Mental illness isn’t a uniquely modern phenomenon. The Ancient Greeks had observed that a period of fever sometimes cured people of other symptoms, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that fevers were induced to try to treat mental illness. Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirde English’s book For Her Own Good 150 Years of the Experts Advice to Women write about author Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s treatment for Neurasthenia. As the population grew and certain areas became more densely settled, mental illness became one of a number of social issues for which community institutions were created in order to handle the needs of such individuals collectively. Treatment of mental health patients has come a long way since the 18th century. There are some compelling written accounts of women’s experiences of undergoing treatment for mental illness in the second half of the 19th century. The care for them is primarily considered both inhumane and immoral in the face of modern-day psychiatry. An excellent example of this is the story of North America’s first public mental health hospital: the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds in … Prevailing thoughts on the etiology of mental illness and political forces played large roles in how patients were treated. One of the most widely read and loved classics, Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte portrays the character of an insane woman, Bertha Mason, giving us an insight of the prevalent attitudes towards mental illness in the Victorian era and a view of the history of mental asylums in England. The genetic influences that stand behind some types of mental illnesses, along with the physical and chemical assaults that can spark illnesses in some people, have always been part of human life. What is a mental illness? Mental patients were given better facilities, with access to sanitation, fresh air, sunny rooms, and were treated with kindness and consideration in France and England. Explain what universal theme these two stories reflect about either the time period, the treatment of women, human rights issues, or the misunderstandings of mental illness in the seventeenth century. As our understanding of the human body and mind expands, our diagnosis and treatment of those with mental illness has changed drastically. A mental illness is a disorder in the brain caused by a chemical imbalance that causes a person to function differently. Children and adolescents also receive mental health services. Part three of an ongoing series. In those days, those who had mental illness were often kept out of public view in private homes, almshouses and even jails. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that approximately half (50.6%) of children with mental disorders had received treatment for … “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Jane Eyre were both published in the 1800’s and contain a fictional account of a woman with mental illness. Mental illness has existed as long as there have been human beings. A mental illness can be caused either by an injury or through genetics. 1752. Part 2 in the series: The Treatment of Mental Illness – Middle Ages to Late 1800s. Victorian asylum photo Victorian attitudes to madness. Treatment of Mental Illness in the 1800s By: Sally Attar and Natalia Romero 2. 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