chapter  11
4 Pages

General discussion and conclusions

In this book we have attempted to trace the development of attitudes towards the mentally disordered and to describe the services and legal provisions for their treatment. We were prompted to undertake its writing because we thought that the fears associated with mental illness experienced by those who came into contact with it were largely born of two factors; firstly the stigma that has surrounded it over the centuries and secondly the lack of understanding about the various types of illness as they present in everyday surroundings. We have tried to show the dangers of interpreting isolated pieces of behaviour in such a way as to prompt unfeeling and inappropriate responses, which can exacerbate the illness and militate against its resolution.