Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mental Illness as Brain Disease: A Brief History Lesson By Thomas Szasz. Here
- quotes and comments;

'In the United States, the idea of mental illness as humoral imbalance was famously espoused by Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), the founding father of American psychiatry. Rush did not discover that certain behaviors are diseases; he decreed that they are: “Lying,” he declared, “is a corporeal disease.”

"First, as Carl Wernicke (1848-1905), a prominent nineteenth-century German neuropsychiatrist observed, “The medical treatment of [mental] patients began with the infringement of their personal freedom.” In addition, it began with “benevolent tortures,” such as frightening them by throwing them into a pit of snakes, the origin of the term “snake pit” for insane asylum."


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