Treatment Of Mentally Ill

This essay has a total of 1406 words and 7 pages.

treatment of mentally ill



Ideas have changed over years for treating and handling people who have mentally problems. One ancient theory holds that abnormal behavior can be explained by the operation of supernatural and magical forces such as devil. In socities that believe in this theory generally practise exorcism, that is the removing of evil that resides in the individual through prayer and countermagic. In some societies, a technique called trephination was used to treat mentailly ill. In this technique a sharp tool was used to make a hole in the skull in order to permit evil's spirits to escape from the body. Studies suggest that the operation was not often fatal.
In ancient Greece, abnormal behavior was orginally interpreted as punishment for offences against the gods. Therapy took place in a group of temples in which mental patients were believed to be healed by god. Centuries later, the idea that abnormal behavior was the punishment for offences against the gods was no longer accepted. The Greek physician Hippocrates believed that " the brain as the organ of consciousness, thus he thought that deviant thinking and behavior were indictions of some kind of brain pathology" ( Davison & Neale, 1998). Later, serval Greek philosophers, beginning with Socrates, held a more psychological veiw to abnormal behavior.

In mid-nineteenth-century America, the asylum was widely regarded as the symbol of an enlightened and progressive nation that no longer ignored or mistreated its insane citizens. The justification for asylums appeared self-evident: they benefited the community, the family, and the individual by offering effective psychological and medical treatment for acute cases and humane custodial care for chronic cases. In providing for the mentally ill, the state met its ethical and moral responsibilities and, at the same time, contributed to the general welfare by limiting, if not eliminating, the spread of disease and dependency (Porter, 1987; Horwitz, 1977).
Decades later, the world had chagned and so had treatment of the mentailly ill. Indutrialization brought about broader-scale communications and speedier travel. Ideas and theroes were shares more easily and services for the mentally ill grew more freqnet. Resources availabel incrased our knowledge and the image of mentally challenged patients grew even more hospiable and productive than ever. By the 1930's, many asylums were turly effective in meeting their benevolent goals.
After World War II, by contrast, the mental hospital began to be perceived as the
vestigial remnant of a bygone age. Increasingly, the emphasis was on prevention and the provision of care and treatment in the community. Indeed, the prevailing assumption was that traditional mental hospitals would disappear as community alternatives and institutions came into existence. Immediately following the end of the war, a broad coalition of psychiatric and lay activists began a campaign to transform mental health policy. The initial success came in 1946 with the enactment of the National Mental Health Act (Isaac, 1996). This novel law made the federal government an important participant in an arena traditionally reserved for the states.The passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act in late 1963 (signed into law by President John F. Kennedy just prior to his death) culminated two decades of agitation. The legislation provided federal subsidies for the construction of community mental health centers (CMHCs) that were intended to be the cornerstone of a radically new policy ((Torrey, 1992). In short, these centers were supposed to facilitate early identification of symptoms, offer preventive treatments that would both diminish the incidence of mental disorders and prevent long-term hospitalization, and provide integrated and continuous services to severely mentally ill people in the community. Ultimately, such centers would render traditional mental hospitals obsolete.
Hailed as the forerunners of a new era, CMHCs failed to live up to their promise. Admittedly, appropriations fell far below expectations because of the budgetary pressures engendered by the Vietnam War. More important, CMHCs served a population different from the one originally intended. Most centers made little effort to provide coordinated aftercare services and continuing assistance to severely and persistently mentally ill persons. They preferred to emphasize psychotherapy, an intervention especially adapted to individuals with emotional and personal problems and one that appealed to a professional constituency. Even psychiatri

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