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Historical Perspectives Essay

1077 words - 5 pages

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

October 9, 2012
Toni Heath

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

For a number of years, multiple forms of hysteria or madness have been seen in every society and culture. Vast varieties of theories, and many myths as well as legends, have been developed to help better explain such disorders and conditions. Society’s view on what was considered to be abnormal behavior was often determined on these particular phenomenon’s, as well as paranormal forces, unstable personality, the anger of the gods, hereditary factors, the influence of the moon, and debauchery. Throughout time history has shown that theorists are ...view middle of the document...

This surgery was done by drilling or cutting a couple holes in the patients’ skull. This procedure was done because doctors felt that this was the way to release the spirits that were causing the behavior. Furthermore evidence has shown that many of the patients survived the surgery. Another process that was used was in association with animism was exorcism; it was a ritual which was carried out by the church. Exorcism is the casting out of evil spirits which are believed to be causing the persons’ disorder.
During the Roman and Greek civilizations, a more scientific approach towards mental disorders began to arise. Hippocrates a Greek philosopher who felt that most if not all diseases, which include mental disorders, are believed to be caused by imbalances of four fluids, that were felt by some to circulate throughout the entire body. Hippocrates came to the theory that an over abundance of black bile often caused one to become depressed, and an over abundance of yellow bile would cause one to become irritable or anxious. If there was an excess of blood than the theory was that it caused moodiness, also known as sanguine, extra amounts of phlegm was often the cause for indifference or lethargy. Hippocrates also felt that reestablishing a balance amongst these four fluids through behavioral changes and diet would help to stabilize health and behavior. Asclepiades on the other had did not agree with Hippocrates’ and his views on the imbalances in the bodies substances. He tended to believe that the psychological issues could due to emotional difficulties (Hansell &Damour, 2008).
There have been multiple advances in the scientific aspects of mental disorders and illness that was pretty much nonexistent around the time of the Middle Ages. During this span of time Spiritual aspects ruled everything, and individuals who suffer with psychological disorders were considered to have weak morals, or were charged with practicing forbidden practices, such as witchcraft, sorcery, and the devil worship (Hansell & Damour, 2008). These ideas are what triggered the “Witch hunts” that were common during the height of Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries, in turn accusing a vast amount of the individuals suffering from mental illness of dabbling in witchcraft. Kraepelin started using the scientific methods to help classify mental illnesses and disorders by focusing on these biological aspects and characteristics of mental issues....

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