Friday, November 29, 2013
What is the difference between the ways in which mentally ill patients are treated in the present day and how they were treated 100 years ago? Why do these differences exist?
There is a dramatic difference between the ways in which mentally ill patients are treated in the present day and how mentally ill patients were treated 100 years ago. In past years mental disorders were not fully understood, therefore effective treatments to alleviate mental illness did not exist. Why individuals suffered from mental illness was not understood as well. Therefore, with a lack of understanding, lack of empathy and compassion for mentally ill patients they suffered cruel methods of treatment, and were subjected to cruel experimental methods to alleviate their mental illness. As for the present day, treatments (therapy and medications), new research, theories, and perspectives in psychology exist to understand mental illness, to help alleviate mental illness, and empathy and compassion are shown to mentally ill patients; which in all enables mentally ill patients to function more effectively without suffering cruel treatment.
The difference between the treatment of mentally ill patients in the present day and 100 years ago exist partially because of the deinstitutionalization movement. The deinstitutionalization movement began in the 1960s, whereas patient numbers in psychiatric hospitals in the United States significantly decreased. The number of patients decreased from more than 500,000 in 1960 to more or less 150,000 in 1980 (Hansell & Damour, 2008). This movement also saw a dramatic change in conditions for hospitalized mentally ill patients. Deinstitutionalization and hospital care improvements were able to occur partially because of new psychiatric medication developments during the 1950s. These new psychiatric medications helped the majority of patients in hospital care and enabled the ability of many patients to function outside of a hospital setting (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The progression of psychology, as for the treatment of patients or clients, research, and understanding of mental disorders is the main reason why mentally ill patients receive better treatment in the present day.