In the 1840’s, the United States started to build public insane asylums instead of placing the insane in almshouses or jail. Before this, asylums were maintained mostly by religious factions whose main goal was to purify the patient (Hartford 1). By the 1870’s, the conditions of these public insane asylums were very unhealthy due to a lack of funding. The actions of Elizabeth J. Cochrane (pen name Nellie Bly), during her book “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” significantly heightened the conditions of these mental asylums during the late 1800s.
At that time, sick people were usually treated at home. A hospital was a place of last resort where the patient usually went to die. It was the same with mental patients. The asylum was a place of last resort where, if need be, the patient would spend the rest of their life (Getz 35). The doctor would use a system of incentives, rewards, and punishments to attempt to cure a patient. The patients would have to live their lives on a strict schedule. They were made to participate in various activities throughout the day including bathing, eating, taking medicine, exercising, and conversing with the physician. They were also allowed occupational, recreational, and educational activities (Luchins 471). By the 1870s, the funding for asylums all around the nation was nearly depleted. At that time the definition of insanity was very broad. More often than not, a lot of the mental patients in an asylum consisted of people with physical illnesses or foreigners who were misunderstood (Bernikow 1). This is very different from our society today. A forensic psychologist, Dr. Harry McClaren, has stated that the current legal definition of insanity is very hard to meet (Angier 1). At that time the conditions of ...
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The traditional approach to the care of the mentally ill during the last 200 years was custodial, rather than therapeutic. This approach to “Psychiatric Care Delivery System” was introduced in India from Britain . Mental hospitals were established in isolated areas, often on the outskirts with the object of segregating the patient as troublesome and dangerous to their neighbors. The overriding concern was to protect the citizens without regard for appropriate care and cure of the ailing patients. As a consequence of this objective of the mental hospitals, the quality of care in such hospitals had been very poor. The inmates were subjected to indignity and humiliation for an indefinite period, and once admitted never recovered, or rehabilitated back in their family, but doomed to the inevitable end. The stigma of mental illness thus prevailed.
In the Earley book, the author started to talk about the history of mental illness in prison. The mentally ill people were commonly kept in local jails, where they were treated worse than animals. State mental hospitals were typically overcrowded and underfunded. Doctors had very little oversight and often abused their authority. Dangerous experimental treatments were often tested on inmates.
Modern psychiatric hospitals evolved from, and eventually replaced the older lunatic asylums. The treatment of inmates in early lunatic asylums was sometimes brutal and focused on containment and restraint with successive waves of reform, and the introduction of effective evidence-based treatments, modern psychiatric hospitals provide a primary emphasis on treatment, and attempt where possible to help patients control their own lives in the outside world, with the use of a combination of psychiatric drugs and
The 1930s was a tough time for all of the mentally ill people. They were not treated the way that they do now. The mentally ill were called names like satans child, or they were not expected or very frowned upon in many religions. So because of all of the people who were mentally ill they started to create asylums. With these asylums they could hold almost all of the mentally ill people during that time. All of the asylums were overcrowded and sometimes there would be around 1 million patients. WIth all of the people in these asylums the staff and doctors became very understaffed so the patients living within the asylums were not treated how they should have been. Then doctors had found ways that they thought could cure these mentally ill people, whether it would be cruel to them or not. The treatments ran from major brain surgery to taking baths for multiple days.
Mental illness has been around as long as people have been. However, the movement really started in the 19th century during industrialization. The Western countries saw an immense increase in the number and size of insane asylums, during what was known as “the great confinement” or the “asylum era” (Torrey, Stieber, Ezekiel, Wolfe, Sharfstein, Noble, Flynn Criminalizing the Seriously Mentally Ill). Laws were starting to be made to pressure authorities to face the people who were deemed insane by family members and hospital administrators. Because of the overpopulation in the institutions, treatment became more impersonal and had a complex mix of mental and social-economic problems. During this time the term “psychiatry” was identified as the medical specialty for the people who had the job as asylum superintendents. These superintendents assumed managerial roles in asylums for people who were considered “alienated” from society; people with less serious conditions wer...
...tally insane in jails and almshouses in Massachusetts. In 1843 she presents her findings to the Massachusetts Legislature and by 1860 twenty states would follow her advice for building new insane asylums and prisons. The institutional reform movement was successful in that twelve new prisons were built and punishments were less harsh than they had previously been but they were unsuccessful in improving the treatment of criminal and the mentally insane. Institutions turned into places of brutality and neglect. Penitentiaries made their prisoners perform labor, solitary confinement, and they were severely punished if they disobeyed. Institutional reforms improved the lot of the mentally ill only slightly which meant graduating from being chained in basements, beaten, starved and naked to being locked in a mental institution at the mercy of experimenting doctors.
