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Thesis On Dorothea Dix

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Taking a Stand for the mentally ill
Thesis
Dorothea Dix took a stand by recognizing the importance of establishing mental institutions. Her philosophy saved mentally unstable people from the harsh treatments they once received in jails
Background
The conditions that the mentally ill lived under in the mid-19th century were unfitting. Unstable individuals were imprisoned and mistreated. People who suffered from insanity were treated worse than criminals. They were hanged from chains and whipped till they were no longer able to scream. This unjust treatment was aimed to tame mental individual from “lashing out.” Their mental conditions were unrecognized; they were forced to endure harsh “punishments” due to their mental state of mind.
The stand
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She asked her students about the harsh conditions they lived under; their answer is what led to her desire to reform mental institutions. Dorothea Dix traveled over 60,000 miles in 8 years gathering information for her reports. These reports brought about changes in treatment. They also revealed that insanity was a disease, not a choice. With her detailed observations, she approached dozens of state legislatures such as: New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland,
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