Mental Illness and Facilities

Powerful Essays
Madhouses, loony bins, insane asylums, monsters, witches, and lunatics. These are the terms that haunt both the mentally ill and the facilities that provide their treatment. The stigma of mental illness prevents persons in need of treatment from seeking help for their mental illnesses. Stigma has been reduced throughout the years due to mental health support groups and out-patient care; however, stigma is still a very prominent issue today. Stigma causes those with mental illness to feel isolated and alienated, so they may harm themselves, or be afraid to find help. Stigma puts mentally ill patients in danger. Stigma must be eliminated to keep patients safe and healthy. Researchers must dissect the roots of the stigma of mental illness to reduce the discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping of the mentally ill. There are things that can prevent this stigma, such as changes in federal policy, public co-operation, and individual advocacy.
Civilizations have tried to cure the mentally ill since prehistoric times. Often humans believed that these people were victims of possession by demons, or were witches. Researchers at Northern Illinois University noted in an online article that “archeologists have uncovered skulls with holes drilled in them dating back as far as 8,000 B.C…the holes may have been drilled into the skull as a means of releasing ‘evil spirits’ that were trapped inside the head causing abnormal behavior” (Snitchler and Harris). This surgery, referred to as trephining, is still practiced by some African ethnic groups today.
In the Middle Ages, Europeans left the mentally unstable alone unless they proved to be dangerous. In the 1600s Europeans began to isolate the mentally ill. They treated them poorly and chaine...

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