The History of Mental Illness

Michael ComerReview by Michael Comer
March 7, 2016 – Class at Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Educational Center

As we began our study of medications, Marcia took us back in history to 400 B.C. when “the Greek physician Hippocrates treats mental disorders as diseases to be understood in terms of disturbed physiology, rather than reflections of the displeasure of the gods or evidence of demonic possession, as they were often treated in Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and Roman writings. Later, Greek medical writers set out treatments for mentally ill people that include quiet, occupation, and the use of drugs such as the purgative hellebore. Family members care for most people with mental illness in ancient times.”

See timeline at

Taking the time to understand the history of medications gives us an insight into the amazing gift we have in our generation.

Medication for mental illness was first approved in America in 1970 by the name of Lithium. Before this time, individuals were placed in mental hospitals to be forgotten and abused.

Today, because of individuals dedicated to find help for the mentally ill, thousands of types of medications have been discovered.

The days of being put into mental hospitals that were ill-equipped to help their patients are now eliminated completing. I am personally thankful for medications; they have stabilized me and others and have saved our lives. I am thankful for the researchers because someone, who doesn’t even know me, worked diligently to create a medication that helped stabilize me and others. Otherwise, we’d be in a psych hospital or jail.

Present Day! A few of the many gifts we have:
Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Education
Government assistance
CIT Training (Crises-in-Training)
Medical insurance

Medications – there are 5 different types of medications for Mental Health:
Antidepressants: Example: Lexapro, Prozac, and Wellbutrin
Mood stabilizers: Example: Depakote, Lamictal, and Lithium
Anti-anxiety: Example: Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin
Anti-psychotics: Example: Seroquel and Zyprexa
Sleep: Example: Ambien    

For information regarding medical drugs, go to:

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.


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