Historical Background

  • Michael Gossop

Abstract

Abnormal forms of human behaviour have existed for as long as records have been kept, though the history of abnormal psychology is not necessarily related to that of medicine. Mora (1967) has suggested that the earliest concepts of mental disorders were probably influenced by universal beliefs in supernatural phenomena, and specifically by a belief in ancestral spirits. For this reason the first models of abnormal behaviour were generally of a religious nature, the mentally disturbed person being seen as powerful and supernormal. In such models it was usually assumed that medicine had no power over the ‘possessed’ individual, and even that it had no right to deal with such people (Zilboorg and Henry 1941).

Keywords

Phosphorus Depression Pneumonia Dementia Dementia Praecox 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Gossop
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Dependence Clinical Research and Treatment UnitThe Bethlem Royal HospitalBeckenham, KentGreat Britain

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