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Social alienation was one of the main themes in Francisco Goya's masterpieces, such as The Madhouse (above).

The fall of the lunatic asylum (or mental asylum) and its gradual transformation into, and eventual replacement by, the modern psychiatric hospital, explains the rise of organised, institutional psychiatry. While there were earlier institutions that housed the "insane", the conclusion that institutionalisation was the correct solution to treating people considered to be "mad" was part of a social process in the 19th century that began to seek solutions for outside families and local communities.

In Britain at the beginning of the 19th century, there were, perhaps, a few thousand "lunatics" housed in a variety of disparate institutions; but, by the beginning of the 20th century, that figure had grown to about 100,000. This growth coincided with the development of alienism, now known as psychiatry, as a medical specialty.[1]:14

Medieval era

In the Islamic world, the Bimaristans were described by European travellers, who wrote about their wonder at th

The fall of the lunatic asylum (or mental asylum) and its gradual transformation into, and eventual replacement by, the modern psychiatric hospital, explains the rise of organised, institutional psychiatry. While there were earlier institutions that housed the "insane", the conclusion that institutionalisation was the correct solution to treating people considered to be "mad" was part of a social process in the 19th century that began to seek solutions for outside families and local communities.

In Britain at the beginning of the 19th century, there were, perhaps, a few thousand "lunatics" housed in a variety of disparate institutions; but, by the beginning of the 20th century, that figure had grown to about 100,000. This growth coincided with the development of alienism, now known as psychiatry, as a medical specialty.[1]:14