A Short History of Psychiatry
Frederick Lyman Hills
This book presents a short and interesting history of Psychiatry.
"Among the achievements of the nineteenth century none surpass the revolution
wrought in the field of psychiatry.
Going back into the very dawn of history we find scattered references to the
treatment of madness, which was looked upon as a punishment by the gods or
ascribed to demoniacal possession... Something more rational was attempted in
Paris when by an Act of Parliament in 1660 the insane passed through two
wards, especially reserved for them in Hotel Dieu, the ward St. Louise for men
containing ten beds for four each and two small beds; the ward St. Martin for
women containing six large beds and six small ones. Treatment here was by
means of douches, cold baths, repeated bleedings, hellebore, purgatives and
antispasmodics. If there was no improvement in a few weeks they were sent to
the Petits Maisons, the Salpetriere or the Bicetre, where they were kept
clothed in rags, confined by chains, poorly fed, bedded on rotten straw, often
in cells infected with disease. As in England on holidays they were exposed to
the gaze of the public, admitted for a small fee as to a menagerie..."