Historical and Theoretical Concepts of Mental Health and Illness 02

Historical and Theoretical Concepts of Mental Health and Illness 02

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MENTAL HEALTH/MENTAL ILLNESS:   HISTORICAL AND THEORETICAL  CONCEPTS
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Introduction The concepts of mental health and mental illness are  culturally defined.     Individuals experience both physical and  psychological responses to stress.
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Historical Overview   Early beliefs centered on mental illness in terms of  evil spirits or supernatural or magical powers that  entered the body.         The mentally ill were beaten, starved, and otherwise  tortured to  purge  the body of these  evil spirits.
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Historical Overview Some correlated mental illness with witchcraft, and  mentally ill individuals were burned at the stake. Hippocrates associated mental illness with an  irregularity in the interaction among the four  humors:  blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. During the Middle Ages, the mentally ill were  sent out to sea on sailing boats with little guidance  in search of their lost rationality.  This practice originated the term  ship of fools.
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Historical Overview During this same period, the Middle Eastern Islamic  countries began to establish special units    in  general hospitals for the mentally ill,  creating what  were likely the first asylums for the mentally ill. In colonial America, mental illness     was equated with witchcraft.     Many were burned at the stake     or put away in places where     they could do no harm to others.
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Historical Overview The first hospital in America to admit mentally ill  clients was established in Philadelphia in the mid-18 th   century. Benjamin Rush, often called the     father of American psychiatry,    was a physician at the hospital and    initiated the first humane treatment     for mentally ill individuals     in the United States.
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Historical Overview In the 19 th  century, Dorothea Dix was    successful in her lobbying for the    establishment of state hospitals for      the mentally ill.  Her goal was to ensure humane treatment for these  patients, but the population grew faster than the  system of hospitals, and the institutions became  overcrowded and understaffed.
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Historical Overview Linda Richards is considered to be
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2011 for the course NURSING 4141 taught by Professor Laske during the Fall '11 term at Temple.

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Historical and Theoretical Concepts of Mental Health and Illness 02

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