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History Of Abnormal Psychology

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History of Abnormal Psychology

 Conceptualizations of abnormal psychology have changed over time according to the zeitgeist

 Etiology - study of causes

 Historically, intertwined with and

The Early Years

 Stone Age

 Early human skulls

 Early Egyptian writings

 Demonological or supernatural model

 abnormal behavior may result from or in the universe

 Spiritual possession of some kind controlled the body and the mind

 Treatment

 Trephining-releasing the demon

 Exorcism-purging the evil spirit through magic, prayer, starvation

 Frontal lobotomies/frontal lobe damage-led to dramatic personality change

Trephining

Golden Age of Greece

 Ancient Greece and origins of the medical model: more biological/scientific view

 Hysteria

 found in young women, a result of the uterus dislodging

 E.g., uterus landed at the heart  anxiety

 Greek uterus =

 Somatic symptoms, extreme emotionality, anxiety

 Treatment?

 Marriage, of course

 If no other choice, bring the uterus home

 Use of sweet-smelling flowers

Hippocrates

 Father of modern medicine

 First to describe psychopathology as a "disease," biological explanations

 Theory of humors (around 400 BC)

 imbalance of bodily humors creates abnormal beh; temperament depends on which one predominates

 Four:

 Phlegm

 Black Bile

 Blood

 Yellow Bile

 "Temperament" still used

 First personality-psychopathology connection

Middle Ages

 Medieval return to the demonological/supernatural model (late 400s - 1800s)

 fall of Rome/rise of Christianity

 rejection of more scientific ways of thinking; with rise of Christianity, religion strongly influenced thinking

 In many parts of Europe, clergy were responsible for dealing with mentally ill

Middle Ages cont. (1400s to 1600s)

 Witchcraft

 Malleus Maleficarum - "The Witches' Hammer"

 Witch-hunting manual written by two Dominican Monks

 Many mentally ill were identified as witches and inhumanely punished

 Mostly women

 This is controversial

 Animalism

 The mentally ill were like animals

 Lack of self-control

 Capable of violence

 Ability to live in miserable conditions

 Thus, should be treated like animals

 Put into asylums

 Brutal conditions

Early Asylums

 16th century on

 Development of asylums to house mentally ill

 Began as a way to remove them from society

 Often described

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