Saturday, March 12, 2011


       This chapter will help us to look at some of the methods used to treat abnormal behavior. Treatment of mental disorders is closely linked to theories about the causes of such disorders.

How may the historical background of the treatment of the mentally ill be traced?

1. Exorcism

         is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities  from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. The early Chinese, Egyptians, and Hebrews thought disordered behavior to be the result of possession by demons or evil spirits. The treatment was to exercise the demons by such techniques as prayer, incantation, magic, and the use of purgatives derived from herbs. If such treatment brought no improvement, more extreme measures were taken to ensure that the body would be an unpleasant dwelling place for the evil spirit. Flogging, burning, and even stoning to death were the frequent forms of ''treatment''.

          The most known individual who said to possessed by an Evil spirit is 
Anneliese Michel

2. The work of Hippocrates

            Hippocrates, a Greek physician (C. 460-337 B.C.) rejected demonology. He was the first to introduce the idea that mental disorders were the result of disturbance o body fluids. He argued of a more human treatment of the mentally ill. He, and the Greek and Roman physicians who followed him, stressed the importance of pleasant surroundings, exercise, proper diet, massage, and soothing baths, as well some less desirable methods, such as bleeding, purging, and mechanical restraints. Although there were no institutions as such for mentally ill, many individuals were cared for with great kindness by physicians in temples dedicated to the Greek and Roman gods.

      This progress did no continue. Primitive superstition and demonology revived during the Middle Ages. Many of the mentally ill were sentenced to death during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

3. The work of Philippe Pinel

        In the latter part of the Middle ages, asylum were created to cope with the mentally ill who roamed the streets. In 1792, Philippe Pinel became in charge of an asylum in Paris. As an experiment, Pinel allowed the inmates to remove the chains that restrained them. When released from restraint, they were placed in clean and sunny room. Pinel's experiment was a success.

4. The work of Clifford Beers

         In the early 1900s, the general public had still no understanding of mental illness. They viewed mental hospital and their inmates with fear and horror. It was through the efforts of Clifford Beers that the education of the public in the principles of mental health began. Beers developed a manic-depressive psychosis and was hospitalized in several private and state hospital for three years.

He experienced overcrowded wards, poor food, unsympathetic and sadistic attendants which he attributed to lack of funds in the average state mental hospitals. After his recovery, Beers wrote about his experiences in a now-famous book, A Mind that Found Itself (1908). 

 This book aroused public interest in the understanding of mental illness. His Work led the public to organize the National Committee for Mental Hygiene which was joined to form the National Association for Mental Health. The mental hygiene movement led to the organization of guidance clinics and community health centers which could aid in the prevention, as well as the treatment of mental disorders.

5. Modern Facilities

 a.) Establishment of Psychiatric hospitals were superior to the average state hospitals.

b.) Hospitals are attractive, well-kept, better trained personnel.

c.) Treatment include planned daily schedules to meet patients particular needs with individual therapist, in group therapy, or occupational therapy designed to teach skills and provide relaxation. Other forms of treatment include physical recreation, and educational therapy. Patients who are well enough may work part-time in various hospital departments.

d.) Treatment in community centers.