While reading Chapter 15 on Psychological Disorders, I thought it was interesting to learn the history of mental illnesses and how they were cured, and how mental illnesses are present in many different societies all around the world.
In high school, we were required to read books like The Crucible, books that center around the witch hunts of the Middle Ages. From reading these books, I have gained general knowledge on the topic about witch hunts. Those who exhibited strange and odd qualities were very suspicious in society then. In The Crucible, though, the characters would claim others who they disliked to be witches so they would be executed. One can only imagine the disorder that was caused back then due to the witch hunts. The textbook notes the demonic model where mental disorders were attributed to evil spirits in the body. Because of this model, it led to a series of executions, exorcisms and other tests, like the "dunking test."
I also found it interesting to learn about the different kinds of "mental disorders" that are supposedly present in different cultures and societies. There was a table present in the textbook with the names of different syndromes in different societies and their descriptions. For example, there is a syndrome called "Windigo" present in Native Americans in Central and Northeastern Canada in which one feels a "morbid state of anxiety with fears of becoming a cannibal." This raises a question I have about mental disorders. How do they come about and how are they formed? I agree with the textbook that there is a strong factor of social contagion, where if one begins to experience symptoms of a condition, others will begin to follow suit. But that can't be said for those who are diagnosed with serious and harmful conditions.