Childish Psychiatry Horror, 6. Peter

Stru Peter pic

Children’s hairstyles are often a source of trouble in schools, but I have only once been asked to intervene as a psychiatrist, although the boy’s hair was very long and beautifully cared for.

In the early nineteenth century Peter might have had ‘Plica Polonica’ (Polish Plait), supposed to be a disease caused by a demon which settled if the plait of neglected knotted hair full of lice eggs were allowed to grow, taking the illness with it. The condition largely disappeared in the nineteenth century when it became clear that lack of basic hair hygiene (washing, combing cutting) was the problem and rumours of a tax circulated.



Childish Psychiatry Horror, 2. Augustus


Anorexia Nervosa does occur in boys, though less often than girls and there is a high risk of mortality.

Dr Hoffmann’s Augustus (Caspar in some versions) continued with the food refusal and went downhill unusually rapidly.

Augustus dead

I think that’s his soup still waiting for him on his tomb.