Weird cover pic

Deveoplment of Abnormal Psychology

  • Period: 460 BCE to 377 BCE


    An early denier, Hippocrates dismissed all spiritual or deity based causes for mental disorder. Instead he observed, recorded and concluded that mental illness is the result of natural causes and has natural treatments.
  • Period: 130 to 200


    Galen implemented much of the Hippocratic method in his own work, but contributed mostly to the anatomy of the nervous system and its effects on mental health. He determined the two aspects of psychological health are mental and physical--the latter being more important to his work.
  • Period: Dec 24, 972 to Dec 25, 800

    Establishment of First mental hospitals in Middle East

    Baghdad was the first to establish a hospital for the mentally ill followed quickly by Damascus and Aleppo. These institutions were distinguished for the kind and compassionate treatment of the psychologically disordered.
  • Period: Dec 24, 980 to Dec 25, 1037


    Persian physician who wrote the still used volume on treating the mentally ill, The Canon of Medicine. Stressed the importance of humanizing the patient and treating him or her with dignity and kindness.
  • Period: Dec 24, 1515 to

    Johann Weyer

    Weyer debunked the prevailing theories of the time concerning demons and possession as the cause for mental disorder. His biological explanations were banned by the church until the 20th Century.
  • Dec 24, 1574

    St. Mary of Bethlehem

    King Henry VIII turned the monastery into a full-fledged asylum in 1547. Bedlam, as it was called, was a model of the deplorable conditions of Western style mental institutions. Patients were mistreated, neglected, exploited and used as exhibits for the public to look upon.
  • Period: to

    Philipe Pinel

    French physician Pinel took over leadership of the mental patients at La Bitrece in Paris in 1792. He revolutionized treatment of mental patients when he removed their chains and treated them like human beings. His actions influenced others to move toward a more humanitarian approach.
  • Period: to

    Benjamin Rush

    Founder of the moral management movement which focused on the moral and spiritual maintenance in the development of treatments, research and rehabilitation.
  • The Public Hospital

    Under the guidance of Benjamin Franklin, this became the first full-time mental health facility in the United States. The conditions were every bit as dark and despairing as its counterparts in Europe and Mexico in keeping with Western tradition.
  • Period: to

    Dorothea Dix

    Founder of the mental hygiene movement whose approaches were still used through the early 1950's with little success overall. This perspective disregarded all other factors except for the physical comfort of the patient while waiting on a 'cure' to become.
  • Clifford Beers

    Yale educated and well considered by his contemporaries, Beers' expose on his own negative experiences as a mental health patient raised awareness of the state of mental health facilities and the patients therein.
  • Mary Jane Ward and others raise awareness

    Mary Jane Ward published The Snake Pit which illuminated the abominable condition of the mental health industry in America. When her book became a film, even more people became aware of these things. The National Institute of Health was also established that year, and the Hill-Burton Act in support of community health facilities was passed into Law.
  • Community Health Services Act passed

    This Act helped to establish inpatient and outpatient services and rehabilitation. In a forward thinking move, the Act also included provisions for community consultation which was intended for both patients and the public at large. Educating the public on mental health issues as well as the patients.
  • Period: to


    For the past four decades, there has been a movement towards integrating the mentally ill back into mainstream society. This idea has received mixed reviews considering prevailing attitudes and perceptions people have of the psychologically disordered. However, as time passes, attitudes are changing.