Psychiatry Vs Religion

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. .Significant advancement in the obtaining of knowledge about mental illnesses has greatly improved doctors’ abilities to make sure they are diagnosing the correct disease as well as their ability to come up with treatment options varying from person-to-person rather than treatments that follow the “one type fits all” concept. This new knowledge has led people to believe that these disorders are not resulting from a sin but instead are due to physiological and environmental problems. These developments led to better lives for individuals struggling with various diseases, and may result in a cure, as society hopes. Thus, as the world is starting to learn more about mental illness, it has allowed us to gain a greater picture on why mental illnesses…show more content…
Nevertheless, the major connection between religion and psychiatry evolved when the church began emphasizing the care of the sick (Boehnlein 13). The increase in attention on medicine and healthcare in the church allowed for expansion of knowledge as well as resources used to help heal various illnesses. Christianity was the powerhouse of medicine, maintaining, and monopolizing the medical field (Boehnlein 14). This monopoly allowed for the expansion of knowledge as well as strengthened the argument that connected God with medicine and health. As a result, religion has encouraged major expansion in the world of medicine. Throughout history, religion and medicine coexisted as a way to justify any illness by saying it was a punishment from God. Katherine Darton solidifies this statement when she states in her article, “Notes of the History of Mental Health Care,” that during prehistoric times, there was no separation between magic, religion, and medicine (Darton). The lack of separation between these various areas was the result of a lack of knowledge about science, and it resulted in many people left untreated or treated…show more content…
Weyer was the first to point out that the women accused of being witches, in fact, were suffering from a mental illness rather than being taken over by the devil (Norman). Weyer supported his claim by using many of his previous cases, containing purely psychological treatment; he further proved his point to skeptical doctors by showing the effects that some hallucinogenic medications could have on people, contributing to the aspects associated with witchcraft. Weyer’s ability to prove that illnesses beyond sight were still important to treat, contributed greatly to the advancement in knowledge of mental illnesses. Though Weyer still believed that the Devil and demons had power over people, he argued that the power was not as strong as people had believed it to be (Norman). Weyer’s ability to show the psychological effects of various conditions proved that it is possible to be a Christian person, while maintaining scientific reasoning for mental illnesses. Weyer’s contribution to the science behind mental illness helped in beginning the treatment of mental illness. The development of knowledge surrounding the ideas of mental illness helped to separate the ideas of religion from the newer and more scientific
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