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The name of my book is Mental Illness by Gilda Berger Mental illness is a disorder characterized by disturbances in a persons thoughts emotions or behavior The term mental illness can refer to a wide variety of disorders ranging from those that cause mild distress to those that severely impair a persons ability to function Today mental illness is considered to range from such ideas as eating disorders to personality disorders Mental illnesses have been reported as far back as to 4000-5000 years ago The reason scientists believe that mental illness has existed this long is due to anthropologists finding skulls with holes gashed in them These skulls look very similar to skulls that have had the process of trepanning performed on them The process of trepanning is simply the surgical procedure of creating a hole in the skull Scientists believe that this procedure was done in order to let out the evil spirits which doctors thought possessed the mentally ill of this time The literature of ancient Greece also contains evidence of the belief that evil spirits or demons controlled the mentally ill Not only the Greeks believed in the evil spirit theory writings from the early Babylonian Egyptian and Chinese civilizations have also shown evidence that mental illness was believed to be a possession by demons-using beatings restraint and starvation to try to drive out the evil spiritsThese beliefs somewhat cooled down as time continued to move on but once again popped up as America was starting to be formed In 1692 and 1693 the Salem witchcraft trials began At this point in time mental illness was suggested to be associated with the devil so those with mental illnesses were thought to be witches Those who were thought to be witches were given unfair trials and quick death penalties Many innocent people who simply had a mental disorder were burned at the stakebecause of the lack of knowledge about this natural disorder As
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