The History Of Mental Health Essay

1565 Words Apr 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Mental health is coming to awareness in recent years around the United States; however, mental health diagnoses have been present throughout human existence. Not only has mental health been in existence since human beings, but also racism has haunted minorities in negative ways. This short essay will trace the history of mental health, since 1900’s in the United States to some of the recent studies addressing minorities in mental health. Tracing the history of mental health there is an interconnection with racism, and African Americans have been victims of medical experimentations and research along with other ethnic minorities (Harrison-Ross, 2007). Researchers used African American’s stereotypes that society had of them to justify their cruelty. Furthermore, racism will be examined in which ways it is incorporated into societal policies and institutions, such as mental health. In 1851 a well-recognized doctor named Samuel Cartwright published a journal speaking about a mental disease known as “Drapetomania” (Myers, 2014, p. 1). Dr. Cartwright explained the mental diagnosis “Drapetomania as the madness of black slaves running away from their white captors” (Myers, 2014, p.1). There was even a mental diagnosis to justify the cruelty of slavery, and African American who wanted to escape the brutality they were perceived as sick. Cartwright argued how “Drapetomania” was a mind disease and slaves who ran away were unfit and incapable of doing their duties due to their mental…

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