We cannot change the past, yet it is vital for us to know all about our history. How does it affect our mental wellness? Aren’t we troubled why despite the developments of today’s world, we are facing more and more challenges in our daily lives? The number of medical conditions has increased, and our knowledge in dealing with and treating some of them is still limited, and experts continue to study matters that could help in the existence of humanity. Continue reading
From 275 million world population a thousand years ago, the world today has a population of about 7. 7 billion people. That is a huge jump in number, and the humankind has indeed evolved from living in dark caves to high-rise condominiums and mansions. Continue reading
“Who run the world? Girls!” These kinds of lines are familiar nowadays as women already found their voices. They cry for equality that’s why they are free to do what men can. Is this a good thing? All things have pros and cons, and only time could tell whether feminism has done more wellness to the world, or it has caused a chaotic change. Continue reading
If you were to have access to a time machine, what would you bring to the past from today? It is such an interesting question that may be subjective as we all differ in our perspective and priorities. One person may value family, the other fortune, and some may choose to love fame, but then again, the question stays. Let us see what most people would do with that chance? Continue reading
Science is not just about math and inventions because everything about it is complicated. It is a bit dicey. Sometimes, people discover and experiment on things without the possibility of getting the same result. It is like creating things and using them differently. Everything is a bit benign, and science can either be good or bad. And sometimes, individuals learn stuff from their scientific endeavor that leads them to the most erroneous conclusion and application. One better example of this madness that entirely changed the way science gets perceived is the process of lobotomy.
It was in the 21st century when a Portuguese physician Antonio Moniz introduced the process of lobotomy. For a lot of people in his era, the whole thing about lobotomy is remarkable and effective in treating different types of mental conditions. After winning a Nobel Prize, surgeons, neuroscientists, and physicians across the world welcomed and began adopting its method and continue administering it to mentally ill patients. However, lobotomy might have been the best way to treat mental illness at that time, but the truth doesn’t lie. Irrevocably, it is destructive and far worse than inhumane. And yet, Moniz received a Nobel Prize in the history of medicine for the destructive mental health approach.
How It All Started
What made lobotomy controversial way back was its few knowledge and studies that do not support strong evidence when it comes to brain functions. At that time, the process only relies on a few scenarios and records of few brain injuries. It does not hold a foundation of specifically knowing what is happening in the human brain. But not until the case of Phineas Gage come in hand. He was a railroad worker that experienced an accidental explosion where a railroad spike got stuck in his head. The spike stabbed in Phineas frontal lobe, but amazingly, he survived. However, after a few months of recovery, people noticed the changes in his personality. His friends and family then complain about him becoming mean and aggressive. That is because the part of his frontal lobe that damaged by the spike is the orbitofrontal cortex. It is the one responsible for handling and controlling emotions.
Before it gets called as lobotomy, it was John Fulton who began the process of cutting out chimpanzees’ section of brains to know how it will affect their behavior. It was then when he noticed that the chimps began exhibiting inappropriate behavior right after he took their frontal lobe. When he found out that his methods were similar to Phineas case, Fulton then presented his findings at the 1935 London 2nd Annual International Neurological Conference. And in that conference was Antonio Egas Moniz.
Moniz got interested in Fulton’s research. He then thought of it as a fundamental basis to his unsupported theory that mental conditions were caused by malfunctioning brain cells in the frontal cortex. That is where Moniz proposed the procedure, based on Fulton’s work, in the aim to know and destroy the malfunctioning brain cells. But damages began when he perform lobotomy to several patients. Yes, most of the patients appear not to display any more symptoms of mental illness. However, these people began to feel emotionless. Permanently, in the attempt of removing the cause of mental illness by drilling out skulls and brain, lobotomy was unintentionally removing what made the patients’ human.
Throughout all the changes and acknowledgment of different treatments for mental illness, the period where different types of treatment emerged. The 20th Century became an era of hopes and possibilities. It is the time where mental illness became less than a taboo and more of public concern. With that, people’s approach began to change, as well.
20th Century (A Promising Era)
A lot of people that are ill for or less more than a year appear cured because they followed self-care instructions and community therapy in asylums. The success of these people’s recovery made it possible for more asylums to pop up all over different countries, especially in Europe and the US. The experts became open to possibilities and options, so they attempted to experiment methods. These include hypnotism, talk therapy, as well as psychoanalysis.
Along with the rampant growth of classified insane people, the first effort to conduct a surgical treatment also became an option. It was lobotomy. It received a high level of appreciation and acknowledgment in history. However, after the detrimental effect of the procedure began to emerge, lobotomy was dishonored all over the country. And eventually, around the world.
