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Treatment Of The Mentally Ill Throughout History

With all the latest innovation of treating mental health today, have you ever wondered how the old age managed to survive it? Given this era, things are more convenient and somewhat accurate. There are tools and equipment that serves its significant purpose in handling diagnosis for specific conditions. But have you ever thought about mental illnesses complexity in those years where everything is just a scratch? Let’s travel back and see how mental illness treatments evolve throughout history.

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Stone Age

In the Stone Age, people believed that evil spirits bring mental illnesses. Since it is a condition where nothing seems visible at that time except for the change in habits and behavior, treating an ill person requires trepanation. It is where the drilling of holes in the patient’s skull, although his brain gets done. People at that time create the hole using a sharpened stone connected with a sturdy stick or wood. Since stone-aged people believe that the method is the only way to release the evil spirit in someone’s head, they regularly practice trepanation for every condition. That goes from headaches to seizures.

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Greek (800 BC – 146 BC)

In 800 BC, people believe that the cause of mental illness is from the wrath of God. It was as if as a punishment to those people who do not obey and follow His rules. It was then when the father of medicine, Hippocrates, introduced the concept of mental illness early on. His idea of mental conditions revolves around the imbalance senses of humor of people. It gets defined as bodily fluids such as black bile which represents the earth, yellow bile for fire, blue bile for water, and red bile for blood. Hippocrates emphasized that when a person’s humor appears imbalanced, his physical attributes, personality, and brain function get affected. Treating it that time needs bloodletting and restrains.

Romans (31 BCE – 476 CE)

Greco-Roman god, Asclepius, introduced the first distinguishing features of delusion, hallucination, and illusion at the start of 31 BCE. It was him that stressed out that mental illness seems caused by environmental factors where treating it will only require relaxing treatments. From then on, suggestions from different Greek medicine experts received importance. These include exercising the minds by making patients participate in discussions with philosophers to remove fears. There is an emphasis on observation in psychic pathology based on the patients’ nervous system. That is where the start of noticing signs of malfunctioning neurological structures.

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Middle Age (9500 AD 1500)

It is on this stage where mental illnesses were again caused by demonic possession aside from stress and hysteria. That is the reason why in the middle years of the Roman era, the treatments for mental conditions include hearing mass, exorcism, and drinking of cold water. People believed that these methods would make the demon uncomfortable that it will then leave the patients’ body immediately.

Following history, it appears that mental illnesses already exist. However, treatments vary depending on the beliefs and traditions that people have on that day forward.

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