For many decades the mentally ill or insane have been hated, shunned, and discriminated against by the world. They have been thrown into cruel facilities, said to help cure their mental illnesses, where they were tortured, treated unfairly, and given belittling names such as retards, insane, demons, and psychos. However, reformers such as Dorothea Dix thought differently of these people and sought to help them instead. She saw the inhumanity in these facilities known as insane asylums or mental institutions, and showed the world the evil that wandered inside these asylums. Although movements have been made to improve conditions in insane asylums, and were said to help and treat the mentally ill, these brutally abusive places were full of disease and disorder, and were more like concentration camps similar to those in Europe during WWII than hospitals.
The concept of the asylum was originally meant to be a place of retreat for a sorely troubled individual. Appalled by the treatment of the insane, a woman by the name of Dorothea Dix set out to persuade legislature to establish thirty-two new asylums in several states across the country. This included the monumental government hospital, St. Elizabeth’s, in D.C. Dix believed that the most deranged individuals would recover from their illness if they were treated with kindness and dignity. These hospitals were set apart from the community and were made to provide a place of retreat from busy city life, a place for healing. The hospital grounds were peaceful and relaxing. With this environment and a structured day complete with evening entertainment it was thought that a patient would need only a few months to heal. The first patient arrived at St. Elizabeth’s in 1855. Dorothea Dix once said, “If the person’s insanity was detected soon ...
Another man involved was the Dr. John Galt he himself worked at one of these insane asylums as the superintendent of the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg. Although there was a stream of terrible abuse in the asylum and prison movement towards the sick and insane he was one of the few that treated his patients with care he had very little use for restraints and preferred a calming medication. He was also the first influence in
We all have our own perception of psychiatric hospitals. Some people may see them as a terrifying experience, and others may see them as a way to help people who cannot keep their disorders under control. David Rosenhan's perception led him to a variety of questions. How could psychiatric hospitals know if a patient was insane or not? What is like to be a patient there? According to Rosenhans study, psychiatric hospitals have no way of truly knowing what patients are insane or not; they quickly jump to labeling and depersonalizing their patients instead of spending time with them to observe their personality.
Until 1851, the first state mental hospital was built and there was only one physician on staff responsible for the medical, moral and physical treatment of each inmate. Who had said "Violent hands shall never be laid on a patient, under any provocation." This improved the treatment of patients but the mentally ill that weren't in this asylum may have
Two hundred years ago, Pennsylvania revolutionized the mental health care movement. Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia doctor made a suggestion to his fellow colleagues about individuals suffering from mental disorders. Instead of treating individuals with mental disorders as a sign of demon possession or confused soul, treat their disorder as an illness. In the late 1800's, another Philadelphia doctor caught wind of Rush's idea to treat mental illness. Thomas Kirkbride believed the insane, as they were called in nineteeth century, deserved humane treatment. After this realization, the asylum movement took place in Pennsylvania. Individuals suffering from mental disorders were taken out of their inhumane circumstances an...
From the moment Lucy Winer was admitted to Kings Park on June 21, 1967, following several unsuccessful suicide attempts, she experienced firsthand the horrors of mental institutions during this time period in America. As Lucy stepped into Ward 210, the female violent ward of Building 21, she was forced to strip naked at the front desk, symbolizing how patient’s personhood status was stripped from them as soon as they arrived into these institutions. During her second day at Kings Park, Lucy started crying and another patient informed her not to cry because “they’ll hurt her”. This instance, paired with the complete lack of regulations, instilled a fear in Lucy that anyone at this institution could do anything to her without any punishment, which had haunted her throughout her entire stay at Kings Park. Dr. Jeanne Schultz was one of the first psychiatrists to examine Lucy and diagnosed her with chronic differentiated schizophrenia. In an interview with Dr. Schultz decades later, Lucy found out that many patients were
“The Ohio Legislature in 1852 acknowledged the existence of a lunacy problem by authorizing the construction of two new asylums to supplement the one existing, and so came about the origin of the Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum, now more usually referred to as the Dayton State Hospital” (INSIDE D.S.H 1).On July 7 1852 ,the board met in Cincinnati and again on July 8, 1852 they held a meeting Dayton...
The BBC documentary, Mental: A History of the Madhouse, delves into Britain’s mental asylums and explores not only the life of the patients in these asylums, but also explains some of the treatments used on such patients (from the early 1950s to the late 1990s). The attitudes held against mental illness and those afflicted by it during the time were those of good intentions, although the vast majority of treatments and aid being carried out against the patients were anything but “good”. In 1948, mental health began to be included in the NHS (National Health Service) as an actual medical condition, this helped to bring mental disabilities under the umbrella of equality with all other medical conditions; however, asylums not only housed people