Early writings reveal that many cultures, such as the Chinese, Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews believed that abnormal behavior was caused by a demon or a god, possessing one´s soul. When the behavior was appearing to have a religious significance, then people were showing respect towards that individual. On the other hand, when a person was acting against the religious teachings, a great effort was been made to clean and cure that person´s soul. The process that they were using for that was exorcism. The first physician that contributed abnormal behavior to physical and natural causes was Hippocrates. Specifically, he believed that ´´the brain was the central organ of intellectual activity and that mental disorders were due to brain pathology´´. He developed a classification of all mental illnesses, dividing them into three categories: mania, melancholia, and phrenitis. He also believed that mental health was strongly dependent on a subtle balance between ´´four essential fluids of the body´´, which were blood, phlegm, bile, and black bile. Another Greek physician that believed that psychological disorders were due to the imbalance of the body was Galen, who divided these disorders into physical and mental. During the Middle Ages, the viewpoints of mental illnesses were different among the Middle East and Europe. In the Islamic countries, mentally ill were been treated humanely, as they were embracing the scientific ideas of Greek physicians. On the other hand, in Europe people strongly believed in superstition and evil spirits and were treating the mentally ill with cruelty. For example, many people were brutally killed, as they were accused of witchcraft. However, things slowly started to shift at the beginning of the 16th century, where physicians like Paracelsus and Weyer insisted that these illnesses were not possessions, but rather, forms of disease. This slow change became more apparent when the mentally ill started to receive more humane treatments, while being kept in Asylums. Responsible for these changes were physicians/activists, such as Pinel, Rush, Tuke, and Dix, that not only changed the living conditions and treatments, but also created the basis for others scientists to understand the reasons/triggers behind these disorders. Consequently, all these changes altered the way the public was viewing the mentally ill.
Psychological appraisal or assessment is relegated to a process where clinicians with the use of ´´psychological tests, observation, and interviews´´, deploy a sum of the patient´s ´´symptoms and problems´´. Specifically, according to Wright ´´psychological assessment should be used to help answer whatever referral questions are present and to make clear and specific recommendations to help the individual being assessed function better in his/her life´´. Without the psychological appraisal, a clinician cannot comprehend the core of the problem and the reasons behind his/her behavior, and thus, unable to plan and apply the proper treatment. Assessing one´s mental illness, such as schizophrenia, would need a multifactorial approach, so as to comprehend the problem and treated accordingly. Besides, psychological treatments are extremely efficient ´´when they are matched to the patient’s problem and pathology´´. Schizophrenia is caused by many factors, such as brain abnormalities, stressful events and situations, and/or very low socioeconomic status and thus, different psychological treatments would need to take place in order to address the issue.
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