The first mental hospital was established in 792 CE Baghdad and was soon followed by others in Aleppo and Damascus—mass establishment of asylums and institutionalization took place much later, though (Butcher 32).The mentally ill in the custody of family were widely abused and restrained, particularly in Christian Europe.
Of particular interest has been what happens when man’s mind turns against him, and what can be done, if anything at all, to reverse this tragic event.
These papyri also show that, despite innovative thinking about disease, magic and incantations were used to treat illnesses that were of unknown origin, often thought to be caused by supernatural forces such as demons or disgruntled divine beings (Butcher 28).
Ancient Egyptians also shared the early Greek belief that hysteria in women, now known as Conversion Disorder, was caused by a “wandering uterus,” and so used fumigation of the vagina to lure the organ back into proper position (Alexander 21).
Trephining (also referred to as trepanning) first occurred in Neolithic times.
During this procedure, a hole, or trephine, was chipped into the skull using crude stone instruments.