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The History of Behavioral Health


The behavioral health of people has changed over the years under the influence of various events. It is determined by how everyday cognitive habits change people’s lifestyle, well-being, and biological processes (Matarazzo, 1980). The balance between physical and mental well-being is an indicator of good behavioral health. Bad habits, socialization problems, and even erratic eating indicate his poor condition. For centuries, various historical events have changed the behavior of people globally. However, it is relatively recent to monitor behavioral health. This paper assesses the impact of three world events such as world wars, the emergence of the DSM-5, and deinstitutionalization.

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The institutional model of inpatient care has evolved since the 1850s, which lasted almost a century in the United States. This model involved patients living in hospitals and monitoring mental health professionals but faced funding from the state. Drug development has contributed to the deinstitutionalization of this model and has led to outpatient care targeted at the community rather than isolated hospitals (Wright et al., 2000). While the closure of long-term hospitals is a determining factor in deinstitutionalization, only a fraction of the events has accompanied this process.

Behavioral health has changed significantly through this process. First, after an extended stay in the hospital, it was difficult for people to adapt to life in society. The situation was aggravated because the state did not provide all the necessary public resources for more accessible adaptation at the same speed (Lamb & Bachrach, 2001). Second, with easy access to alcohol and other chemicals, patients worsened their symptoms, some even losing hope of recovery. Finally, society itself has resisted the unfamiliar process, fragmenting services, recording discrimination cases, and inadequate housing provision (Lamb & Bachrach, 2001). The new generation has already changed their treatment behavior, usually not counting on long-term hospital stays. However, conversely, cases of self-medication and mistrust of medical institutions have become more frequent. Competent professionals needed to consider the many social factors that became part of patients’ lives after deinstitutionalization and develop a sense of self-responsibility in them due to the long period of obedience to the orders of doctors.

World Wars

Post-war behavioral health crises have been recorded since the 20th century. The data is corroborated by reliable first-hand sources and media testimony. They demonstrate a failure to learn about the psychiatric consequences of war (Russell et al., 2015). Such stigma is quite logically explained by the problematic state of any state immediately after the war, by the problematic state of the inhabitants who have lost their loved ones or a roof over their heads. However, the problems go much more profound and have a more significant impact.

The aftermath of the world wars inevitably leads most people around the world to stress and depression. The dynamics of behavioral health are reflected in a greater susceptibility to mental disorders, denial of reality, and destruction of one’s own life through the consumption of alcohol or drugs. On a more global level, post-war unemployment, social crisis, poverty, unsanitary conditions, and discrimination against marginalized groups have been rampant (Gorman et al., 2010). During periods of post-war reconstruction, it is imperative to pay more attention to the possibility of providing massive psychological assistance, monitoring, and reporting to prevent a similar crisis in the future. Specialists now have the opportunity to analyze the literature after two world wars, finding expected consequences and opportunities to prevent complications of diseases.


DSM-5 has been used in the United States since 2013 and is a nomenclature for mental disorders. The practical significance of this manual is quite broad, in connection with which it has a reasonably high authority in American psychiatry. Changes in the fifth version are dictated by advances in neuroscience, public inquiries, and agreement with the new version of the International Classification of Diseases (Washburn et al., 2015). Genetic affective disorders are now equated with psychotic disorders, and trends intolerance has contributed to the inclusion of cultural, gender, and social studies in this work. Consider emerging diagnoses such as storage pathology, neurocognitive disorders, binge eating disorder, restless legs syndrome, and more (Do Austerman, 2015). Given the high profile of this guide, science is acquiring new metatheoretical discoveries that are essential for the behavioral health professional. Even though criticism of this publication explains the new classifications by the financial interests of pharmacological organizations, most specialists use this publication to stay abreast of scientific discoveries and trends in the field of behavioral health.


Historically, few events have significantly influenced the behavioral health profession, but science is changing daily. Advances in genetics and neuroscience, social crises, and trends are driving the development of science now, but it has come down to this day under the significant influence of deinstitutionalization and the consequences of world wars. Behavioral health affects everyone’s daily life, but not everyone cares about their health in such a complex sense, including physical and mental well-being. Experts can track changes thanks to the centralized and standardized DSM-5 nomenclature, which may soon need to be updated but includes all the baggage of experience from previous years.

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Do Austerman, J. (2015). ADHD and behavioral disorders: assessment, management, and an update from DSM-5. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 82, S3.

Gorman, G. H., Eide, M., & Hisle-Gorman, E. (2010). Wartime military deployment and increased pediatric mental and behavioral health complaints. Pediatrics, 126(6), 1058-1066.

Lamb, H. R., & Bachrach, L. L. (2001). Some perspectives on deinstitutionalization. Psychiatric Services, 52(8), 1039-1045.

Matarazzo, J. D. (1980). Behavioral health and behavioral medicine: frontiers for a new health psychology. American Psychologist, 35(9), 807.

Russell, M. C., Figley, C. R., & Robertson, K. R. (2015). Investigating the psychiatric lessons of war and pattern of preventable wartime behavioral health crises. Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Science, 3(1), 1-16.

Washburn, J. J., Potthoff, L. M., Juzwin, K. R., & Styer, D. M. (2015). Assessing DSM–5 nonsuicidal self-injury disorder in a clinical sample. Psychological Assessment, 27(1), 31.

Wright, E. R., Gronfein, W. P., & Owens, T. J. (2000). Deinstitutionalization, social rejection, and the self-esteem of former mental patients. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 68-90.

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