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Volume 1 Chapter 6

A black and white photo of a group of people in a circle.

The Symbols of the History of Mental Illness

Past, Present, and a New Vision for the Future

Never Give up on people with Mental Illness. When “I” is Replaced by “We.”, Illness becomes Wellness. – Shannon L. Alder

A New Vision
It is only fitting that Volume I end with a chapter on the history of mental illness because history has entrusted psychology with the responsibility of creating a better world from both its academic and clinical understandings. This is particularly true for one of the most misunderstood populations in the world, individuals with mental illness. Although late to its focus on serious mental illness, psychology, with all the other mental health professions because of the current crisis in mental health care, shares a common responsibility to create a new vision for individuals with mental illness.

It is important to understand and learn from history to avoid repeating the injustices perpetrated on individuals with mental illness. But it is also important to avoid the belief that modern psychiatry and psychology have nothing to learn from the past because it is the past that might provide important lessons for the future.

The goal of this chapter is to not only to focus on a history of mistreatment but also on the visionaries that transformed mental health care. During a crisis in the United States in which the mental health system is underfunded and neglected at the federal and state levels, it is important to have hope and act from the learnings of history.

The Mountain Top
I’ve been to the Mountain Top
Saw a world where people with mental illness
Were honored and loved as neighbors, friends, co-workers, colleagues and lovers.
Valued as essential to all aspects of community life.
Excelled in the world like their historic role models:
President like Abraham Lincoln.
Great military leaders like Napoleon Bonaparte and William Sherman.
Great international leaders like Winston Churchill.

Great scientists like Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and John Nash
Great psychologists like William James
Great authors like Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest
Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath
Great artists like Michelangelo, Merisi da Caravaggio, and Vincent Van Gogh and
Edward Munch
Great musicians like Ludwig van Beethoven.
Great free thinkers like Jack Kerouac
Mentally ill finally acknowledged for their incredible historic contributions
No longer scapegoats for societal problems, exploitive politicians, and bad science.
Gratitude filled my heart for those who struggled, against great odds, to make this
Inspired, I realize my soul never leaves that Mountain Top.

Jim Broderick (2022)

Chapter Symbols

A painting of a starry night.

Fig 6.1- Starry Night

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A drawing of a head in blood.

Fig 6.2 – Tranquiller Chair

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A woman in a blue dress.

Fig 6.3 – Goddess Themis

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A person with a ship in the background.

Fig 6.4 – Social Class

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A group of people in helmets and helmets.

Fig 6.5 – Police Brutality

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A woman with a face paint and a moon above her head.

Fig 6.6 – Lunatic

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A woman in the clouds.

Fig 6.7 – Goddess Luna

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A ship in the ocean.

Fig 6.8 – Ship of Fools

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A man sitting in a room with birds flying around him.

Fig 6.9 – The Cuckoo’s Nest

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A colorful background with a brain and a woman's head.

Fig 6.10 – Beautiful Mind

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A black and white drawing of a man holding a spear.

Fig 6.11 – St. Dymphna

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A woman in a gold dress.

Fig 6.12 – Venus of Geel

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A person tied to a chair.

Fig 6.13 – Asylum Medicine

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A woman's face with a tree in front of a bookcase.

Fig 6.14 – Moral Treatment

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A face of a person with a white mask.

Fig 6.15 – Homelike Environment

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A woman's face with a metal face and a metal mask.

Fig 6.16 – Shock Treatments

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A man sitting in a chair with lightning.

Fig 6.17 – ECT Shock Therapy

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A man with a red nose.

Fig 6.18 – Lobotomies

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A super hero capsule with a superhero logo.

Fig 6.19 – Medication Revolution

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A woman in a hat holding a yellow flower.

Fig 6.20 – Bird of Paradise

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A heart with a chain and a brain.

Fig 6.21-Community Mental Health

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A man with blindfolds on his face.

Fig 6.22 – “Social Sin”

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A woman with curly hair and a child's face.

Fig 6.23-Schizophrenogenic Mother

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A woman with a mask over her mouth.

Fig 6.24 – Cassandra Myth

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