Ancient Times

By: Chris Anderson Psy.D.

Most people assume psychiatry started in the last 100 years or so. In reality, psychiatry and the study of mental disorders has roots going back to our earliest recorded history. In the 4th century BCE, the Greeks had manuals about mental illness. Hippocrates was of the belief that mental illness had origins in physiological abnormalities. In India, during the 3rd century BCE there was a hospital dedicated to curing mental illness.

Middle Ages

Mental health issues are a universal human condition that affects all races and religions. In the 9th century, a number of Arabian countries in the Middle East began to open a number of hospitals called bimaristans. Baghdad had the very first one to open. Awareness and efforts to treat mental health problems have been going on for a very long time throughout history.

Modern Period

In Europe during the 13th century London, England opened the Bethlem Royal Hospital which was the first asylum at the time. Over the next 400 years into the 17th-century private asylums were opening all over Europe.

Age of Enlightenment

During the 1700-1800’s attitudes and beliefs about mental illness changed dramatically. Rather just warehousing and confining patients, compassion became known to aid in the treatment and recovery of patients. Britain’s George III had documented mental illness but following his remission in 1789, the mental illness started to be viewed as a condition that could be cured.

Modern Era

Although psychiatry has been around in various forms for 2500 years, by far the most advancements have been made in the last 100 years. The governments of the United States and England started an initiative to treat mental illness in the early to mid-1800s by opening a number of state-run facilities for the mentally ill. In the early 1900’s psychiatry really began to specialize and refine itself. Emil Kraeplin helped lead the study of nerves that lead to the study of Neurology. Meanwhile, Sigmund Freud brought psychanalysis into the fold of psychiatry and realized the curative factor of talking through issues. This also led to outpatient private practice work one on one with patients.

Soon after psychopharmacology emerged as an integral part of psychiatry when Otto Loewi discovered acetylcholine, the first neurotransmitter ever discovered. When Thorazine was discovered in the early 1950s to effectively treat schizophrenia, shortly followed by Lithium as an effective treatment for bipolar disorder, the landscape of psychiatry solidified. Countless patients were deinstitutionalized and released back into the public sector after stabilizing on medications. In 1963 Kennedy passed legislation for the National Institute of Mental Health. By the 1980s neuroimaging was being used to assess mental health issues and in the last 20 years, we have seen great improvements in pharmacology with medications that work faster and with fewer side effects than their predecessors.

Maple Grove Psychiatrists

If you are looking for a specialist to help with your medication management, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule an individual consultation with one of our psychiatrists so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.

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