Most Asylum's in the mid 1800s would like to be viewed as hospitals to help patients, in this picture it depicts the neglect in caring for these "patients". In this particular picture it looks like a prison rather than a hospital.

The "lunatic" Asylum's took in all sort of cases of the so called "mentally ill". This picture is of a man in a restraint chair at one of the insane asylum's in the later 1800's. According to these kinds of mental hospitals, you could be admitted for all sorts of reason such as, bites from animals, abusing others or being abused, asthma, grief, etc. all of these types of reasons to be admitted were all sent to one hospital.

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2 years ago
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In the mid 1800's, insane asylum's came to the United States, asylum's were a wide ranging method of treatment that focused on a patient's mental, individual, and occupational needs. A reform was needed because the treatment of the patients was horrific. Most people who were considered "crazy" were forced to be locked away in dirty, crowded prison cells. If they misbehaved in any way, they were whipped. These patients needed treatment and care, not punishment. By 1835, America was known to have the "best" prisons in the world in Pennsylvania. This impacted some reformers from Europe to look up to our nation as a model, to utilize and improve their own systems.

2 years ago
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“…I shall be obliged to speak with great plainness, and to reveal many things revolting to the taste, and from which my woman’s nature shrinks with peculiar sensitiveness. But truth is the highest consideration. I tell what I have seen—painful and as shocking as the details often are—that from them you may feel more deeply the imperative obligation which lies upon you to prevent the possibility of a repetition or continuance of such outrages upon humanity. If I inflict pain upon you, and move you to horror, it is to acquaint you with suffering which you have the power to alleviate, and make you hasten to the relief of the victims of legalized barbarity…” —Dorothea Dix, to the Legislature of Massachusetts

In this exempt, Dorothea Dix is asking the Massachusetts legislature to create state care for the mentally ill. During her tours of the places caring for the mentally ill, Dix saw patients being horribly abused. She believed that it was completely unacceptable to treat the mentally ill the way they were being treated and wanted to create a better system for caring for them.

2 years ago
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The causes and effects of these Asylum's include many various factors. Many patients are sent to these because they are claimed "lunatic" or "crazy" Their actions may include committing criminal acts, drunkenness, political emotions--pretty much anything. These "types of people" were sent to these asylums to seek mental help. But in reality, not many of these ended up helping them in any sort of way in the early 1800's due to the neglect in care. Dorothea Dix, the schoolteacher, comes to the rescue when she called for the reform to help the patients and turn the care upside down into a completely different outlook on these "insane asylums".
These asylums connects to the Witch-Craft Hunts and trials in the mid 1700s. These so called witches were tried and hunted, sometimes even killed if they were even suspected for witchcraft. This connects because the people in these asylums may have not been the definition of crazy, yet may have experienced something at the time, which qualified them as a lunatic.

2 years ago
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QUESTIONS:
Who was important to the U.S insane asylums and why?

Describe the major events that led to reformations being made?

Who was Dorothea Dix and why was she important?

Why was improving the care of the mentally ill so important to people like Dorothea Dix and other reform leaders?

Describe the difference between the jails and almshouses the mentally ill were being treated in and the insane asylums and state hospitals they were treated in after the reforms.

2 years ago
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