Trends in Research Regarding Psychiatry
Updated: Mar 5
The history of research regarding psychiatry is filled with many twists and turns. In order to understand what has gone on in this medical specialty, it’s imperative to be aware of the massive stigma about psychiatry. Researchers have, at times, concluded incorrectly.
Over time & with persistence, more thorough exploration into mental illness has proven successful. Influences that were previously not so obvious are now factors. Advanced research throughout history has proven that every single detail, even the smallest, seemingly meaningless details matter.
There has always been stigmas about mental illness. One cannot view the study of psychiatry without also encountering stigma attached to mental health conditions. Long ago, a common misconception was that mentally ill people were thought to have demons in their bodies that controlled their actions.
During the times of the Hebrew Bible, popular belief concerning an individual suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome was that they were possessed. Through interpreting old texts, many modern-day theologians have concluded that those previously regarded as possessed, may have just been the mentally ill.
There are those people who are hoping to fuse both theology and mental health studies. They do not want people to be dismissed as possessed or demonic in the modern age. For the most part, people get better if they get treatment.
Stigma about women concerning how they manage their hormones, childbirth, and menopause. Women who have had their personalities shift over time, have been thought to be possessed. A more recent stigma regarding women, those longing for fulfilling relationships may be thought to be sex addicts. Psychiatrists would even give women vibrators to help them release their stress without fully understanding that sexual health is a part of mental health.
Researchers have, at times, concluded incorrectly. For instance, Sigmund Freud was on the brink of many wonderful breakthroughs in his research until he was confronted by angry parents of a young client. Instead of diagnosing this patient as having a mental disorder, he concocted fake research that created what we now call the Oedipus Complex. His research has been disproven, but his legacy lives on.
Historians have found discrepancies in mental health care around the world. Throughout all colonized locations. Because of this, it seems that mental health will always have a stigma attached to it because care is not always readily available.
There was a time when those with mental illnesses were simply put into mental hospitals to waste away because their families could not deal with them. Now, thanks to persistent research, there are tons of alternative & productive options. Specialized mental health therapy is available on a case by case basis. Research has proven that treatment can in fact help to improve the life of those individuals suffering day in and day out with a mental illness.
Research has found that conditions change the way people recover. If someone who was in a mental hospital & under constant care writes of the windows in their journals often, it may be assumed that they were kept inside. The windows were their only way of experiencing the outside world.
The same could be true for people who were kept behind closed doors, who did not see sunlight, or who were kept in substandard conditions like a brick cottage or stone shack.
Research has shown that solitary confinement does not benefit prisoners, restorative discipline can be far more effective.
The conditions alone, under which people may recover can accelerate, delay, or stop their recovery.
The study of psychiatry has historical roots. It is true that people all over the world were thinking about how to treat mental illnesses a long time ago. However, that information was not held in Western Europe or anywhere else, never to escape. Rather that information was going global to reach people in Australia as it was colonized, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.
That research makes up much of what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders says about mental illness. Modern day technology has made information easier to find than ever. Long ago, only doctors and therapists knew of these advances, and they often did not share all this information with their clients. More often than not, asylums and mental hospitals were used as a form of treatment. The native populations were not given the benefit of any advances in research other than to learn that their previously-possessed love ones had a mental illness.
Therapy Is Changing
Therapy is becoming more advanced in the modern day as training for those in the Psychiatry field becomes more specialized. People can research their mental illness online endlessly. There is even a movement where people are self-diagnosing before they ever go to a therapist.
In conclusion, the field of psychiatry has grown because of tedious never-ending research about mental illnesses. This history of research in the psychiatry field has enabled the public to study their own illnesses, get quality care, and avoid asylums or mental hospitals which are no longer the default treatment for people who simply need a bit of care to manage their mental illnesses.