Treatment at the asylum seemed stagnant, as, “about 65% of patients discharged would later return, proving that while treatments were getting deeper into the heart of mental illness, many advancements were needed” (Insanity). Another large issue with treatment was it lacked conclusive results and as a consequence, “ efforts were made to prevent mental illness from becoming chronic, despite only four patients being released from 1878-1910” (Insanity).
Due to the limited knowledge about mental diseases, doctors had to resort to people's word and uneducated test, previously talked about. The mental institutions trusted the people and that was a big mistake as people lied and settled disputes by saying the other person was insane and getting them sent to an institutions. An example of this was Elizabeth Packard who was put in an institution for saying this, “They are antagonistic systems… Christianity upholds God’s authority; Calvinism upholds the Devil’s authority.” Elizabeth's husband was christian and he did not like that she said this very much so he told the government that she was insane and they believed him.
In the History of Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis article, it states the differences between the old asylum’s treatments to today asylum’s treatments towards mental people. One of the oldest asylum is Bethlehem, located in London, and inside those walls individuals with psychological disorders were chained, whipped, and allowed to lie in their own waste (Rathus 2016). In the History of Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis article, Dorothea Dix proved to the General Assembly of North Carolina that patients within the asylum are chained, abused, and even kept in an unclean area. She also hoped for asylums to upgrade and have better treatments in the future because those patients are humans as well. Also in the article, women were treated differently because
Although mental illness has not always been a subject of social importance, it has always been an issue in America. In the early years of this country, mentally disabled people were considered morally unclean and were social outcasts. At this time in history there were not places for these people to go to any sort of treatment so they were cared for by their families. Since it was socially unacceptable to have a mental illness at the time, there were some cases where people lived in poorhouses or were sent to jail (Ozarin). The necessity to treat the mentally ill increased as America continued to grow and advance.
Before the eighteenth century, mental illness was thought to be a problem spiritually. Whenever people started acting weird ,they were thought to be wracked with sin or even possessed by demons (“The Asylum Movement”, 1997). One woman, Dorothea Dix, became a reformer for mentally ill patients. Dix was not alone, however. In addition, a woman named Nellie Bly, a journalist, also helped show the inhumane treatments of the mentally ill.
It was typical for patients receiving care to deteriorate within their condition. It was noted in a census taken from the 1950s that, “According to preliminary information, the number of patients in State and county mental hospitals increased in 1950.” (Public Health Reports). During this time period, anyone who appeared to be out of the ordinary was most likely institutionalized. This highlights the distinction between mental health and ailment; the fact that many people during this time had poor mental health does not mean they have a mental illness and should be institutionalized.
Mental illness significantly affects many around the world. In fact, about four-hundred and fifty million people worldwide suffer from one or more of the different known mental illnesses. That is one in every four people. Severe mental health issues such as severe anxiety disorder, antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, or sensory perception disorder are illnesses which are common among the people responsible for the numerous mass shootings in America. Many believe the possession of firearms in the hands of the mentally ill are the real cause of mass shootings.
Phineas P. Gage is a great example of people misinterpreting the true meaning of having a mental condition. Phineas Gage was an American railroad foreman, his job included packing explosive charges into the ground to make way for a new track. Unfortunately in 1848, an explosive charge blew too soon and sent an iron rod (3 feet 7 inches long and weighed 13 1/2 pounds) through his skull below the left eye, passed through the front left region of his cortex, and soared out of the top of his head. Gage’s freshly exposed brain placed him in weeks of coma and meningitis, but once he recovered, it appeared as if a new person was borned. It wasn’t bipolar disorder, Schizoid personality disorder, or other personality disorder, but it was a combination of many.
How Mental Health was Viewed First, while being looked on as the lowest members of society, mental patients had nothing short of a terrible life. Even relatives of the mentally ill were not treated right because of the conditions that their family member had. They were called “stupid” or “crazy.” Since they were looked on as animals, that is how they were treated.
Ken Kesey uses his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to describe the lives of patients in a mental institution, and their struggle to overcome the oppressive authority under which they are living. Told from the point of view of a supposedly mute schizophrenic, the novel also shines a light on the many disorders present in the patients, as well as how their illnesses affect their lives during a time when little known about these disorders, and when patients living with these illnesses were seen as an extreme threat. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, has many mental illnesses, but he learns to accept himself and embrace his differences. Through the heroism introduced through Randle McMurphy, Chief becomes confident in himself, and is ultimately able to escape from the toxic environment Nurse Ratched has created on the ward. Chief has many disorders including schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in addition to these illnesses, he pretends to be deaf and dumb.
Those who suffered with mental illnesses have endured have suffered countless times of being ostracized no matter what period of history. In the period before the middle ages, people were sought out to be possessed by some sort of evil deity that took control of them due to them doing something bad. Those with mental illnesses were not given the proper respect that should be given in facilities that were made to provide help. In the Middle Ages people were thrown to the streets and later on be beaten by authority and be taken away from civilization. The types of treatments and cures that were given to these people were not scientifically correct.
When people hear the words, “mental illness,” they think of insane asylums and psychiatric wards, but that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, back in the 1800’s they did have asylums for people with mental disorders. But that was when doctors didn’t fully understand mental illnesses and disorders. But currently, doctors are able to comprehend illnesses and disorders.
In the book Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen, one of the biggest focal points is mental illness. Mental illness can be tough to talk about, simply because the phrase “mental illness” encompasses such a wide range of conditions and conjures up images of deranged people, but it is very important, especially in this book. There is a certain stigma that people who are put into mental hospitals because they have medical problems or are insane and a possible danger to society. While this is sometimes true, it is far more common for patients to need help for a disorder, but just don’t know where to go or what to do, and can end up putting themselves or someone else in danger.
In an essay over the topic, Dr. Cornwall explains that human emotional suffering can lead to madness or insanity. Although, not many people would enjoy hearing the words,”you've gone insane,” come from someone that they trust to help them. The National institute of mental health rightly argues that mental illness is more than just a sugar coated way to say insane(Brain basics). After years studying about mental illness in the brain, the institute as well as many other doctors found that a mental disease is the same as a brain disease. As the brain changes and grows, so does the mentally of an individual, therefore forming mental illness.
Stigmatization of mental illness existed well before psychiatry became a formal discipline, but was not formally labeled and defined as a societal problem until the publication of Goffman’s book (1963). Mental illnesses are among the most stigmatizing conditions, regardless of the specific psychiatric diagnosis. Unlike other illnesses, mental illness is still considered by some to be a sign of weakness, as well as a source of shame and disgrace. Many psychiatric patients are concerned about how people will view them if knowledge of their condition becomes public Mental health stigma can be divided into two distinct types: • social stigma is characterized by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behavior directed towards individuals with mental health problems as a result of the psychiatric label they have been given and has those types stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination Stereotypes are based on knowledge available to members of a group and provide a way to categorize information about other groups in society Prejudiced persons agree with these negative stereotypes, and these attitudes lead to discrimination through negative behaviors toward mentally ill individuals those negative perceptions create fear of and social distance from mentally ill persons. • perceived stigma or