Textbook Notes (280,000)
CA (170,000)
UBC (3,000)
PSYC (800)
Chapter 2

PSYC 305 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Community Mental Health Service, Alienist, Jan Ingenhousz

Course Code
PSYC 305
Laura Hanson

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 12 pages of the document.
Chapter Two – Historical and Contemporary Views of Abnormal Behaviour
Historical Views of Abnormal Behaviour
Egyptian papyri dating from the 16th century BC give clues to earliest
treatments of diseases and behaviour disorders
Knew brain was the site of mental functions
Edwin Smith papyrus treated wounds
Ebers papyrus relied on magic, but also covered internal medicine and
circulatory system
Surgical techniques may have been used, but mostly prayer
Demonology, Gods, and Magic
Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews attributed abnormal behaviour
to demon or gods taking possession of a person
Sometimes spirits were evil, sometimes good – depended on the
Hebrews thought it was the punishment of god
Primary treatment was exorcism
Magic, prayer, incantation, noisemaking and bad tasting concoctions
made from sheep’s dung and wine
Hippocrates’ Early Medical Concepts
Referred to as father of modern medicine
Denied that deities and demons were at work
Believed brain was central organ and mental disorders due to brain
Emphasized importance of heredity and predisposition
Injuries to the head could cause issues
Classified mental disorders in mania, melancholia, and phrenitis (brain
Earth, air, fire, and water had attributes to heat, cold, moistness, and
dryness and the elements combined to form the four essential fluids of the
Four essential bodily fluids:
1. Blood (Sanguis)
2. Phlegm
3. Bile
4. Black Bile (melancholer)
Fluids combined and temperament determined by which dominated
Sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic
Dreams, environment, natural causes of dreams
“Delirium” first used in first century AD by Celsus

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Early Philosophical Conceptions of Consciousness
Plato studied mentally disturbed people who committed crimes, wrote that
they were not responsible for their acts and shouldn’t receive the same
punishments and normal people
Plato viewed psychological phenomena as responses of the whole
organism, reflecting its internal state and natural appetites but thought
they were in part divinely caused
Treatment involved a “hospital” for people with different beliefs and
engaged in conversations similar to psychotherapy
Aristotle, pupil of Plato, held the view that “thinking” would eliminate pain
and attain pleasure
Aristotle discussed the possibility of mental disorders being caused by
psychological factors (frustration, conflict) but decided against it
Later Greek and Roman Thought
Alexandria, Egypt became place of medical practices of a higher level with
temples dedicated to Saturn
Pleasant surroundings were considered therapeutic
Used dieting, massage, hydrotherapy, gymnastics, education and
sometimes bleeding, purging, and restraints
Asclepiades (Greek physician) developed theory of disease based on flow
of atoms through pores in the body and developed treatments like
massage, special diets, bathing, exercise, music, rest and quiet (restoring
the body)
Galen was most influential Greek physician but did not contributed much
new stuff to old findings by Hippocrates
Galen made original contributions concerning anatomy of nervous system
(human autopsies not allowed, findings were based on animals)
Galen divided psych disorders into physical and mental (some causes he
said were injuries to the head, alcohol, shock, fear, adolescence,
menstrual changes, economic reversals, and disappointment in love)
Romans used mostly pleasant techniques to make people comfortable
(characteristic of the pragmatism of Roman people) and followed principle
of contrariis contrarius (opposite by opposite, like drinking chilled wine in a
Early Views of Mental Disorders in China
One of earliest developed civilizations in which medicine and attention to
mental disorders were introduced
Based on belief in natural than supernatural causes for illness
Chung Ching was Hippocrates of China, based views on observations and
implicated organ pathologies as causes

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Spent some time believing causes were from supernatural, but not as long
as western cultures
China has been broadening their ideas over the last 50 years or so and
incorporating many ideas from western psychiatry
Views of Abnormality During the Middles Ages
First mental hospital established in Baghdad in AD 792 where patients
received humane treatment
Avicenna “The Prince of Physicians”
Author of The Canon of Medicine
Frequently referred to hysteria, manic reactions, epilepsy,
melancholia (depression)
Islamic countries
Enlightened era
In Europe, scientific inquiry was limited in comparison to period of
enlightenment in 17th and 18th centuries or Avicenna’s era
Supernatural explanations of causes of mental illness grew
Medieval institutions, social structures, and beliefs started to change a lot
Sin became less of a causal factor
Mass Madness
Mass Madness: The Widespread occurrence of group behaviour disorders
that were apparently causes of hysteria
Tarantism: Occurred in Italy in 13th century, caused impulse to dance that
was attributed to spider bite (wolf spider?), spread to Germany and rest of
Europe where it was called Saint Vitus’ Dance
Lycanthropy: People believed they were possessed by wolves
Occurred periodically up to 17th century, reached its peak in 14th and 15th
Koro: Occurred in Nigeria, men thought their genitals had disappeared
Exorcism and Witchcraft
Mentally disturbed treated with kindness during early period
Treatment was prayer, holy water, sanctified ointments, exorcism
Witches were usually poor women with a temper, not women with mental
Two types of demonically possessed people:
1. Physically: Considered mad
2. Spiritually: Considered witches
Toward Humanitarian Approaches
Latter part of the middle ages scientific reasoning reemerged and a
movement emphasizing the importance of human interests began
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version