Lawson: More progress is needed in mental health care

Opinion: By Dr. William Lawson - Special to the American-Statesman

For much of history, psychosis was considered a result of demon possession.

In the United States, slaves were diagnosed with such disorders as draptomania, described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 as a condition that caused black slaves to flee captivity.

The mentally ill were routinely imprisoned and only later put in primitive treatment facilities, where many were subjected to barely tolerable hot- and cold-water baths, inoculation of malaria, and even the severing of brain connections with an ice pick.