Pinel, A Treatise on Insanity
Few subjects in medicine are so intimately connected with the history and philosophy of the human mind as insanity. Derangement of the understanding is generally considered as an effect of an organic lesion of the brain, consequently as incurable; a supposition that is, in a great number of instances, contrary to anatomical fact. The present essay will commence with an historical exposition of periodical insanity. The leading principles of our moral treatment will then be developed. Attention to these principles along will, frequently, not only lay the foundation of, but complete a cure. This successful application of moral regimen exclusively gives great weight to the supposition that, in the majority of circumstances, there is no organic lesion of the brain. By autopsy, interviews, and observational means, I have been enabled to introduce a method into the services of this hospital [Asylum de Bicetre, France], and to class my patients in a great measure according to the varieties and inveteracy of their complaints. An account of our system of interior police will finish this part of the enquiry. The last section will comprehend the principles of our medical treatment.