Psychiatry and its impact on culture

Essay by swatcatHigh School, 12th grade March 2004

download word file, 9 pages 5.0


Introduction 3

History 3

Classification 3

Treatment 4

Influence on literature 4

Influence on fine arts 6

Influence on music 7

Influence on cinematography 7

Conclusion 8


Term psychiatry derived from Greek meaning ?mind healing? (psyche- soul, mind & iateria- healing). Although mentioned already in the Ancient Egypt, until the 18th century mental illness or disorder was considered as a demonic possession. Yet, it gradually came to be considered a sickness that requires treatment. Nowadays it is a branch of medicine that seriously affects culture. Many literal works, cinematographic and musical creations involve psychiatry. As well, many writers, poets, artists and composers were mentally ill or had some kind of a mental disorder. Unfortunately there is only a small number of people realizing that they come in contact with psychiatry almost every day of their lives. As for a future journalist, my goal is to inform people about this issue.


Hypocrites (460-370 BC) was treating not only somatic diseases, but psychiatric as well. He recognized psychiatric disorders as changes in the human brain. In 918 the earliest known mental hospitals were established in Baghdad and Cairo. During the Middle Ages, when new cities were established, mental patients became disturbing. Unfortunately patients came into the hands of the church and inquisition, not into the hands of doctors. As a result many of them were accused of witchcraft and sorcery, and having relations with evil spirits and were burned alive.

During the 15th and 17th century new hospitals in Western Europe were established in old jails. Its main goal was to protect citizens from mentally ill. Patients had to sleep on the floor, were chained to the walls and even hit. They did not receive any medical treatment and were not released even if healed.

Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) in...