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The Painful History of Psychiatry

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Avatar for SuncicaZ
Written by   140
1 month ago

I am very interested into history of medicine. Various branches of medicine had various oscillations. That is normal, because various branches are facing various problems, and because of that development of each branch is different from develepoment of all other branches.

I already have an article about development of plastic surgery. If you are interested into that, you can see it here. In case that you are interested into development of medicine, please let me know that. That topic is very interesting to me, and I will be glad to write about some other branches of medicine.

Well, psychiatry is very special, and it had some weird periods. All other branches of medicine, were going fromt he bottom to the top. Doctors in those branches were doing just better and better things, as the time was passing. And, in psychiatry doctors were doing those weird things for a very long time.

That is because human mind is something very special and very complicated. We still do not know enough about human maind and brain. Brain and mind is not explored enough. That is why doctors in the past were thinking that various things will help. Question is whom to help? To the ill person or to the society? Well, usually to the society. Those things were supposed to stop ill person from doing things that were dangerous for the society.

And, now, let's see what they were doing.

Ancient Greece and Rome

Credit: The Atlantic

In the ancient period people were thinking that mental disorders are happening to people because Gods wanted that to happen, just what they were thinking for all other things that were happening all around of them. They did not know what is the real reason, and because of that they were trying to heal people with various religious procedures. If that was not helping, and usually it was not, because religion can not heal mental illnesses, they were punishing the ill person. Of course, with horrible corporal punishments.

Early Christianity

Credit: Inquiries

When Christianity appeared, people were using same methods to heal mental illnesses. Now, they had only one God, and they believed that the opposite of God is Devil. They believed that someone is 'crazy' because of Devil. As people are saying 'under the control of Devil'. Because of that they were healing people with exorcism. If that did not help, they were using punishments, and some people were even dying during the 'healing'.

First mental hospitals

Credits:Decades of Class; Thi is not a photo of the first mental hospital, but during one very long period they looked like this. They had those cages and similar things. This is NOT a hospital for an Islamic country.

First mental hospitals were funded during the 8th century in Baghdad and later in Cairo. In those hospitals doctors were scrutinizing patients, they were analyzing their behavior and they were trying to help them. Islamic doctors were also trying to find out what is wrong with ill people, instead of punishing them. One Persian doctor found out that there are biological and psychological reasons for mental disorders. That was the big step forward. Those doctors made some kind of a list of mental illnesses, and their lists are similar to the lists that we have nowadays.

Meanwhile in Europe

Credit: Lab Talk

And, while in the Islamic countries doctros were really, truly trying to help people who are ill, in Europe people with mental illneses are still treated like demons. They were punished, they were even killed sometimes.

Credit: Pinterest

To clear something there were mental hospitals in Europe during that time, at first in Great Britan and France, but they were similar to jails. And, we all know that jails in that period were not good at all, coldness, bugs, rats, dampness... All what you need to get sick and die.

Credit: Atlas Obscura

There was a difference. People could get out of jail, and they were trated like people. Sick people were not.

As the time was passing things were not changing. During one period, mental hospitals were something like zoos or even circuses. People were wisiting those hospitals to see ill people, to make fun out of them. Ill people were in rooms that were looking like cages. Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine going to mental hospital, to see ill people for fun? Now, you can not. Couple centuries ago, people could.

Lobotomy

Next thing that I would love to write about is lobotomy. It is one of the most popular and most used method for healing mental illnesses ever! It is a procedure where some kind of weird needles, or even wedge were put into patinet's skull, and frontal lobe was destroyed. Actually not the whole frontal lobe, sometimes just a part where it is connected to other parts of brain, and sometimes even the whole frontal lobe. We do not know, because doctors during that time did not know either. This was doing without x-ray. Doctors did not know where the needles or the wedge is.

Credits: The Talkspace Voice

One more interesting fact is that man who invented this process got the Nobel price for medicine in 1949. In the first half of 20th century someone got a prize for cutting brains of other people. Someone was taking out part of brain of other person, and got a prize for that. Became famous and appreciated because of that.

Credits: Medical Xpress

Now it is veird, disgusting, horrible, but in that period it was great! Many people looked better and some of them were even feeling better after that treatment. It was healing the aggression, but doctors in that period were not sure why are people aggressive. In some cases lobotomy was not helping. Depending on what problem was.

Credit: Noba

21st century

In 21st century we know what mental illnesses exist, we know what is causing them, and we know how to heal them. At least most of them. And, even if we do not know how to heal them and what to do, we know what we should not do.

Credits: Healthy Place

Doctors nowadays still do not know everything about mind and brain, but they are giving their best to find out more and more.

Credits: Healthy Place

What is your opinion about all this? Are you interested into this branche of medicine? What branche of medicine is your favorite one and why is that favorite to you? Would you love to read about some other branches of medicine?

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Comments

Some treatments were too cruel! It's not all about drugs, I believe that work and order and discipline play a big role in certain psychiatric cases.

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1 month ago

Some of them were making the situation even worse. Doctors were not sure about anything. They did not know where are they putting needles, they did not know why are people sick, and they were afraid,

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1 month ago

I don't know why ... but I remembered burning witches.

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1 month ago

Witches were suspectedt to do bad things to people by using spells, potions and similar, but they were also suspected that they are controlled by the Devil, but in case of witches, they sold their sould to Devil because they wanted so.

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1 month ago

Great article. It is nice when we have to read more about a topic like this. Thanks for that. Greeting

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1 month ago

Human brain is so unexplored organ in human's body! We hope procedures will be less complex and help a lot of men with problems!

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1 month ago

We still do not know much about human brain. I mean, we know, but only a vouple percents of brain and mind are explored. At least, we know that people with mental disorders need help.

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1 month ago

That dark Middle Ages, so much ignorance and so many innocent people experienced terrible suffering.

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1 month ago

People were scared, and they did not know what is happening. People are usually afraid of things that they do not understand. People sometimes rey to destroy what they do not understand.

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1 month ago

;gohn;jr

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1 month ago

Unfortunately, the only way was to try to cure all this with various attempts and observation of the results. Sad but true, too much suffering

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1 month ago

Luckily for us, we didn't have to deal with the methods of treatment that were used in the past.

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1 month ago

Treatments for many illnesses were nonsense. For example, when someone has an illness that they have not seen before, any organic ilness, they would cut the vein on the hand, and put the sick person in the position where blood can come out of patient, they believed that illness is in the blood.

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1 month ago

In the past, people were afraid of the mentally ill, so they ran away from them. They are such people to me and I mostly like to help them. God forbid anyone should end up in the hospital especially ours

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1 month ago

I am not sure about conditions in mental hospitals in countries in transition. People who are ill, no matter what kind of illness they suffer from.

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1 month ago

A very interesting timeline of the development of psychiatry. People used to experience hell. crazy shirts, cages and lobotomies are something horrible. At that time, there was a fear of people with mental illness, and a huge lack of knowledge and misunderstanding among people and doctors. Today the situation is much better, although in less developed countries there are still great prejudices against the mentally ill.

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1 month ago

There are some people, who are very aggressive because of their illness, some of them are dangerous for others, some of them are dangerous for themselves. What we need to do is to accpet them. They are the part of society, and they need help. Trough the history people were thinking that everything comes from God and Devil, and they were sure that people cannot be healed. As other sciences developed, psychiatry developed too.

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1 month ago

As time passes, medicine progresses and develops more and more, we are waiting for a cure that will make ours immortal.

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1 month ago

We will never find a medicine that will make us immportal, becaus enothing around of us is not lasting forever. Things become, are and disappear. Nothing is forever.

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1 month ago