By Cheryl Winning Ghinassi
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Extra resources for Anxiety (Biographies of Disease)
Priests provided suggestions for care of the soul (the beginning of psychotherapy) and sought Anxiety through the Ages: Prehistory to the 1800s 13 to engender a positive attitude toward recovery. Warm baths and daily massages were regular practices. Alcmaeon (557–491 BCE) was a follower of Pythagoras who took the study of mental functioning to a further level because of his scientiﬁc research that involved the dissection of the brain and the central nervous system. Identifying the connection between the sensory nerves and the brain, he furthered the move away from mystical explanations for aberrant behavior and mental illness.
Kraepelin believed that many mental illnesses were biologically based. He identiﬁed affective (emotional) disorders, including the milder forms of mental disorders, such as neuroses, hysteria, and fright (panic disorder). Kraepelin believed that these disorders were psychogenic in origin rather than biologically based. This page intentionally left blank 3 The Development of Modern Approaches to Anxiety Disorders EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIFIC TREATMENTS FOR ANXIETY AND ‘‘HYSTERIA’’ Dating back to ancient Greece, there has been a history of providing retreats where those who suffered from physical and mental illness could go to recover.
The ‘‘rest cure’’ was developed by Silas Weir Mitchell (1829–1914), who found that patients with neurasthenia responded well to bed rest, isolation, a milk diet with forced feeding, electrical treatment, and massage. The Weir Mitchell cure caught on like wildﬁre in Europe. Spas embraced this method of treatment, and private clinics and lodgings, called hysterical homes, were established and once again supported the notion that it was the nerves that caused mental distress. By 1900, the Weir Mitchell cure was the treatment of choice for a wide range of neurotic complaints.
Anxiety (Biographies of Disease) by Cheryl Winning Ghinassi