Life in death

Featured in

  • Published 20070803
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

AT THE AGE of twenty-nine, I was in my last year as a registrar in psychiatry at the University of Padua in northern Italy. As was customary in that school at the time, I was assigned – for the first time – a newly appointed registrar, four years younger than me. My role was to guide him in his clinical and research developments. A more senior staff member was in charge of supervising both of us.

In those days, the Department of Psychiatry was deeply characterised by the psychoanalytical approach, and we were strongly encouraged to make a full immersion into the theories of Freud and his followers. However, my inclination was towards other theories. From a very young age, I’d been intrigued by the mind-body interaction, and I wanted to understand how the brain (cells, nerves and the like) could be the origin of feelings and thoughts. The possibility that negative emotions, or symptoms like depression and anxiety, may provoke alterations and diseases in the body fascinated me. I hoped that my choice of psychiatry could help clarify these issues.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Diego De Leo

Diego De Leo AO is professor of psychiatry at Griffith University and doctor of science for his research activities in suicidology and psychogeriatrics. He...

More from this edition

Post mortem

FictionI REMOVED THE sheet covering the cadaver and tried not to focus on the overall appearance of the deceased. This was not quite a...


MemoirBELFAST. EARLY 1970s. I am a fourteen-year-old boy on a shopping expedition with my mother. Objective: the purchase of a new overcoat for school,...

A doctor’s notebook

MemoirThe woman from County MeathTHE WARMTH OF the Dublin day caught everyone by surprise. Through the window I could see children playing in the...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.