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Mental Illness and the Renaissance

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Nell-Curry Boushall

on 4 March 2014

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Transcript of Mental Illness and the Renaissance

What is the
The time of a great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and ending in the 17th century, bridging the gap between the medieval and the modern world.
The Renaissance brought a chance to the mentality of the general public. While still solidly Christian, people began to consider other opinions and theories, including those that the mentally ill were not necessarily possessed by a demon.
Renaissance Treatment Options
Forms of Treatment
The Rush Chair was used to limit motion and reduce sensory stimulation. To do so, they would cover the head.
The Crib was an invention used to strap a mentally insane person into a crib, not allowing moement of any kind.
Mental Illness and the Renaissance
Poor Families
There weren't many options for a mentally ill person from a poor family. They could either go to Bedlam or Bristol, and if they chose not to go to either of those asylums, then they ended up on the streets until they were either thrown in jail or adopted by the community.
Rich Families
For a mentally ill person from a rich family, there were more humane options to be had. A physician could be hired to come in daily and handle the person, or (if the family got too tired of having to deal with them) they could send them off to a private caretaking home.
The Bedlam asylum was the first ever mental asylum. It was located in London and it was started by a religious group of people. The price for admission into the hospital was penny and the asylum made over four hundred pounds annually.
Bedlam Asylum
Views on Mental Illness in the Renaissance
Most mental illnesses at the time were looked at in fear.The public was convinced that the only cure for the people suffering with the illnesses was through strange rituals.
Bristol Lunatic Asylum
Bristol Lunatic Asylum was, by today's standards, cruel and inhumane. They used not only electroshock therapy but also padded cells. However, the asylum was actually considered progressive, because it was clean and new and it banned straitjackets.
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