History of Mental IllnessAccording to one of the earliest beliefs (espoused by the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Hebrews), a person with a mental disorder was possessed by evil spirits. These demons were exorcised by such techniques as prayer, incantation, magic, and the use of purgatives concocted from herbs.
If these treatments were unsuccessful, more extreme measures were taken to ensure that the body would be an unpleasant dwelling place for the evil spirit. Flogging, starving, burning, and even stoning to death were not infrequent forms of treatment.
Content Source: Bukisa - History of Mental Illness