Snake Pits, Talking Cures and Magic Bullets

Overview

This history of mental illness reveals both the worst, and the best, of human nature. Throughout history, society's treatment of the mentally ill has been dictated by a fear of the unknown. By resistance to change. By the abuse of power. And yet there are shining examples of individuals who have risen above the throng to bring about reform. People like Phillipe Pinel, the first to risk unchaining the population of a madhouse called Bicetre, and Dorothea Dix, who fought to change asylums from virtual torture ...
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Overview

This history of mental illness reveals both the worst, and the best, of human nature. Throughout history, society's treatment of the mentally ill has been dictated by a fear of the unknown. By resistance to change. By the abuse of power. And yet there are shining examples of individuals who have risen above the throng to bring about reform. People like Phillipe Pinel, the first to risk unchaining the population of a madhouse called Bicetre, and Dorothea Dix, who fought to change asylums from virtual torture chambers to places of comfort and peace. And what of the mentally ill themselves? How have they progressed? Sophisticated technology can now identify changes in brain chemistry that indicate mental illness. Exhaustive studies of psychotherapy have proved that the "talk cures" really work. And new medicines are giving countless people peace from the rattling chains of their illnesses. The future awaits.

Looks at how the mentally ill have been treated throughout history, focusing on advances made in the 19th and 20th centuries regarding mental hospitals, medications, and social acceptance.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This fascinating book opens with the sobering fact that one out of four Americans will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Yet, many of us know little about mental illness, largely due to society's unwillingness to accept it as an illness rather than a mental defect. Well-researched and written, this book discusses the frightening history of mental illness and how society has dealt with it over the years. Using black-and-white photos, line drawings and an interesting layout, the book also discusses the promise that modern research has had by discovering the chemical imbalances that are often the root cause of many mental illnesses. The book ends on a note of hope as technology continues to improve the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. Informing students at younger ages of the potential for these diseases is an excellent strategy for promoting understanding.
—Meredith Kiger
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-From the cures of the Greek philosophers and Native American shamans to the modern-day use of Prozac and psychotherapy, this highly readable book provides an absorbing account of the treatments, conditions, horrors, and triumphs of patients across the ages. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761327042
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Series: Lerner Single Titles Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 One Out of Four 7
Chapter 2 Demons of the Ancients 15
Chapter 3 Saints and Witches 28
Chapter 4 Out of Mind, Out of Sight 46
Chapter 5 The Promise of the Asylum 65
Chapter 6 From Trance to Transference 78
Chapter 7 Behind the Walls 90
Chapter 8 The Chemical Revolution 105
Chapter 9 Unbolting the Gates 117
Chapter 10 Where Do We Go From Here? 131
Notes 144
General References 148
Online Resources 150
Chronology 151
Glossary 154
Index 156
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