by Alessandro Prian
ISBN 13: 978 1 84747 003 4
This is the author's interpretation about how life is a mixture of experiences which he refers to as a cake.
About the Author
Having a history of mental illness and being diagnosed with manic depression (which I dispute) I feel it only right that I contribute with my own ideas and I've decided to call it "The Cake Theory". This is because schizophrenia and other mental disorders have more than one contributing factor and there are a variety of ingredients needed to develop it just as there are a number of ingredients that make up a cake.
In early Egypt mental illness was believed to be caused by environmental factors like loss of status or being made destitute. The treatment involved talking about your problems and turning to religion and faith. It was acceptable to commit suicide at the time. Later the ancient Egyptians changed the theory and decided all illnesses have physical causes. They thought the heart was the root cause of mental illness.
As history progressed, the notion that the victim was to blame became the accepted norm. Explanations like evil spirits and moral decline created the stigma that is still evident today. In the 13th Century in the United Kingdom one of the first mental institutions was established. The infamous Bedlam was a place where the mentally ill were chained to walls and society conveniently forgot about their existence. Patients were later referred to as'inmates' and there was no distinction between the mentally ill and the criminally insane. Patients were crowded into dark cells sometimes sleeping five to a mattress near damp floors, firmly chained in position. There was no fresh air or light and they were regularly whipped and beaten. It's important to remember that this was a period when the Church governed and dictated society. This only strengthened the theory that the mentally ill were the work of the devil. Some of the mentally ill were even put to death.
An American colonist referred to the mentally ill as 'lunatics'. This word comes from the word lunar meaning moon because it was thought the moon had something to do with the root cause of mental illness. Methods of treatment involved submerging the patient in iced baths until they lost consciousness, induced vomiting and the notorious bleeding practice. This procedure involved cutting the patient and draining the bad blood however it usually resulted in the death of the individual.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a superb read. I especially like the comics, personal story, and history of mental illness. The latter made me aware of my roots like never before. Very interesting read.