In return of veterans from World War II, these individuals received a more intensive and improved mental illness treatment. Though some experts still believe in segregation and isolation of mentally ill people, the process then gets ignored. In the course of this era, a lot of medical experts allowed patients to have freedom. They refer to them as “outpatients” who can live with their families and have a healthy life. However, the problem began when people do not acknowledge the need for necessary psychological treatment anymore. As a result, many of these patients’ condition became worse.
In this era, there had been a lot of advancement in treatments and understanding of the mental illness. However, the problem is now worse because patients seem no longer accepted in public due to their conditions. People view these less fortunate individuals as less competent. With that, mentally ill individuals started to avoid social interactions which eventually created a stigma. Almost all of them are now afraid of choosing to get better; that is why they prefer to lose it than cure it. The 21st Century is the period where mental illness receives a lot of attention. More and more mental health experts are becoming willing to help. However, it became a standard that only those who experience physical dysfunctionality should receive necessary treatments. Those people that can still control their mental state at some point are considered less of a burden.
As years pass by, mental health gets categorized in many forms. The signs and symptoms are now visible and identifiable. With that, the development of more modern treatments started to emerge. There are different types of drugs and various kinds of therapies. These include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), supportive psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and behavioral therapy, etc. These treatments prove that humans have come a long way in addressing mental illness. However, it shouldn’t stop there. There is still a lot that needs improvement, and a guarantee of getting there is possible.
With regard to the continuous acquisition of mental illness along with its appropriate treatments from Stone Age to middle age, its treatment evolution continues as well. People are getting closer to the factors that cause it as well as determining its signs and symptoms. Though achieving a concrete diagnosis is still impossible in those years, some light pushes people forward to understanding the difference between psychological imbalance and physical complications. Let’s move forward to mental illness evolution that determines its possible treatment.
Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1830)
It was in this era where higher classes of medical experts are coming in. They became known as individuals with talents and superior intelligence that can explain behavioral changes. Usually, these experts see mental illness as something that needs instructional care. Unfortunately, though there are some cases that these health experts described the condition well, they are still unaware of how and why it develops. Some instances, these people do not know how to properly treat mentally ill patients and only rely on the positive result of their brutal actions. That is why, in this era; mentally ill people are thrown away to secluded institutions and asylums.
The 19th Century began to show and address mentally ill people differently. It is where experts classified mentally ill individuals as non-functioning human beings. That is, regardless of their capability to communicate and express themselves. Asylums are popular, and it appears to be the most fundamental hospitals in this era. People believed that asylums are beneficial to the community because it removed mentally ill patients away from the public. However, treatments such as isolation, torture, and unauthorized neurological surgery become its biggest problem. That is because the definition of insanity became broad and started to include elders, people with epilepsy, and feeble-minded individuals. Therefore, it resulted in becoming a place of horror due to the inclusion of people that are never and not at all mentally ill.
End Of 19th Century
At the end of the 19th Century, people began to acknowledge the benefits of the multiple-built asylums. They began to appreciate it because it becomes a place for the mentally ill people that allow living outside isolation from hospitals and prisons. It is at this end of the Century where asylums focused on making a better world for the mentally ill people by allowing them to experience life not different from the outside world. There, the patients are encouraged to walk around freely in the garden. People get treated as individuals who are capable of completing a task such as reading, gardening, sewing, as well as playing games. Most of the asylums are treating mentally ill individuals well because they focused more on community therapy.
Since a lot of people began to understand the symptoms of mental illness, the evolution of treatment arises. That is because they managed to see growth in recovery. From there, experts became more and more sensitive in addressing behavioral patterns, so they wanted to make sure that the applied therapy process is genuinely working.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even with different cultures and beliefs, anyone can be affected by a disease or illness the same way. There is no exception to this. Although the difference is how each culture reacts to situations. Especially in mental health, some cultures support the advocacy with visits to therapists and specialists, but there are those who look the other way and deal with their emotions differently.
In America, many people are significantly afflicted by mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that there is one out of five Americans who are diagnosed with a mental health condition every year. Overall, that would make about 44 million Americans or approximately 18% of the whole population. Additionally, nearly 15% of children between 8 and 15 experience severe mental health disorder once or twice in their lives. Because of this data, perceptions and views of people have fortunately changed towards the positive nowadays, although undoubtedly stigma still endures up until today. However, psychologists and other mental health professionals agree that more and more people now see a link between mental illness and mental well-being, one’s capacity to be functional at home or work, and we perceive the world and our lives today. Perhaps this is because of the holistic care and the community-driven approaches that are being introduced around mental health.