Approaches to Madness and Mental Disorders

Essay by gundwing November 2006

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Madness and aspects of the mental illness had various approaches throughout modern history. In general, there had been 3 common views from the beginning of the 17 century, with different approaches to madness. These were the most popular among the many are as follows:

The madness as of supernatural origin; where religion was used to explain unacceptable or outrageous behavior. This was very common in small communities that had a strong belief in their religion.

Perhaps the most common view, mainly for urban society before the Medical view became popularized was the punitive approach, Madness as a crime. Society was highly regulated by code of conduct, especially those of high society and there was low tolerance for those who were not considered normal within the society, were to be punished and sent to goals.

The revelation of a medical approach to explain the madness and strange behaviors of individuals in society came from the work of the many pioneers in medicine, most of whom believed that growing number of diseases as a direct relation to the growing of urban areas.

Generally the enlightenment and popularization of medicine across Europe was resulted in the increase in interest by the general public on every sort of diseases known, including mental disease. This was to be what most people came to accept as the nature of madness for the fact that if gave an approach that was backed up by the educated people in society, by medical scientists, whom proved from their observations and work on this area of medicine.

The Medical approach: Madness as an illness

Ideas of madness that went against the Hippocratic belief were brought about from the time in 17th century. Charles Leposis(1563-1633) diagnosed the condition of hysteria as "not coming from the retention of the menses in the...