I'd very much like to look deep into the history of mental ilnesses and the surrounding mentalities - i.e. how did the sane people interpret, treat, approach and deal with the mentally insane?
To be more specific, my focus period is the pre-elightenment early modern era (lets put that on a timeline ranging from 1526 to 1713, to enclose the era with some quite important years), and the focus location is Europe, Habsburg monarchy in the central Europe (i.e. Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, The Holy Roman Empire).
Yes indeed, there is a book by Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization. I have not read the book yet, I'll do that in the near future. But still, the the key focus of the book is the enlightenment era and I'd like to go a bit farther into the earlier years, as already specified.
To pinpoint some specifics of the question:
- Were there any institutions for the mentally insane, or just elimination?
- What about the emergence of some buildings taking on the functions of the first mental asylums in the early modern era?
- How many categories for the mentally insane (schizophrenic, depressed, etc.) were there?
- What is the co-rellation in between witchery accusations and mentally ill?
- Who did treat the mentally insane? What were the treatment procedures like?
- What were the differences of the reception of the sane people when faced with the insane from different social groups (villagers, citizens, the nobility)?
Be a nice historian - provide some literature and primary sources on the subject - that's, what I'm ultimately looking for (a starting point).