Insanity and Psychosis

The relationship between Ho Chun's Taoist philosophy and his medical theories are most apparent in his consideration of mental illness. He based his medical philosophy on the three essences of the Taoist religion: spirit, air, and god. To simplify, we may say that Ho Chun spoke of seven aspects of "mind": happiness, anger, melancholy, thought, sadness, fear, and fright. Injury to these seven "minds" results in disease and mental illness.

The Tongui pogam's section on insanity covers symptoms that suggest epilepsy as well as insanity. Psychosis was considered "true madness," and was thought to be caused by devils. The discussion in the Tongui pogam makes it clear that mental disease was thought to be of two main kinds. The first was epilepsy and insanity; the other was psychosis or "true madness." In ancient times, however, insanity was outside the domain of scholarly medicine; treatment called for the mudang (Korean shaman) rather than the physician.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

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