Medicine has long had a love affair with history. Psychiatrists, relying almost exclusively as we do on the personal histories of our patients, may be the physicians most vulnerable to this romantic affliction. It is hard for even the strongest willed of us to resist the temptation of revisiting the past, of diagnosing away and fancying on the possible outcomes that the tools of our day would have allowed. As a telling example, I learned as an impressionable young medical student that Beethoven had been afflicted with otosclerosis. Fair enough. His disease, alas, progressed to osteopetroses by the time of my internship and aggressively morphed into chronic lead toxicity and then into late-onset paranoid psychosis by the time I became a card-carrying psychiatrist. As armchair historians, psychiatrists have tended to be long in theory but short in (or oblivious to) actual data.