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Treatment of the Mentally Disabled From 1900 to today

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Michelle He

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of Treatment of the Mentally Disabled From 1900 to today

Treatment of the Mentally Disabled From 1900 to Today
Of Mice and Men Research Project
During the early 1900's, society viewed mental illness as a disease of individual weakness or a spiritual disease.
Those that were mentally impaired were considered "lunatics" and were grouped into two categories: mania and melancholy.
Mentally ill patients were sent to asylums, and were tortured as a form of treatment.
Treatment of the Mentally Disabled
Early treatments included using wrist and ankle restraints, submerging patients in ice water baths, shock machines, straightjackets, electro-convulsive therapy, and even branding patients, as well as lobotomy and "bleeding practice."
Around the turn of the 19th century, Europeans introduced a new approach to the treatment of the mentally ill, known as "Moral Management."
In the mid-1900's, the discovery of psychological and drug methods succeeded greatly as a form of treatment and decreased the number of patients in asylums.

Psychiatrists of this era practiced "moral treatment," a more humane approach of quieting mental turmoil. This replaced the harsh and often cruel treatment from before.
How the Treatment of the Mentally Ill and Society's View Changed Throughout the Years
In the 1900's, people thought the mentally ill were disgraces and many were thrown into prison because the society wanted to discriminate. The forms of treatment were, in reality, torture.
Toward the mid-1900's, people began to become more compassionate toward the mentally ill and created better ways of treatment for them that were more gentle. Society gave the mentally disabled a more comforting environment to live, as they believed the human mind could be cured by the surroundings that look like home.
During the 1940's and 50's, chemists began to experiment with different powders and pills that could calm the imbalances within the brain and deliver relief to the mentally ill. The chemists would use these as chemical restraints, instead of physical ones, in hopes that people would behave better and no institutionalization would be necessary.
Fun Facts
In the 1920's, Clifford Beers wrote a book called "A Mind That Found Itself," which talked about how mentally ill people were treated in institutions. The ideas from his book began the roots of the National Mental Health Assosciation, which was created in 1949.
Mental illnesses strike individuals in the prime of their lives, usually during adolescence and young adulthood. The young and the old are especially vulnerable.
Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
Before the development of psychiatric drugs, the most common forms of treatment were electroconvulsive therapy, insulin coma therapy, and lobotomies.
Summary
In the 1950's and 60's, a wave of deinstitutionalization began. Many patients were moved from psychiatric hospitals to less restrictive settings in hopes of curing them. This movement also triggered the development of antipsychotic drugs to make a patient's life outside an institute more managable. In the period of 30 years, the number of patients in institutes dropped from 560,000 in the 1950's to 130,000 in 1980.
Today, for those who are mentally disabled, we now have gentler treatments. Many mental conditions can be effectively treated by medications, psychotherapy, group therapy, day treatment or partial hospital treatment, or specific therapies, for example, cognitive-behavior therapy and behavior modification.
Works Cited
How Society Viewed Mentally Ill People (1900's)
Source 1:
"The History of Mental Illness."
The History of Mental Illness.
Kathi Stringer and Respective Authors. Web. 2 Sept. 2014
http://www.toddlertime.com/advocacy/hospitals/Asylum/history-asylum.htm

Source 2:
"History of Mental Health Treatment."
History of Mental Health Treatment.
Foundations Recovery Network. Web. 2 Sept 2014
http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/

Source 3:
"Understanding of Mental Illness Since the 1900s."
Study Mode.
StudyMode.com. 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 Sept. 2014.
http://www.studymode.com/essays/Understanding-Of-Mental-Illness-Since-The-183496.html

Image 1:
"The History of Mental Illness."
The History of Mental Illness.
Kathi Stringer and Respective Authors. Web. 2 Sept. 2014 http://www.toddlertime.com/advocacy/hospitals/Asylum/history-asylum.htm http://www.psychodyssey.net/?page_id=2193

I
mage 2:
"Occupational Therapy."
Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 2 Sept 2014.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_therapy

Image 3:
"History of Mental Health Treatment."
History of Mental Health Treatment.
Foundations Recovery Network. Web. 2 Sept 2014 http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/

Image 4:
"The Mind That Found Itself."
PsychOdesseyNet.
WordPress. 11 Jul 2014. Web. 2 Sept. 2014.
http://www.psychodyssey.net/?page_id=2193

How the Treatment of the Mentally Ill and Society's View Changed Throughout the Years Continued...

In conclusion, the society's view of mentally ill people and their treatment for them has changed greatly throughout the years. In the early 1900's, they were looked at as useless, disgraces to society's reputation, and were considered "lunatics." Many were thrown into asylums. because of their "abnormalities." Early forms of treatment were acts of torture, and in the long run, didn't help cure any of the patients whatsoever. Towards the mid 1900's, more complex medications were created and used and resulted in many more patients being cured. Society also began the deinstitutionalization act and gave the mentally ill people a more comforting place to live. Nowadays, we are able to help the mentally ill to the best of our ability with a wide range of treatments, medications and therapies. They are definitely not viewed as disgraces and now have the right to be given proper help.

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