Mental Illness: Development Since The 16th Century

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Madison Brown Mr. Baugh U.S. History Period 7 13 December 2015 Historical Investigation Essay Mental illnesses have developed since the 16th century in Europe, and transitioned to America later during the 1800’s. Faced with bias and harsh treatment, many patients endured the cruel life of uncivilized institutions. Through reforms, revolutionaries, such as Dorothea Dix, Sigmund Freud, and Pinel and Tuke, changed the ways in which psychiatric institutions were ran. How did psychiatric institutions affect America? Mental illness is a commonly misconstrued disorder today, and it even was back in the 16th century. Back then in Europe, people relied on churches and religious shrines to heal people (Foerschner), since nobody really understood …show more content…

Society and communities had to work together to take care of the mentally ill, but they began to be unable due to the rise of the number of the mentally ill (Shatkin). It was only in the 19th century that the mentally ill were taken care of by state asylums, which caused the amount of asylums to increase (Shatkin). As time passed, communities began to once again take care of the mentally ill, partially due to Milieu Therapy. Milieu Therapy suggested that the mentally ill should reside in communities were everybody supported the mentally ill, and the result was a decrease in use of mental institutions. However, once patients were deinstitutionalized, some communities failed to adapt to the mentally ill’s lifestyles, leaving them often homeless, without a job, and having little life skills (Dual Diagnosis). Since these former patients would often turn to crime to try and fix their troubles, doctors in this modern era try to partner with their patients and actually help them, unlike the communities that would try to push the mentally ill to the

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