Teaching Students About Black Bile

When it comes to teaching our students about mental health, we often focus on the more well-known mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. However, it is important to also discuss the ancient theory of the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) and its role in mental health treatment. While modern science has debunked this theory, understanding the concept of black bile can still be helpful for students to understand modern-day mental health treatment.

In ancient Greece, the theory of the four humors stated that a person’s physical and mental health was determined by a balance of these humors. Black bile was associated with melancholy and depression. The theory suggests that too much black bile in a person’s body could cause them to become depressed, irritable, and even suicidal.

While it may seem outdated now, the theory of the four humors was the predecessor to modern-day psychiatry. It is important for students to understand that mental health treatment, like any other field, has evolved over time. However, there are still some similarities in how we approach modern-day mental health treatment and the ancient theory of the four humors.

For example, students can learn about the concept of balancing a person’s brain chemistry, which is still a major aspect of modern-day mental health treatment. They can also learn about the various medications used to help alleviate depressive symptoms and how those medications work to regulate neurotransmitters in the brain.

Additionally, learning about black bile can be a helpful introduction for students to the concept of sadness and depression. They can learn about the warning signs of depression and how to seek help if they or someone they know is struggling with their mental health.

Today, we know that depression is not caused by an excess of black bile in the body. However, learning about this ancient theory can still provide students with a foundation for understanding modern-day mental health treatment and the importance of seeking help when needed.

Overall, teaching students about black bile can help to demystify mental health treatment and provide them with a greater understanding of how our current understanding of mental health has evolved over time. By providing students with a historical context, we can help to reduce the stigma often associated with mental health disorders and encourage them to seek help when they need it.

Choose your Reaction!