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PSYC*3390 Ch 2.doc

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3390
Mary Manson

Thursday, September 20, 2012 Chapter 2: Historical and Contemporary View of Abnormal Behav- iour Historical Views of Abnormal Behaviour - the earliest treatment was practiced by primitive humans, an operation called “trephin- ing” which consisted of chipping away one area of the skull with crude stone instruments until a hole was cute through the skull - this hole was thought to let out evil spirits which caused headaches Demonology, Gods, and Magic - references to abnormal behaviour in early writings show that the Chinese, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks often attributed such behaviour to a demon or god who had taken possession of a person - the primary type of treatment for demonic possession was exorcism, which included various techniques for casting an evil spirit out of an afflicted person such as magic, prayer, incantation, noisemaking and the use of horrible-tasting concoctions made from sheep’s dung and wine Hippocrates’ Early Medical Concepts - the Greek temples of healing ushered in the Golden Age of Greece where consider- able progress was made in the understanding of mental disorders - the Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of modern medicine made substantial contributions to the field - he denied that demons intervened in the development of illnesses and insisted that mental disorders had natural causes and appropriate treatments - he believed the brain was the central organ of intellectual activity and that mental dis- orders were due to brain pathology - he emphasized the importance of heredity and predisposition and pointed out that in- juries to the head could cause sensory and motor disorders - he classified mental disorders into 3 categories: mania, melancholia and phrenitis (brain fever) - the best known of the earlier paradigms for explaining personality is the doctrine of the 4 humours, the 4 elements of the material world were earth, air, fire and water which at- tributes of dryness, cold, heat and moistness Thursday, September 20, 2012 - these elements combined to form the 4 essential fluids of the body: blood, phlegm, bile and black bile - the fluids combined in different proportions with different individuals and a person’s temperament was determined by which of the humours was dominant - from this view came one of the earliest and longest-lasting typologies of human behav- iour: the sanguine, the phlegmatic, the choleric and the melancholic - Hippocrates belied that hysteria (the appearance of physical illness in the absence of organic pathology) was restricted to women and was caused by the uterus wandering to various parts of the body, pining for children, the recommendation was marriage Early Philosophical Conceptions - Plato studied both mentally disturbed individuals who had committed criminal acts and ways to deal with them - believed they were not responsible for their acts and should not receive punishment in the same way as normal persons - he viewed psychological phenomena as responses of the whole organism, reflecting its internal state and natural appetites - his ideas for treatment included a provision for “hospital” care for individuals who de- veloped beliefs that ran counter to those of the broader social order - Aristotle was a pupil or Plato and wrote extensively on mental disorders - one of his most lasting contributions to psychology are his descriptions of conscious- ness, he held the view that “thinking” as directed would eliminate pain and help attain pleasure Later Greek and Roman Thought - Hippocrates’ work was continued later by Alexandria - pleasant surroundings were considered of great therapeutic value for mental patients - physicians of this time used therapeutic measures such a diet, massage, hydrotherapy, gymnastics and education as well as less desirable practices such as bloodletting, purg- ing and mechanical restraints - Galen practiced in Rome made contributions concerning the anatomy of the nervous system using animals, he divided the causes of psychological disorders into physical and mental categories Abnormality during the Middle Ages - the first mental hospital was established in Baghdad in 792 C.E. Thursday, September 20, 2012 - in these hospitals, mentally disturbed individuals received humane treatment - during the middle ages in Europe, treatment was often by ritual or superstition, devoid of scientific thinking and humane treatment for the mentally disturbed - strides in the understanding and treatment of abnormal behaviour were difficult Mass Madness - the widespread occurrence of group behaviour disorders that were apparently cases of hysteria - whole groups of people were affected simultaneously Tarantism - a disorder that included an uncontrollable impulse to dance that was often attributed to the bite of the southern European tarantula or wolf spider, the dance was the cure to the bite and is the source of the dance we know - this dancing mania later spread to Germany and the rest of Europe where it was known as Saint Vitus dance Lycanthropy - a condition in which people believed themselves to be possessed by wolves and imitated their behaviour - today, mass hysteria is known as mass psychogenic illness and typically involves suf- ferers mistakenly attributing bodily changes or sensations to serious disease Exorcism and Witchcraft - in the middle ages, management of mentally disturbed was left to the clergy - treatment for the most part consisted of prayer, holy water, sanctified ointments, the breath or spittle of priests, the touching of relics, visits to holy places and mild forms of exorcisms - there has been a recent resurgence of superstition, exorcism is still practiced in many countries - the Roman Catholic Church in Italy cannot keep with the demand for exorcists - Canadian Archdiocese in Toronto does not have an exorcist or perform exorcisms - in the middle ages, mentally disturbed people were accused of being witches and of- ten punished and killed Toward Humanitarian Approaches - during the later part of the middle ages and the early Renaissance, scientific question- ing re-emerged, a movement emphasizing the important of specifically human interest and concerns began, the movement is referred to as “humanism” The Resurgence of Scientific Questioning in Europe - Paracelsus formulated the idea of psychic causes for mental illness and advocated treatment by “bodily magnetism” later called hypnosis Thursday, September 20, 2012 - he was convinced that the moon exerted a supernatural influence over the brain - Johann Weyer was disturbed by imprisonment, torture and burning of people accused of witchcraft that he made a careful study of the entire population - he argued that a considerable number of those imprisoned, tortured and burned for witchcraft were really sick in mind or body and great wrongs were being committed - Weyer was one of the first physicians to specialize in mental disorders, he has a repu- tation as the founder of modern psychopathology The Establishment of Early Asylums and Shrines Asylums - sanctuaries or places of refuge meant solely for the care of the mentally ill - asylums grew in number form the sixteenth century on - often referred to as “madhouses” they were not pleasant places - an asylum in London called “Bedlam” was widely known for its deplorable conditions, more violent patients were exhibited to the public for one penny a look and the more harmless inmates were forced to seek charity on the street - the first asylum in what is now Canada and the US was the Hotel Dieu of Quebec - other than here in Canada people with psychiatric disorders received little care, com- monly placed in jails, poorhouses or charity shelters - inmates in early asylums in europe and north america were treated more like beasts than human beings - the philosophy of treatment involved the belief that the patients needed to choose ra- tionality over insanity, thus techniques were aggressive, aimed at restoring a “physical balance in the body and brain” - techniques included powerful drugs, water treatments, bleeding and blistering, electric shocks, and physical restraints Humanitarian Reform - the humanitarian treatment of patients received great impetus from Philippe Pinel Pinel’s Experiment - removed chains from some of the inmates as an experiment to test his views that men- tal patients should be treated with kindness and consideration, as sick people - fortunately it was a great success, chains were removed, well-ventilated sunny rooms were provided, patients were permitted to exercise - Pinel spent hours talking to inmates, in the belief that showing understanding and con- cerns would improve their mental health - the effects were almost miraculous - noise, filth and abuse were replaced by order and peace Thursday, September 20, 2012 Tuke’s Work in England - at the same time as Pinel, Willia Tuke established the York retreat, a pleasant country house where mental patients lived, worked and rested in a kindly atmosphere - their view that kind acceptance would help mentally ill people recover sparked a growth of more human psychiatric treatment Moral Management in North America - in north american, this revolution was reflected in the work
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