American history is littered with tails of reform and revolution. Earlier on in America’s young life, revolution included war, struggle for basic human rights and dignity as well as radical tactics taken by the public. As time went on Americans learned that revolution and reform could occur through the government systems that our forefathers had put in place. The battle for human rights has all but ended but the way in which Americans wage war is a different story altogether. Now American’s fight for better public healthcare, equal rights for homosexual individuals and couples, and stricter standards for social welfare programs.
One of the societal problems that has overcome many obstacles since its entrance into the public eye is mental health care. The history of Mental Health care is both detailed and notoriously overlooked. Throughout this research paper the writer hopes to provide an accurate history of mental health care in America, make the reader aware of the flaws in the American mental health care system, and provide options to potentially find solutions.
Before the time of anti-depressants and therapists, there was little known about the mind and its effect on behavior and personality. Because little was known about the cause of behavioral problems, many cultures created explanations that suited their own purposes. As late as the seventeenth century, people suffering from mental illness were often thought of as possessed, evil, or lame. Because of the nature of mental illness and the inability to treat diseases on the mind, people who suffered from them were declared a burden on many societies and were pushed aside, banished, or even killed.
One of the first advocates of people with mental illness was a man named Benjamin Rush. He created the first American published textbook on psychiatry and made the public aware that diseases of the mind were real. Superstition was slowly being
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