Study Of Mind Through The Ages



The human mind and its innate workings have always been a source of fascination to humans. The earliest evidence of this interest stems from the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical papyrus dating c. 1550 BC, which cited clinical depression. Afflictions of the mind were initially considered the result of demonic possessions or the work of evil spirits. As a result the modes of treatment were equally barbaric involving procedures such as force, fright, exorcism, physical abuse, darkness, and isolation. This supernatural attitude towards the mind and behavior continued up until around 400 BC when Hippocrates laid out principles for the establishment of scientific medicine. He stressed on observation and logic and refuted the idea that supernatural phenomenon were the basis to any disease. Despite this promotion of the mind from psychic to medical science, treatment methods barely changed. It wasn’t up until the 1800s that prominent psychologists began advocating human treatment for the mentally ill. The 1800s marked the turning point for psychology. Previously considered under philosophy, psychology was established as a science on its own. Additionally, the first psychology labs, degrees, professors and even the American Psychological Association all began in the 19 th century. The 20 th century welcomed the development of methods of diagnosis and medical management of psychological states. These include the EEG for mapping brain electrical activity, the first drugs approved for the treatment of depression, psychosis and anxiety, standardized tests for gauging intelligence and capacity and many more advancements. With continued research, what started off as junk science is now well on its way to becoming the basis for human existence and development.

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