Mental Illness – A Brief History of Psychiatric Centers

The rise of the lunatic asylum and its gradual transformation into, and eventual replacement by, the modern psychiatric hospital, explains the rise of organized, institutional psychiatry. While there were earlier institutions that housed the ‘insane,’ the arrival at the answer of institutionalisation as the correct solution to the problem of madness was very much an event of the nineteenth century. To illustrate this with one regional example, in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century there were, perhaps, a few thousand “lunatics” housed in a variety of disparate institutions but by 1900 that figure had grown to about 100,000. That this growth should coincide with the growth of alienism, now known as psychiatry, as a medical specialism is not coincidental. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_psychiatric_institutions

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