January 10, 2010
Chapter One Reflection
The main theme I found throughout the chapter is the prevalence of complexity within the determining of abnormal and normal. Even as the text was covering the past and how people dealt with it then, themes of confusion in the diagnosing process were common. Although we are much more careful these days about the diagnosing process (we know more about the disorders, the moral implications, social implications, and other factors), in the past, people assumed insanity for most behaviors they didn’t understand. This insanity could include explanations like demon possession or magic influence, but they were usually dealt with the same way: in a hostile and uncaring manner. There were brief stints of moral uprising in the mental health world in the 18th/19th century, but it never really took hold until the mid 1900’s, where the moral grounds have been kept even into present days.
I have to continuously remind myself that people in the days before modern science didn’t know as much as we do now- to me, it’s a no brainer that demon possession and witchcraft don’t have effects on people, but back then, it was the only plausible cause. Just remembering that science changes and that even a few years down the road we will find new things about mental disorders is humbling. We will probably never know everything there is to know about mental disorders, but in the mean time we can estimate the best we can and do so with a moral code and utmost care.