Since the history of man, there have been people in all races and civilizations that have been labeled as "simpletons", "idiots" and "fools". In everyone's eyes they were to be considered unworthy of our respect as individuals, that they were less then human, without human dignity and have little worth. These people were beaten and tortured even burnt on the stake with everyone thinking this would drive out the evil or bad spirits within them. They have always been there but it took a very long time in order for the mentally ill to be treated the way they are today.
In the ancient times, the mentally ill were treated in a more private matter. Often it was believed that they were under the influence of evil spirits or demons. They would be cast out of their own communities leaving them vulnerable to wild bests, storms, starvation, and so on.
The Eskimos would send the crippled, deformed, defective, and mentally ill on ice flows in order for them to die of starvation and exposure to the weather. The Egyptians would help treat the mentally by housing them in hospitals were they could continue in activities and clothe making. The doctors would care for them by speaking to them about their problems. The Greeks also showed compassion for the mentally ill by building special temples to care for them by priest and workers. Romans were also known to treat the mentally ill with respect and kindness. A great physician known as Caelius Aurelianus, abolished beating and tying them up but encouraged the use of therapeutic baths also known as hydrotherapy for the mentally ill.
In 1547 they opened an insane asylum called St. Mary's of Bethlehem. This asylum was no better then a prison and for a fee on Sundays,