The History of Mental Health

  • Period: Jan 1, 1000 to


  • Jan 1, 1001


    6500 B.C.
    People started using trephination to treat mental health problems. This is a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled, incised or scraped into the skull using simple surgical tools.
  • Jan 1, 1002


    400 B.C.
    People thought that mental disorders were caused by the displeasure of gods, but Hippocrates started treating mental diseases with psychology.
  • Jan 1, 1407

    First mentally ill hospital

    In Valencia, Spain the first place that was specifically for mentally ill people was established.
  • Isolation

    Most europeans began to isolate mentally ill people.
  • Fillippe Pinel

    Fillippe Pinel
    Fillippe Pinel took over an insane asylum and forbid the use of chains and shackles.
  • Dorthea Dix

    Dorthea Dix
    Dorothea Dix observed how horrible mentally ill people are treated and convinces the pope to examine how cruelly they are treated.
  • Emil Kraepelin

    Emil Kraepelin
    Emil Kraepelin researches mental disorders more scientifically.
  • Quarantines

    The first Federal Quarantine Act was passed.
  • Nellie Bly

    Nellie Bly
    Nellie Bly poses as a mental patient and reports how they were treated.
  • Lobotamy

    The first lobotomy was performed on a human. This is a surgical operation involving incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain.
  • Clifford Beers

    Clifford Beers
    Clifford Beers wrote an autobiography about how he was treated while he was in a mental institution.
  • Malaria- induced fever

    Malaria- induced fever
    Malaria- induced fever was discovered by Julius Wagner- Jauregg to treat neurosyphilitic paresis.
  • Insulin comas

    People began treating mental diseases by putting them in an insulin coma.
  • Ugo Cerletti

    Ugo Cerletti
    Ugo Cerletti discovered electroshock therapy.
  • The National Mental Health Act

    The National Mental Health Act was signed by Harry Truman.
  • Lithium

    Began using lithium to treat psychosis.
  • Anti-psychotic drugs

    Anti-psychotic drugs were successfully given to people to control the symptoms of psychosis.
  • A lot of patients

    This was the peak of the number of mentally ill patients in the hospitals.
  • Behavior therapy

    Behavior therapy is developed. This is the treatment of neurotic symptoms by training the patient's reactions to stimuli.
  • Thomas Szasz

    Thomas Szasz
    Thomas Szasz wrote a book about his belief that there is no such thing as schizophrenia.
  • Erving Goffman

    Erving Goffman
    Erving Goffman wrote book that states that psychotic symptoms are caused by being hospitalized.
  • Ken Kesey

    Ken Kesey wrote a book about his experience when he worked for a psychiatric ward.
  • Federal money

    Federal money was given to go towards mental hospitals.
  • Less people in mental hospitals

    The amount of people who were in mental hospitals decreases because they can live on their own with the anti-psychotic drugs.
  • Movie

    A movie was made based on Ken Kesey’s book.
  • National Alliance for the Mentally ill

    The National Alliance for the Mentally ill provided help for people with psychiatric disorders.
  • Homeless

    Mentally ill people made up about 1/3rd of homeless people.
  • National Alliance for Research

    The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression was formed. It is the largest donor-supported organization that supports research on brain and behavior disorders
  • New anti-psychtic drugs

    New anti-psychotic drugs were made to treat schizophrenia.
  • Inmates

    7.2% of inmates in American jails were seriously mentally ill.