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Essay Treating Psychological Disorders

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Treatment for psychological disorders has progressed and changed significantly throughout history. Prior to the 1900's the primary treatment consisted of exorcisms, rituals, and torture as a way to chase out the devil. This practice gave way to locking patients up in asylums with deplorable conditions, until some reforms came in the late 1700's and continued into the late 1800's. The early 1900's brought out Freud's "talking cures" that developed into further psychological therapies right alongside the biomedical therapies, such as, electroconvulsive therapy, psychopharmacology and psychosurgery.
Prior to the classifications of mental illness that began in 1883, all mentally ill patients were treated the same, whether they were violent, schizophrenic or manic depressive, it did not matter; all patients were treated as if they were possessed by the devil (Harmon 19). Treatment for possession included exorcisms and other religious rituals as well as physical torture. During the 1600's mental patients were increasingly isolated from the rest of the population in asylums. Patients in these institutions lived in deplorable conditions, often stuck in dungeons, or chained to walls. In some places, like "Bedlam" in London patients were put on display as entertainment for citizens. It was not until the late 1700's and into the late 1800's that reforms in asylums led to more humane treatment of patients. When Philippe Pinel took over Bicêtre insane asylum he insisted that "madness is not demon possession but a sickness of the mind caused by severe stresses and inhumane conditions" (Myers 601). With this in mind, Pinel negated the use of chains, shackles, torturous treatments such as bloodletting, and instead used gentleness, daily ac...


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...ts are treated humanely and receive the necessary therapies to ensure they are not a threat to themselves or to others. There hasn't been the discovery of a magical cure for those suffering from psychological disorders, but through research and dedication the treatment and control of these disorders has improved significantly and continues to do so every day.
Works Cited Page
"Brain Stimulation Therapies." NIMH RSS. N.p. n.d. web. 18 Feb. 2014.
Harmon, Daniel E. "Mental Illness: A History." The Tortured Mind: The Many Faces of Manic
Depression. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1998. 19. Print.
Myers, David G. Psychology in Modules, Ninth Edition. New York: Worth. 2010. Print.
"Psychotherapies." NIMH RSS. N.p. n.d. web. 18 Feb. 2014.
"Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness." PBS. PBS. n.d. web. 19 Feb. 2014.



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