Historical Views on Mental Illness

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  • History of Mental Illnesses
    • Ancient/Prehistoric belief
      • C. 6500BC
      • 'Madness' caused by the possession of a devil
      • Treatment: trepanation
    • Ancient Greece/Hippocrates' belief
      • Hippocrates believed that mental illness is actually a scientific phenomenon and not a punishment from the gods
        • Thought mental illness was a result of an imbalance in 4 fluids (he called humours)
      • 460BC
      • Treatment:  Thought that the 4 bodily humours needed to be balanced
        • Bloodletting (taking out blood), laxatives and diets would help balance the excess blood, phlegm and bile.
    • Enlightened Thinkers belief
      • 17th Century
      • suggested disorders resulted from emotions and stressors in the environment
      • ‘Moral treatment’ – began to treat patients more humanely. e.g. made the environment more comfortable e.g. kindness, walks, decorations on the walls, and more as patients than exhibitions.
    • Modern Day belief
      • Can categorise disorders and specialise treatment for the disorder
        • still some stigma about mental health
      • Medications such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety and therapies e.g. CBT.




Thank you for sharing this insightful article about historical views on mental illness. It's fascinating to see how perceptions and understanding of mental health have evolved over time. While we've made significant progress, it's essential to recognize that there's still work to be done in supporting individuals with mental health concerns. If you or someone you know is in need of support, consider exploring online therapy services like Calmerry. They provide a safe and convenient platform for accessing professional help. You can find out more about Calmerry here: https://us.calmerry.com

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