. The course became a mainstay of the curriculum, and Dr. Lornsdorf taught it for more than 40 years to generations of Philadelphia lawyers and judges.
February 3, 2016 |
Herbert E. Mandell, 66, of Wyncote, a child and adolescent psychiatrist for many years, died Tuesday, Jan. 19, from complications of double pneumonia at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health. Born in South Philadelphia, Dr. Mandell moved to New Jersey with his family when he was 8. He graduated from Deptford High School in 1967 as class valedictorian, attended the University of Pennsylvania on scholarship, and earned a degree from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his residency and fellowships in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.
January 24, 2016 |
Melvin S. Heller, 93, of Haverford, a longtime Philadelphia-area psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine, died Tuesday, Jan. 12, of respiratory failure in the hospice unit at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Dr. Heller was a pioneer in the field of forensic psychiatry, a subspecialty of psychiatry, as it relates to the law. A forensic psychiatrist provides determinations such as the competency of a defendant to stand trial. In 1957, Dr. Heller and law professor Samuel Polsky cofounded Temple University's Unit in Law and Psychiatry.
January 14, 2016 |
From the time she was 5 or 6, Susan knew she wanted to be a lawyer. She was equally certain she wanted to be a mother. But in the darkest and most turbulent times of her life, she didn't think either of those dreams was possible. By the time she was in college, Susan had twice attempted suicide; in law school, she developed severe anxiety and later was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She grew paranoid; she yanked out her fingernails and toenails. Finally, in desperation, she checked herself in to a psychiatric ward.
December 31, 2015
Robert Spitzer, 83, a psychiatrist who played a leading role in establishing agreed-upon standards to describe mental disorders and eliminating homosexuality's designation as a pathology, died of heart problems Friday in Seattle, said his wife, Janet Williams, a Columbia University professor emerita. Dr. Spitzer's work on several editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the D.S.M., defined all of the major disorders "so all in the profession could agree on what they were seeing," said Williams, who worked with him on D.S.M.-III, which was published in 1980.
December 24, 2015 |
HOWARD BAKER spent decades helping people to sort through their most private struggles, to find a path out of the darkness of depression and addiction. In a tragic twist, homicide investigators now are sifting through Baker's private life, trying to piece together the sequence of events that led to the 75-year-old psychiatrist being found dead Monday morning in a Center City hotel. Homicide Capt. James Clark said an employee at the Rodeway Inn discovered Baker's naked body - with a leather belt wrapped around his neck - on the floor, next to the bed of his fifth-floor hotel room.
December 23, 2015 |
Carroll A. Weinberg, 87, a Wynnewood psychiatrist and human-rights expert, died Wednesday, Dec. 16, of cancer. Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Weinberg spent the bulk of his career in psychiatry, working with children and adults, and teaching at Drexel University's College of Medicine. Locally, he practiced at the Philadelphia General Hospital and at Hahnemann University Hospital. Professionally, he explored the psychology of suicide terrorism, torture, and ethnic conflict; personally, he was deeply interested in civic affairs and the arts.