Insane Asylums in the 19th and 20th Century

Conclusion Questions (Jordyn)

by on Feb.24, 2014, under Uncategorized

I started this topic out knowing that the patients were treated like dirt and had terrible operations done to them, and I thought it was a rather intriguing subject. What I didn’t consider was who came up with these outrageous treatments and if they were influenced by religion. Honestly, if I could continue this topic, I would want to research if these cures were influenced by religion. I think they would be because most of these operations mentioned “letting the demons out of the mind” or some garbage like that. My thinking didn’t really change much during my research on this project, but i really did enjoy researching this topic. Insane asylums have always held my interest.

I learned that living in an asylum was awful and the people there were treated like poo. It clicked that this topic and women’s rights topic were a lot similar because most women were sent to insane asylums by men and most of them, if not all, were not even certifiably insane. This happened because the women didn’t have rights, even to their own mental health. I also learned that children were sent to these hellholes for being a little different. It was awful and they did some terrible operations on the patients as well, digging around in other people’s heads (literally), electrocuting them, and other awful things.

My biggest “AHHA” moment that struck my curiosity to the core in this research project would probably be who came up with these crazy methods to cure people? And maybe did priests/ministers come up with these operations? I am convinced that most of these operations had something to do with religion. During my research on these operations, I came across the sayings  “inner demons”  or “devils” and so on. Now, a non-religious person might say there are no such things as demons, whereas a religious person might say there are demons. So I guess it all just depends on perspective.

Curating is much more personal and creative than just gathering research. I honestly quite like putting my opinion on information I find because it gives me a chance to speak my mind on what I thought about the info. It’s more interesting to read about what other people thought about the information than just reading the information yourself. It gives it more of a kick I guess. Maybe you have a strong opinion about something, but another person has a totally different output that changes the way you think. It may put a debate in your hands, or it may change your opinion totally.

I think we had a lot of successes in our blog, but we didn’t manage to get all of the research we wanted to done. We were able to get cures for the illnesses, who came up with some of these cures, we got some pictures in there, we discussed lobotomy and electro shock therapy a bit, we got the living conditions of the facilities, how the patients were treated, we all got our thoughts on the info out, and why people were admitted into these asylums. We weren’t, however, able to do a few specific posts, like why women -specifically- were treated so badly, why people -in general- were treated so badly in the asylums, and if the operations involved any religious ceremonies and such.

I don’t really see this project helping me with future research projects in the future, but it may help if I ever needed to organize my thoughts on my research or if I needed to do another group research project. If I could do this project over again, my group and I would probably change strategies by everyone researching and doing their own blog post, or maybe we wouldn’t change it and I would continue to type up whatever information they came up with. Depends on what my group agrees on.

I learned that I think on what first pops into my head, and if I dwell on that thought, then two more pop up. It may just be because I have the attention span of a squirrel and jump from topic to topic fluently. This project made me think that learning was kinda fun because the topic actually interests me, I found it easier to pay a bit more attention to what I was doing. The whole reason I didn’t do my Donner Party Assessment yet, is because I can’t focus enough on doing it because the event is just uninteresting to me. I’d rather be doing science homework, which is saying something, because, ew, who likes science. But I felt intrigued by this project, and social studies was my favorite class while we were in the lab doing this project. All in all though, it made me think learning about the past might not be as dreadful as it typically is.

I doubt that I’ll do a blog like this again, but I could definitely see myself running some sort of nerd blog. However, the future is unpredictable and maybe I’ll find some subject that strikes my interest and I’ll become a nerd with a blog. Maybe I’ll run a blog on Greek mythology, or pythegrium therum or the laws of science or whatnot. I don’t think I’d have time to keep up with a blog, unless it was on books. That wouldn’t be a problem what so ever.

I learned that using the web for research and technology for this project, I get more done typing than I do writing, and it’s more efficient than writing too. My fingers work faster at pushing buttons than they do holding and scribbling with a pencil.


9 Comments for this entry

  • Barb Masciarelli

    Hi, Jordyn,
    I enjoyed reading your summary on mental health issues and treatment. I find it interesting and compelling that treatment usually resulted in some kind of electric shock, especially for those patients thought to be “criminally or hopelessly insane.” I think you touch on other areas that involve women, as you say that treating mentally ill patients, “like why women, especially” in one of your sentences. You offer the theory that perhaps treating mentally ill people has to do with religion, and perhaps it does. I would like to offer another thought, that perhaps it has to do with control of women or control of people, in general. I think the majority of doctors were men, and so they sought to control women who they claimed were mentally ill by the max treatment, which was and still is electric shock. Of course they also did lobotomy. What better method to control women (and all people) than to shock them silly or take part of their brains out! Man, talk about medieval! You have done a good job on this uncomfortable subject that remains so even today.

    • Dietz, Jordyn

      Thanks! That’s an interesting theory, I guess I never thought about it like that. It could very well be true. Women didn’t have any rights back then and men had total control and power. Maybe they didn’t want an upset in that system. If women were to have equal rights as men, well, the order of power would crumble. Maybe they wanted to let women know who was boss, and what better way to do that by shoving them into mad houses and scooping out parts of their brains!

  • Montreal, Aubrey

    They say that the doctor who invented the chair for the mentally ill was Dr. Rush. The same doctor who invented bleeding while the yellow fever hit the city of Philadelphia.

  • Cornelius, Katie

    OMG I Know right! Most of the people were women who were sent to insane houses! I frustrated me but i couldn’t find a lot about it! Well Bye! 🙂

  • Sauer, Makenna

    I really like the vocabulary you chose when writing this Jordyn. I also thought that your topic was also very interesting! Overall, well done! 😀

  • Inloes, Terri

    You really did an outstanding job sharing your insights and thinking in your posts. I think you learned a lot about yourself as a learner. Sometimes the trick to engaging yourself in learning is to find the grain that takes you to another grain and leads to a whole pile of information to sift through! I was impressed with your opinions and thoughtful perspectives.

  • Emily Stiles

    I agree that this is a very intriguing topic. I’ve taken psychology classes, and the history of psychological treatment is absolutely fascinating. The fancy new world of psychological medications (which started in the 1950’s) actually opened a whole different world in the way we look at patients with psychological disorders. Can you believe that it wasn’t until the ’50’s that we stopped treating these people horribly? That’s just not okay. Women were also treated unequally because female hysteria (also known as just PMS) was treated as a mental disorder. Anyways, you have a really cool writing voice, and I enjoyed reading your post!

  • Micayla Frink

    Many people are in a asylum for many different things such as mental problem, emotional problems, self confident subjects, and because they have been possessed. There are many things that people do to get out of there. People who go there try very hard to get out. There are nurses that help you with many things, but you have to help yourself too. This article was interesting to have learned many things, I had no idea about them cutting open heads and brains.

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