Mental Illnesses Are Not A Thing Of The Past

1433 Words6 Pages
S. Reilly Mental illnesses are not a thing of the past. They are also our present and future. John Q. Adams once said, “Who we are, is who we were.” That quote accurately describes mental illnesses and the mental health of humans everywhere. A mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person 's thought process, emotions, behavior, and/or their body. Mental illness causes a person distress and difficulty in functioning and can lead to atrophy. They are ingrained in the wiring of many and they override safety precautions that the brain has set in place against viruses. Mental health issues affect society in many ways, such as identification, treatment, and overall understanding; as a result of this they have been mocked and dismissed for most of history. For all of history, mankind has been has had some semblance of being aware of mental illnesses. The earliest recorded treatments of mental illnesses can be traced back to “5000 B.C.E. as evidenced by the discovery of trephined skulls in regions that were home to ancient world cultures.” Said ancient cultures widely believed the mentally ill were afflicted by supernatural causes (ex. demon possession, mystic charms, malevolent deities) which resulted with odd, yet horrific treatments employed. “Exorcisms, incantations, prayer, atonement, and other various mystical rituals were used to drive out the evil spirit. Other means attempted to appeal to the spirit with more human devices--threats, bribery,
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