History of Mental Illness

  • The First Hospital in the Colonies to except mental patients

    This was called the Pennsylvania Hospital. Benjamin Franklin was a huge promoter of the hospital.
  • First Exclusive Mental Hospital

    In Williamsburg, Virginia the first hospital exclusively open for mentally ill patients was set up. At this time most people suffering from mental illnesses were chained in their basements and not permitted to leave. Most remained untreated and it was assumed by others that they had an immortal soul.
  • A system of treatment was devised

    Samuel Tuke created a system that could possibly lessen the effects of mental illnesses. This led people to open what was called the Friends Asylum. This Asylum followed the new system that put an emphasis on a humane and loving atmosphere although many at the time were resorting to drugs and bleeding as a tactic
  • Emil Kraepelin studies mental illness

    Mental illness is studied more scientifically as German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin distinguishes mental disorders.
  • Creation of Psychoanalytic Theory

    SIgmund Freud Published 24 volumes explaining all of his theories on personality and psychopathology. Freud believed that the human mind was structured in three divisions—the id, the ego, and the superego. The id functioned unconsciously.The superego functioned both consciously and unconsciously, demanding that the individual deny the id’s impulses and instead live a virtuous life, striving to meet society’s ideals. The ego also functioned both consciously and unconsciously and was deemed the me
  • A Mind That Found Itself

    lifford Beers publishes his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself, detailing his degrading, dehumanizing experience in a Connecticut mental institution and calling for the reform of mental health care in America.
  • Electric Shock Therapy

    In 1938 doctors run electric current through the brain -- the beginning of electro-shock therapy -- to induce the convulsions, but the process proves more successful in treating depression than schizophrenia.
  • First Lobotomy

    In Portugal, Egas Moniz performed the first lobotomy. It became a very wide spread method but many began to see the negative impact on it had on the patients.
  • First shock therapy

    Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini , two italian physicians, administered the first shock therapy and recieved some what successful results. Because of this it became a common practice that eventually led to nehative side effects for the patients.
  • National Mental Health Act

    Passed by Harry Truman, this Act created the National Institute of Mental Health and allocated government funds towards research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness.
  • anti-psychotic drugs

    A series of successful anti-psychotic drugs are introduced that do not cure psychosis but control its symptoms. The first of the anti-psychotics, the major class of drug used to treat psychosis, is discovered in France in 1952 and is named chlorpromazine
  • Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Centers Construction Act

    This was passed by Congress and it provided federal funding for the development of community-based mental health services.
  • Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963,

    strict standards were passed so that only individuals “who posed an imminent danger to themselves or someone else” could be committed to state psychiatric hospitals By the mid-1960s in the U.S., many severely mentally ill people had been moved from psychiatric institutions to local mental health homes or similar facilities.
  • The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

    This was formed to provide “support, education, advocacy, and research services for people with serious psychiatric illnesses”.
  • National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

    In pursuit of improved treatments and cures for schizophrenia and depression, it will become the largest non-government, donor-supported organization that distributes funds for brain disorder research.