1: Introduction and History of Mental Illness
2: Classifying Psychopathology
3: Psychiatric Disorders
4: Stigma, Stereotyping, and the Mentally Ill
and History of Mental Illness
earliest explanation of what we now refer to as
psychopathology involved the possession by evil
spirits and demons. Many believed, even as
late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
that the bizarre behavior associated with mental
illness could only be an act of the devil himself.
To remedy this, many individuals suffering from
mental illness were tortured in an attempt to drive
out the demon. Most people know of the witch
trials where many women were brutally murdered due
to a false belief of possession. When the
torturous methods failed to return the person to
sanity, they were typically deemed eternally possessed
and were executed.
By the eighteenth century
we began to look at mental illness differently.
It was during this time period that "madness"
began to be seen as an illness beyond the control
of the person rather than the act of a demon.
Because of this, thousands of people confined to
dungeons of daily torture were released to asylums
where medical forms of treatment began to be investigated.
the medical model continues to be a driving force in the diagnosing and
treatment of psychopathology, although research has shown the powerful
effects that psychology has on a person's behavior, emotion, and cognitions.
This chapter will discuss the various ways mental illness is classified as
well as the effects of mental illness on the individual and society.