Mental Health Care Treatments Past to Present

“The Father of American Psychiatry” Dr.Benjamin Rush

by on Feb.21, 2014, under Uncategorized

Dr.Benjamin Rush

This man might sound familiar if you’ve ever done some research on the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia. He was one of those who desperately searched for a cure for the horrid disease. But  besides dealing with physical sicknesses he also dealt with mental ones.

(2) Dr.Rush thought that mental illnesses were caused by inflammation of the brain. He had many ways of treatment that included purging, blood letting, mercury (Those three he tried with yellow fever as well), and hot or cold baths. He also invented the  tranquilizer chair, “a chair that was supposed to control the flow of blood toward the brain and, by lessening muscular action or reducing motor activity, reduced the force and frequency of the pulse.” (1)



Tranquilizer Chair. N.d. Photograph. n.p. Web. 21 Feb 2014. .

The chair though did not help the patients, but thankfully it didn’t hurt them either, it fact I’m sure the only thing it really did was make the patients really bored, freak them out, or restrain them from running around crazily.

So what we can gather is that though Dr.Benjamin Rush did play a part in mental diseases and their treatments, he did not really find a working method at all, if the patient did somehow recover it was not due to blood letting, purging, taking a hot/cold bath, consuming mercury, or taking a seat in the tranquilizer chair.


(1) “DR. BENJAMIN RUSH.” Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 800-789-PENN © 2013, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania , n.d. Web. 21 Feb 2014. <>.

(2)”Diseases of the Mind.” Http:// U.S. National Library Of Medicine, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. <>.




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