In the following article we present socially functioning perceptions of mental disorders and illness. Antiquity on the one hand is dominated by magical thinking, on the other hand is the time of the birth of medicine as a natural science. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance are periods in which mental illness is seen in mystical terms. This changed with the Age of Enlightenment. This is when mental illness became a crime. The real breakthrough and the birth of modern psychiatry came with the advent of the ideas of the French Revolution.