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    History of mental illness Essay

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    Specific Purpose: To inform my audience how treatment of mental illness in America has changed. Central Idea: Treatment of mental illness in America from past, to present. I What is Mental Illness? Mental illnesses are disorders of the brain that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, moods, and ability to relate to others-and if severe interferes with all aspects of daily living.

    A. The care and support of people with mental illness affects everyone in society. 1. The National Mental Health Association reports that 40 million adult Americans are affected by mental disorders2. 6. 6 million Americans are disabled by severe mental illness.

    The cost of metal health care is over $150 billion a year. B. Today I am speaking about how the treatment of Mental Illness has changed in America 1. I have worked in the mental health field sense I was 16 years old.

    2. I have seen first had the effects of past treatments of mental illness working in an immediate care facility for mentally retarded adults. 3. Unfortunately not much was known about the cause or treatment of mental illness until very recently in our history. The History of mental illness Essay can seen in 3 separate stages: the old system of State hospitals, the Invention of Thorazine and other anti-psychotics, and community integration, the current system for the mentally ill. (TRANSITION) Hopefully I can explain when and why these changes occurred today, lets begin with the State Institution IState mental Institutions open in 1800’s (Providing care for insane usually left to prisons +Families before this time) A.

    Mental illness believed to stem from brain injury, or “moral causes”. 1. Prevailing theories of insanity thought that social, political, and economic freedoms were causing insanity- severely limiting freedom outside the asylum would cure mentally ill patients. 2. Believed mentally ill could be coaxed into normal adult hood though punishment, confinement and moral training.

    B. Hospitals criticized for abuse, mistreatment , overuse of restraint, and unethical medical 1. Charges of abuse begin in 1800’s. The supernatant of central state hospital goes to Governor with concerns. 2.

    The lobotomy, electroshock, insulin shock, and other medical procedures seen as unethical, and harmful to many. (Transition) Until the 1950s States continued opening State Hospitals, to house all mental and MRDD patients. However, the invention of drugs used to treat mental illness changed the rules. Suddenly patients that seemed hopeless could be helped with medicine, and possibly function in the community.

    IIAnti-psychotics change the field of psychology. A. Throazine, other major tranquilizers developed 1952 – The French psychiatrists Jean Delay and Pierre Deniker report that Thorazine calms hospitalized chronic schizophrenic patients without causing clinically significant depression. The drug is called ‘hibernotherapie’ because patients became quiet, like animals in hibernation. 1. Medicine makes treatment of psychotic patient’s easier, decreases agitation, and hallucinations.

    2. Decreases hospital stays, and length of time spent at hospital. B. Critics charge that hospitals overmedicate with thorazine, and that conditions at state hospitals 1. Movies like one flew over the coo-coo’s nest, and many other documentary and literary works about conditions of state hospitals create public interest.

    2. State Hospitals begin to close many because of lack of funding and due to poor conditions and reports of abuse. 3. The decrease in patients in state hospitals went from just under 560,000 in 1955 to just over 130,000 in 1980, a change of more than 75 percent. (Transition) As the invention of psychiatric drugs and public interest in the treatment of the mentally ill grew, State institutions were shut down. Many patients began new lives, no longer tied to hospitals, and given freedom to take charge of their lives.

    Many other patients though, struggled controlling their illness without the 24-hour care of hospitals. A. Community public hospitals and private hospitals begin to treat mentally ill. 1. Treatment focused on getting patient back into community, and supporting themselves.

    2. Social workers, case managers, vocational rehab work together to support people who need help with family, work, or medical issues. 3. Increased study of mental illness develops new medications to treat mental illness B. Downfalls of current mental health system. 1.

    Patients often restricted due to cost of treatment and lack of insurance. 2. People who have mental illness often fall between cracks, ending up homeless, or in jail, or in nursing homes. 3. Stigmas of mental illness make community integration difficult.

    (Transition) Mental .

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