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Phillippe Pinel and the Advent of the Moral Treatment of the Mentally IllThroughout history mankind has been afflicted with disease and failing health They have ranged from infections to broken bones to psychopathologies How mankind treats his weaker brethren is a true reflection of the culture in which he or she resides To treat the sick poorly denotes selfishness and egocentrism whereas to treat the ill humanely denotes gentleness and self-sacrifice Sometimes however barbaric treatment of the ill mental illness in particular is a result of ignorance The different are scorned feared made an object of amusement for their actions and beliefs They were and perhaps still are regarded as buffoons whose strange behaviour and rants are considered a novelty Apocalyptic prophets those claiming to be the new Messiah and loonies who feel that the CIA is the cause of winter are laughed at and belittled though I for one would not be laughing so hard should the Ragnarok arrive come year 2000 AD The Dark Ages especially were marked with this kind of mentality with regards to the mentally ill who were considered social misfits and were condemned in the same manner as criminals prostitutes and the like This no doubt exacerbated their health and a vicious cycle of depravity arose out of experienced depravity Even more cruel were the demonological exorcisms and witch trials that were born out of ignorance of the mentally ill While there were small advances in the treatment of the mentally ill such as Hippocrates fathering the concept of somatogenesis and Vincent de Pauls methodology of treating the depraved and lunatics it wasnt until Phillipe Pinel unchained the inmatesX at La Bicetre a large asylum in Paris that the humane treatment of the mentally ill took hold Demonology was the first and for hundreds of years the most influential rationale of mental illness Demonological thinking was apparent in Babylonia China Greek and Egypt In Babylonia there was a specific
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