Letter to the Editor
Choosing Terminology
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 19 page 28-28

We psychiatrists should use terms or ideas that are more descriptive so that our communications with each other and with the general public are more clearly understood. In 1970 I wrote that the term "guilty by reason of insanity" is more appropriate and realistic than the term "not guilty by reason insanity." In 1976 I wrote that "perpetrators of capital crime often have not been habilitated, so that rehabilitation for this group of criminals is highly improbable or impossible." I now suggest that a more appropriate term for some mothers (or fathers, boyfriends, or other surrogates) who harm a young child could be "postpartum aggression" rather than "postpartum depression."

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