Mental Illness History

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The History of Mental Illness Treatment
Mental illness has been around since as early as 5000 BCE(Before Common Era) and the treatment of mental illness has been around just as long. There has always been an interest of what happens when a person's mind turns against them, and just what can be done, if anything to help or reverse this condition. Efforts to take care of mental illness date back as early as 5000 BCE as evidenced by the unearthing of trephined human skulls in locations that were residence to ancient cultures (Porter, 2002). Earliest mankind commonly believed that mental illness was the effect of supernatural or some sort of mystical phenomena such as divine or demonic possession, sorcery, or an angry god and so responded …show more content…

They were also very advanced in the areas of medicine, surgery, and the understanding of the human body. Two papyri dating as far back as the sixteenth century BCE, the Edwin Smith papyrus and the Ebers papyrus, show early handling of wounds, surgical procedures, and identifies, more than likely for the very first time, the brain as the site of mental functions. These papyri also demonstrate that, regardless of revolutionary thinking about illness, magic and spells were still used to treat sicknesses that were of mysterious origin, often believed to be the result of supernatural powers such as the devil or unhappy divine beings (Butcher 2007). Early Egyptians also agreed with the early Greeks idea that hysteria in women, today also known as Conversion Disorder, was the result of a “wandering uterus,” and thusly used fumigation of the vagina to entice the organ back into proper position (Alexander 1996). In each of these ancient civilizations, psychological illness was credited to some supernatural power, usually a unhappy god or goddess. Most illness, especially psychological illness, was believed to be …show more content…

It was not until an Australian psychiatrist J.F.J Cade introduced the psychotropic drug Lithium in 1949 that psychopharmacology actually took off. A string of successful anti-psychotic drugs were introduced in the 1950s that did not alleviate psychosis but were able to manage its symptoms. Chlorpromazine (commonly known as Thorazine) was the earliest of the anti-psychotic drugs, discovered in, France in 1952 (“Timeline”). Valium became the world’s most approved tranquilizer in the 1960s, and Prozac, introduced in 1987, became the most prescribed antidepressant (Porter

In this essay, the author

  • Explains how the treatment of mental illness dates back to 5000 bce, when trephined skulls were discovered in ancient cultures.
  • Explains that early egyptians were the most advanced-thinking in treating mental illness. they were advanced in the areas of medicine, surgery, and the understanding of the human body.
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