Monday, October 30, 2006

A history of Psychiatry -1600-1700

I have decided to post some information on the history of Psychiatry. Recently, I visited CCHR's Psychiatry - An Industry of Death Museum, which gave me a greater understanding of Psychiatrists and what they think of the human race and WHY they think that way. This museum shows the progression of psychiatry and it's views. I'd like to try to show anyone reading this blog that same progression. So, here it goes - starting with Psychiatry from 1600-1700:

Until the mid 1800s, the practice that became known as "psychiatry" was responsible only for the warehousing of the mentally disturbed. Patients were treated like animals, often confined to cages, closets and animal stalls. They were also shackled and flogged.

Psychiatrist Lee Coleman, author of
Reign of Error: Psychiatry, Authority, and Law, says the roots of psychiatry are based on control and power, "Whatever was done to make this person more manageable would be simply called a treatment. And the sad realty is that many of these so-called treatments were in essence torture."

Through the 1600s and 1700s, inmates of the infamous "Bedlam" mental asylum in London were chained, beaten, fed rotten food and subjected to regular bloodlettings. The only beneficiaries of this treatment were the asylum attendants, who made fortunes from their human warehouses and displayed their victims like circus sideshow acts to anyone willing to pay admission.

In 1684 in England, Dr. Thomas Willis authored a text on insanity, claiming: "Discipline, threats, fetters [shackles], and blows are needed...Truly nothing is more necessary and more effective for the recovery of these people than forcing them to respect and fear intimidation."

It has often been said that those who don't know the history are likely to repeat it. Lets see if Psychiatrists have. I'll be posting tidbits of history that I've been able to find every day that I can.

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