Treatment Of Mental Illness In The 1800sPresentation Transcript
Treatment of Mental Illness in the 1800s By: Sally Attar and Natalia Romero
What is a mental illness? A mental illness is a disorder in the brain caused by a chemical imbalance that causes a person to function differently. A mental illness can be caused either by an injury or through genetics. Examples of mental illnesses are schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, etc.
In the 1800s, mental illnesses were not taken very seriously
Before mental hospitals opened, a person with a mental illness was usually isolated from others and had to stay home at all times
People who had a family member with a mental illness denied the fact
In the mid-1800s, Benjamin Rush and Dorothea Dix took the first steps towards finding a treatment for the mentally ill by researching the causes
Dorothea Dix greatly affected the way people with mental illnesses were treated; she observed the way they were housed with criminals and the way they were often beaten
By the mid-1800s, the first few hospitals for the mentally ill were built and these hospitals became home for thousands of diagnosed people
At this point in time, the population believed that the mentally ill were being treated with high-quality medical support; little did they know this was only the image portrayed from outside the box
A New York World Reporter, Nellie Bly, decided one day to disguise herself as a mentally ill person in order to view the treatment from a patients point of view
According to Bly, it was over-crowded and defeated the purpose of trying to give extra attention to those in need
She decided to publicize the fact that America needed a better health care system to support the mentally ill
The routine of one’s life with a mental illness was practically the same for each individual
The person would be put into the mental hospital, where they would be given food and medication
Basically, they would stay in the same building for the rest of their lives, following the same routine each and everyday
By the late 1800s, a German scientist, Emil Kraepelin, began researching the different kinds of mental illnesses, in order to begin finding a treatment for each
The issue of mental illnesses was taken more seriously at this point in time, and it became known that a mental illness can be passed through genetics, as opposed to being caused by an injury
So how was treatment of mental illness in the 1800s?
In the early 1800s, people diagnosed with a mental illness were literally locked up at home and isolated from the outside world
By the mid-1800s, a few scientists decide to take action about the cruel way the mentally ill were treated
During the mid-1800s America also opened several hospitals for the ill; however these hospitals did not do its patients much of a favour due to the poor treatment towards the patients
By the time the late 1800s came, treatment of the mentally ill had greatly improved
However, the patients in the hospital were still not given much freedom, and had the same daily routine practically everyday for the rest of their lives
So what really changed the medical system offered for the mentally ill?
The answer to that question is simple…
In 1963, Congress passed an Act called the Community Mental Health Centers Act
After this Act, states began receiving federal and state support to offer mental health treatment
Nowadays, someone with a mental illness is treated with respect, just like every other person, because, in fact, we are all equal
Now it’s time for some questions to see how well you were really listening…
In the early 1800s, a scientist by the name of Nellie Bly began researching about mental illnesses and possible treatments. True or False?
In the mid-1800s, what was the daily routine of a typical patient with a mental illness?
Thank you for listening, we hope you learned something useful.