A Glimpse into the History of Psychiatry Essay

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A Glimpse into the History of Psychiatry
Purpose: A review of the earliest practices in the treatment of mental illness.
1. Identify the earliest treatments and protocols as documented through history.
2. Understand the historical stigmas and terminology in regards to mental illness.
3. Awareness of the progression in treating the mentally ill.

The Earliest Known History of Psychiatry.
Unearthed skulls dating back to 6500 BCE have been discovered by archeologists to have large holes drilled into the sides of them. (1) The purpose of the drilling was to release the demon spirits that ruled inside these unfortunate beings. (2) The thought at the time was that strange, disruptive, or unexplainable behaviors demonstrated by individuals was a direct consequence of demons controlling the persons soul. These behaviors were seen not as a medical condition of any kind, but primarily relating to bad morals. There are Biblical references that Jesus cast out devils in those demonstrating irrational or crazed behaviors. Of course there are also Biblical reference that describe maniacal behavior that Jesus also healed and those individual were thought to simply be ill.
The term used to describe this surgical procedure is trepanning or trephination. It has also been referred to burr holing. Trepanning is hought to be the oldest surgical procedure performed that can be validated by archaeologists. (1) It is also thought to be the first attempt to reign in unruly…