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How modern is mental health?

Take this quiz to find out how much you know about mental health in the past and present!

1. Hysteria was a common illness for women in the past where the womb was thought to wander around the body. If we know now that this doesn’t happen, why are women still diagnosed more with anxiety, depression and phobias than men?

2. About one quarter of people the UK will experience a mental health difficulty over a year. How long have people recognised mental health challenges for?

Scientists have found that there may be a link between the death of a loved one and heart attacks in the immediate aftermath. Which common saying does this relate to?

People experiencing mental health problems used to be sent to hospitals, prisons, and poor houses. How much do you think our society has changed? What percentage of people in prison in the UK have a diagnosable mental illness and or problem with substance abuse?

In the past, people who were seen as ‘ignorant’ were often also described as ‘mad’ and ‘bad’. Those with the least education were more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems. Which of the following statements is true?

In the past, pregnancy was a dangerous time for women’s mental health as well as their physical health. Today pregnancy and birth is a happy time for many people. It is however a huge life change: what proportion of women today still experience mental health challenges after the birth of a baby?

In the past, people with mental health problems were thought to be possessed by the devil or demons. The ancient philosopher Hippocrates thought this belief was:

  • marriage problems
  • bereavement
  • financial problems
  • other relationship problems

  • health
  • financial problems
  • work

In the humoral system, which of these things cause mental health difficulties? (tick all that apply)
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Picture of the arteries at the base of the brain drawin in 1786 by Felix Vicq d'Azyr and published in the Traité d'anatomie et de physiologie, avec des planches coloriées représentant au naturel les divers organes de l'homme et des animaux (Paris, 1796-80).

Image from the Wellcome Library.