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Since ancient times humans have tried to understand and treat mental disorders Early societies first believed that abnormal behavior was attributed to the influence of evil spirits or demons Long 2009 Dating back to the Stone Age mental disorders such as migraines convulsive attacks or seizures and other brain related symptoms were treated with stone instruments Carving a two-centimeter hole into the skull to draw out evil spirits was a brutal process called trephining Long 2009 Remarkably trephining is performed today in countries such as Africa South America and Melanesia Vogt 1998 In ancient Greece priests treated the mentally ill During this time the people viewed these priests as a combination of heads of churches psychologists and medicine men People knew a limited amount of human anatomy and physiology The father of medicine lived at this time Hippocrates He believed in the rationale for treating psychological disorders denying the supernatural and spiritual interventions used at that time for treating the mentally ill Long 2009 He saw the brain as the central organ for intellectual abilities therefore abnormal behaviors must also have its roots in the brains pathology He theorized that abnormality was attributed to an imbalance of humors human activity or liquids in the body Plato and Aristotle also believed that abnormal behavior originated within the individual not from the influence of outside forces New World Encyclopedia 2011 In the Middle Ages the treatment of abnormal behavior divided into three areas of study the biological the psychological and the paranormal Hansell Darmour 2008 Religious thought dominated the public view of abnormal behavior Psychological dysfunction was thought of as originating from the conflict between good and evil and that demons possessed the mentally ill Convicted of witchcraft the mentally ill were ostracized with religious inquisition and suffered barbaric treatment methods such as flogging and burning In the 16th century
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