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The History of the Treatment of Mental Illness:

The History of the Treatment of Mental Illness Brogan Stegner 10/13/14

Early Man:

Early Man The history of mental illness is found a subject of interest in as early as 5000 BCE. Early man believed mental illness was caused by supernatural phenomena, demonic possession or an angry deity. Trephining or trepanning was a brutal treatment that first occurred in Neolithic times. The brutal treatment was performed by chipping circular holes into the skill using stone instruments.

Early Man Cont.:

Early Man Cont. Early man thought that by opening the skull, the evil spirit’s would be released through this hole. They believed the evil spirits were trapped in the brain, so when the demonic spirits could escape, their psychopathy would be cured. I found it interesting that this type of treatment resembled the Lobotomy, and also that they had the source of mental illness correct. Other historic beliefs about mental illness were based on spirituality and that the person was ill as a whole due to certain beliefs the given population held.

Ancient Egyptians:

Ancient Egyptians The Ancient Egyptians were on the right track when it came to the treatment of mental illness. They believed that mental illness was also caused by angry/demonic deities, but they believed in a different way of curing their people. Egyptians believed that in order to be relieved of symptoms of mental illness, one should participate in concerts, dances, painting and other recreational activities. This could have been where we first saw the idea of therapy. To achieve a sense of normalcy, the Ancient Egyptians believed in lifting the spirits to escape or avoid the symptoms of the metal illness, which is what we see a lot in different therapies used today.

Getting Closer:

Getting Closer Beliefs about mental illness and more humane treatments were being reformed and reestablished by European thinkers between the 5 th and the 3 rd centuries BCE. A Greek physician, Hippocrates was thinking more and more intently about mental illness, and denied thinking that mental illness was caused by supernatural forces. Rather, he suggested that mental illness was a naturally occurrence in the human brain. Later, Hippocrates and Roman Physician Galen put their heads together. They came up with the concept of the four essential fluids in the human body. Those were blood, phlegm, bile, and black bile. They believed that an imbalance of these fluids is what caused symptoms of mental illness.

Hippocrates/Galen:

Hippocrates/Galen Since Hippocrates and Galen had the idea of mental illness being caused by an imbalance of blood, phlegm, bile, and black bile, they had a different type of treatment. They treated patients with laxatives, bled them with leeches, and given emetics to balance these essential fluids, and bring them back to normalcy. Other techniques used to balance the fluids in the human body were Tobacco used to induce vomiting Extracting blood from forehead of tapping the cephalic and hemorroidal veins to draw the excess fluids away from the brain Creating a specific, strict diet for patients to follow.

Speed Through Time:

Speed Through Time The Lobotomy procedure has a long history, starting with a Portuguese neurologist, Antonio Egas Moniz F irst called a “leucotomy” performed by Moniz. More recently in America, psychiatrist Walter Freeman performed the transorbital lobotomy in 1946. What became a controversial procedure was performed informally, to many patients throughout mental hospitals prominently for more than two decades. The Lobotomy was a simple procedure that took only minutes using ice picks. The ice picks were lodged behind the eyes of patients, and up into the frontal lobes of the brain, and sort of stirred around.

Mental Illness Today:

Mental Illness Today Today, mental illnesses can vary drastically from their nature, to their symptoms, to their severity. “Common” Mental Illnesses Schizophrenia Bipolar disorder Other mood disorders Depression/anxiety Even eating disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental health-25% of American adults and 13% of American children are diagnosed with a metal illness each year.

Treatments Today:

Treatments Today Today, treatments of mental illness vary just as much as the disorders themselves. Different treatments may include Medications to balance the chemicals in the brain causing the symptoms, psychotherapy, group therapy, day treatment, cognitive-behavior therapies, play therapy, art therapy, or music therapy are also used. A lot of the time, different types of treatment programs are developed to suit each client specifically.

Common Treatments:

Common Treatments More specifically: Depression/anxiety is usually treated with a combination of medication (if severe enough) and psychotherapy (where a client talks to a licensed mental health care professional). For those who’s depression is extremely chronic, Electroconclusive therapy could be implemented. Children struggling with mental illness will likely participate in play therapy, which lets them communicate through self-guided, self-healing play. Hypnotherapy is where a licensed mental health care professional induces another state of consciousness upon the patient, guiding them and ultimately altering their behavior patterns or increasing their motivation, depending on the goal of the therapy.

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