I want to know if, any old civilizations have considered mental disorders as real disease which could be cured? If not, then where it got this status in modern science?

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    $\begingroup$ It is not at all clear to me what you are asking for, precisely. It is incredibly easy to find out that pretty much all ancient civilizations were aware of the existence of mental disorders. Clearly, attempts were made to cure them. Do you have a more specific question? $\endgroup$
    – Danu
    Nov 24, 2014 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ It is indeed “incredibly easy” to add a link to an article in Wikipedia, even to an incredibly stupid and ill-informed one (Homer was a playwright, the views put by Plato in the mouth of Socrates are those of Socrates himself…). I actually think this is a good question, namely: To what extent did ancient and mediaeval authors consider “madness” to be a treatable medical condition? To answer this you need to go a bit beyond Wikipedia. $\endgroup$
    – fdb
    Nov 25, 2014 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ @fdb actually you right. My question is about when they are considered disease. Most of them considered them as sin of god or work of devil. Are anyone of them were capable enough to even find any relief for the patients other than torturing or killing them? Everything looks easy if you become ignorant of simple facts. Please read the complete question before assuming an answer. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2014 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ It could be a good question if you can include some details from your comment to the question. $\endgroup$
    – Amit Tyagi
    Nov 26, 2014 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


For what I know, ancient civilisations did consider mental disorders as a disease. **Hyppocrates (around 400 BC) ** recomended a change in the environment of mentaly-ill persons, giving the diseases a cause - the environment - and a cure.

Modern mental health treatment can be tracked back from 15th century with the first european facility for mental health treatment opening in Valencia, Spain. Treatment for the patient and protection for and from the rest of the world remain linked today in many cases, but focus on one or the other of the activities has been shifting ever since.

(main source: http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/)

  • $\begingroup$ Wait, did Hippocrates posit the environment was the cause of the disorder? Because you absolutely cannot assume a medical treatment implies the cause of the condition treated. "Headaches are not aspirin deficiency." The therapeutic architecture movement in 19th cen asylum building didn't proceed from the assumption that the mentally ill lived in pathogenic buildings. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2014 at 5:28

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