The lives of people with mental health issues have been significantly altered by the medications and other treatments used to deal with them. The suffering of the people has certainly decreased.
Nevertheless, this process of relieving mental stress is not new. Our medical ancestors have found solutions to such issues for thousands of years.
In order to treat brain illnesses, healing the mind was the main focus from the beginning. In ancient times, when scientific medicine was not yet developed, people who were sick were treated by small steps suggested by magicians and priests.
Psychiatry is therefore considered the oldest branch of medicine. It has its roots in religion and supernatural powers.
More than four thousand years ago, Egyptians built sleep temples. Apart from being used for worship, these were also places where people could find relief from emotional and physical pain.
They had "Sleep or Dream" temples where spells and chants put sick people in a trance. The priest or priestess would give hypnotic suggestions to connect the patient to the gods to perform the healing when the patient was in a dreamlike state.
Treatment was done through music, paintings, and living closer to nature. The patient underwent rituals of purification and sacred chants. They would pray, bathe in hot water, and offer offerings to the gods.
The people who visited healing temples were known as seekers. They were looking for a solution to their issues, wanted to connect with gods, get insight, or wanted to cure a physical or mental problem.
Healing temples have been mentioned in ancient Greek, Roman, and Hebrew traditions.
In India, some of these traditions are still performed by priests to treat ill health and "bad" luck through their connections to gods.
Ancient Greek temple treatments and the consulting room of the well-known Australian psychiatrist Freud show evidence of these techniques.
Epidaurus on the deserted hills, is away from the world's interference. Centuries later, devotees of the Greek god of medicine and healing, Asklepius, also used herbs and dream interpretation to cure sick people. Epidaurus's Asklepius Sanctuary was built in the fourth century BC for all kinds of healing.
Pure air, a simple diet, and freshwater springs were present. There were a theatre and a library for arts education. This "world" was meant to heal the mind and drew people from all over the world.
Psychoanalysis and other modern therapies originated in the early 20th century.
Some medications were discovered to be useful in the post-World War II treatment of mental stress. The search for fresh therapies is still ongoing.
Medicines are effective, however, traditional practices are also significant. The modern course of treatment also covers topics like dream analysis, what to remember, and what to forget.