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