The Royal College of Psychiatrists and Waugh/Pinfold

On the website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in a section devoted to books that have a mental health theme, Dr. Alexandra Pitman reviews The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold:

Both author and protagonist describe alcoholic hallucinosis – a relatively rare complication of prolonged alcohol abuse which involves the development of psychotic symptoms. In heavy drinkers the disorder tends to occur in the tailing-off phase of a binge rather than on stopping completely, and is characterised by auditory hallucinations, occasionally with visual components.

Also at the RCP, “Creativity and Mental Disorder,” a paper in which psychiatrist Dr. John Morgan reflects on the link between creativity and mental health. Evelyn Waugh is one of the writers considered, along with Iris Murdoch and Marcel Proust.

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2 Responses to The Royal College of Psychiatrists and Waugh/Pinfold

  1. Robert Murray Davis says:

    Old and incomplete news. Years ago EWN published a piece about Waugh’s use of drugs for sleeping–chloral hydrate? Same thing that drove D. G. Rossetti round the bend. EW was taken off that drug and put on paraldehyde, if I remember rightly, and the voices disappeared. RMD

  2. Penelope Whitworth says:

    Yes, all the biographies suggest that the voices ceased very quickly after EW ceased to take vast doses of chloral hydrate. His interest in Rossetti was, in part, due to parallels in their natures which gave Waugh empathic insights into his subject.

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