Mental Institutions and Disorders: Changes in perceptions treatments
Physiological Disorders have been perceived in many ways since discovery. Dating back to Hypocrites’ time when it was believed that disorders stemmed from an imbalance of bodily fluids, to the fall of the Roman Empire when the Catholic Church became the major social and political institution throughout Europe influencing many to believe mental illness was caused by a spiritual disturbance. Things got worse when people viewed the mentally ill as mad men and used their disorders as a form of entertainment straight from the asylum. Centuries have brought change to the way we view the less fortunate in regards to mental health as well as changes to the housing and living arrangements we as a society provide. Insane Asylums underwent large transformations from being over populated to breaking off into more community-based mental health centers during the process of deinstitutionalization which has been greatly controversial.
In Ancient Greece mental illness was believed to be a medical problem. Hippocrates believed that mental disorders were caused by an imbalance of the body’s fluids or humors such as blood, bile, phlegm, and water. Too much or too little of any humor could cause mental illness. The imbalance of humors was treatable and consisted of the consumption of powdered plant roots, leaves, or other natural substances. In theory these substances would restore the bodily humors to a balanced state and a balanced body should lead to a balanced mind free from mental issues. Although Hippocrates’ theory was not entirely correct some of his ideas were the basis for today’s medical model which assumes that psychological disorders may have natural causes and should be treated as a disease. Treatment with herbs and natural substances has been replaced by pharmaceutical, psychoactive drugs, surgery, and electro-convulsive therapy.
Sometime after the fall of the Roman...