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Historical Treatments of Mental Disorders

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#11 status - McMurphy

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:28 PM


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#12 status - Guest

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:40 PM

Today, a good deal is known about different mental illnesses and more is always being learned. Treatments for various mental illnesses are constantly evolving. Throughout history, the mentally ill were not always treated well, and in fact there is evidence that points to inhumane treatment of people suffering from psychiatric illnesses. While many of the treatments throughout history are today considered barbaric, some of them did pave the way for research into more modern and acceptable practices. -Worst Psychiatric Treatments Throughout History: 1. Lobotomy 2. Trepanning 3. The Utica Crib 4. Insulin Coma Therapy: Rewiring the Brain 5.Mystic Rituals: Exorcism and Prayer 6.Female Hysteria Treatment





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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:43 PM

Lobotomy is a neurosurgical procedure, a form of psychosurgery, also known as a leukotomy or leucotomyfrom the Greek λευκός leukos "clear, white" and tome. It consists of cutting or scraping away most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain.


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#14 status - Ratched

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:56 PM


Beginning in the late eighteenth century “moral treatment” had become the prevalent school of treatment in the United States. Replacing the model of demonic possession, “moral treatment” hypothesized that insanity was caused by brain damage from outward influences on the soft and fragile brain.  Removing patients to an appropriate environment where they could indulge in clean, healthy living, and would be offered exercise, work, education and religious instruction, was thought to facilitate their cure. 
But the “moral treatment” method was riddled with problems.  As doctors and other hospital personnel grew frustrated by their lack of progress and a shortage of willing qualified staff, conditions often deteriorated.  Faced with overcrowded hospitals, and concerned about the rise of the spiritualist movement (which some attributed to the “moral treatment” method), many superintendents resorted to physical restraints.  By the middle part of the century, heredity also was considered a root cause of mental illness.  Many in the field believed that weak family and vices, like alcoholism and masturbation, could lead to madness.  The mentally ill were considered “genetically inferior” and eugenics and warped interpretations of Darwin’s theories suggested that mental illness could be eliminated through social engineering.  



Added to the demise of concern for the individual mentally ill person were changes in philosophy that would undermine moral treatment. By the beginning of the twentieth century both the eugenics movement and the popularity in the United States of the theories of Sigmund Freud would serve to redirect the concerns of asylum keepers. The eugenics movement held that the social fabric was threatened by the “breeding of inferior stock.” People were “insane” (and “feeble minded”) because of this inferior breeding. If authorities wanted to stop insanity the most effective thing they could do would be to segregate people in public facilities where they could not give birth to what some authorities believed would be insane children. Quite suddenly the retreat for cure was replaced by the holding facility for hereditarily inferior people. The public residential institution grew in size and number from the 1880s until the 1970s.
Around the same time as the eugenics movement, Freudian psychodynamic practice began to influence American psychiatry. As such, a new breed of psychiatrists influenced by the psycho-sexual developmental theories of Freud would have a new model of cure. Not in the environment of the rural retreat or asylum, but now on the couch in the psychiatrist’s office, patients could free associate about phobias and developmental blockages. Through personal insight guided by the psychiatrist, the patient became better. For Freud, ironically people who had unresolved developmental matters in the youngest years of life were the people who had the most severe forms of psychopathology, like schizophrenia. Because these patients were not amenable to insight therapy, they were not curable. They had best remain in the institution. The dream of moral treatment died because of a combination of overcrowded hospitals along with the advent of eugenics and Freud around the turn of the twentieth century.

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