History of Mental Illness and Treatment Ancient Theories Widespread belief in supernatural and magical forces as cause of mental illness



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History of Mental Illness and Treatment


Ancient Theories

  • Widespread belief in supernatural and magical forces as cause of mental illness

  • Trephination

    • Cutting a hole in the skull
    • to remove pressure
    • Evidence that people
    • considered illness organic


Ancient Greece

  • Hippocrates

    • Looked to the brain as the explanation of our behavior
      • Egyptians had thought the heart was the core of mental life
    • Studied epilepsy, depression, psychosis, irrational fears, and hysteria.
    • Therapeutic techniques emphasized:
      • Rest, bathing, dieting
    • Hippocratic Oath – taken by doctors
    • when they graduate from medical
    • school


Middle Ages  Renaissance

  • During a time dominated by the Catholic Church, superstitious beliefs in devils and demons were very strong.

    • At the same time, Church charities often provided care for the mentally ill.
  • Idiot – inborn illness

  • Lunatic – mental disabilities

  • not from birth



Enlightenment (Age of Reason)

  • Reason and the scientific method finally replaced superstition as primary way of understanding the world.

    • Anton Mesmer
      • invention of hypnosis


Late 1700s – 1800s

  • While research and treatment continued, society placed an emphasis on removal of the mentally ill, which gave rise to insane asylums.

  • Bedlam Hospital – after an investigation into the “madhouses of England,” Bedlam became the prototype of the injustices

  • of mental hospitals.





Restraints

  • “Straight Jacket”



Restraints



Emerging Treatments

  • Rocking Chair Therapy



Reform Movement

  • Philippe Pinel – Moral Treatment

    • Kind treatment
    • -minimum or restraint
  • Benjamin Rush

  • Dorothea Dix

    • Civil War nurse, campaigned
    • against poor treatment of the
    • mentally ill, especially restraints.


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