In the Middle Ages, mentally ill people were considered people of God, to whom the kingdom of heaven was opened. Madness was considered the highest manifestation of wisdom, and not a vice, and often in the literary plots of that time, it was the madman who turned out to be the bearer of truth. But over time, the perception of mentally ill people has radically changed.
The main task of psychiatric hospitals, in addition to treatment, is to isolate patients from society. This, oddly enough, is closely related to the history of a completely different disease. Since the beginning of the 15th century, the epidemic of leprosy in Europe gradually ends, as a result of which multiple leper colony is empty - special settlements where patients with leprosy were taken in attempts to stop the epidemic. They were also called "cursed villages" and they inspired people with real terror. In this regard, a certain collective image of a "leper" person who has been expelled from society and the church has developed in society. After the disappearance of leprosy, this role was assumed by other social groups - the homeless, criminals, carriers of sexually transmitted diseases, libertines and, of course, the mentally ill. Outcasts were made of them, who supposedly were supposed to remind people of divine punishment. And in order to somehow use the deserted leper colony, they began to be taken there en masse.
It turned out that the mentally ill in the eyes of society gradually became something like "heirs" of leprosy, and treated these people accordingly. After that, psychiatric hospitals began to appear in the form in which we know them now. It is believed that the first psychiatric hospital appeared in 1409 in Valencia, which was then quite developed in matters of mental health. It was called Hospital de los Pobres Inocentes.
The first such institution in England was St. Mary of Bethlehem, which later became the Bethlem Royal Hospital. Interestingly, it was from the name of this hospital that the word "bedlam" came from, which became a household name, and at first was used as a synonym for an insane asylum, and today is used to refer to disorder and confusion.
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There are many videos on YouTube about the history of Bedlam.
There is a BBC documentary on the history of psychiatric hospitals. Check it out if you are interested in this topic.
Officially: either in Elbing (1320s) or in Valencia (early 15th century). Nevertheless, there are references to special institutions at temples in Constantinople, as well as in the Middle East around the 7th-8th centuries. At the end of the Middle Ages, similar psychiatric hospitals appeared throughout Europe and represented something like a prison, to which a variety of procedures were added in the middle of the 18th century, rather reminiscent of torture - fixation to beds and chairs, immersion in cold water and other horrors.
In its modern form, psychiatric hospitals, in which they tried to at least not harm patients, appeared in the second half of the 19th century. And then, such methods took root with a creak, even in the post-war years in the USA and Western Europe, not to mention the countries where the so-called. punitive psychiatry, patients were isolated and supervised rather than treated.