Essay on An Awareness Of Mental Illness

938 Words Aug 3rd, 2014 4 Pages
An awareness of mental illness or madness has been around for thousands of years and it can be traced back as far as 500 BCE. At that time it was believed that mental disorders had demonic or magical roots and were blamed on supernatural forces. This view was still thought to be true until the 1800. Asylums set up to treat sufferers became more prominent and the treatment of mental illnesses was on the rise. The motive behind the creation of asylums was questionable and treatment varied depending on class and gender. The way mental disorders were viewed made all the difference to the treatment people received and in classifying the mad.
If an individual that refused to conform to societal expectations or participated in activities that were not considered appropriate was perceived as mad. If one’s behaviour didn’t fit into the narrow spectrum of proper conduct they would be shunned and quite often locked away in prison like institutions. During the 18th century England was a country that was highly religion orientated and madness was “understood as divine or demonic possession" People didn’t think of it as a disorder that affected a person’s actions and behaviour but believed it was linked to either God or the Devil. As a result, mental illness or insanity as it was known was attributed to the sins committed and the will of God: “Christianity denied it was the essence of man” because of this way of thinking more religious and magical remedies were used to try to repel…

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