Insane Asylums in the 19th and 20th Century

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conclusion questions (Meghan Hernandez)

by on Feb.24, 2014, under Uncategorized

I honestly did not think that patients would not get treated like crud in insane asylums. I thought that they would get amazing treatment because they are crazy/mental. Also I did not think that people would be admitted into asylums for the stupid reasons that they were. My thinking has changed a lot. I know now that people were admitted into  insane asylums for stupid reasons, go treated like crud and were no even crazed. Our topic is kinda related to Women’s rights. It is because women were treated badly in insane asylums and when women did not have rights they got treated so badly I cant even believe it. I literally said AHHA in my head when I read the article on Dr. Rush. I have heard of him in the Yellow Fever book my class read in school. He is a nut job! He likes to bleed people, because apparently it will heal them. I did not know that he had something to do with insane asylums. It doesn’t surprise me that he did have something to do with insane asylums. I don’t like going to doctors, but if he was my doctor, I would rather be sick then go to him. I would wan to research more on why people were admitted. I would want to find out why people would put them in insane asylums, to get rid of them? If they wanted to get rid of them why not kick them out? Or put them some where else.


Curating is more creative than gathering research. Curating is more fun and helps me learn easier than gathering research and putting it into a paragraph. Our successes were getting a lot done in a class period and having a lot of information. Our failures were getting our perspectives on every topic. We might not have our perspective on all the posts. If i redid this project one person would be doing the typing (someone fast) and the other people gathering information. If I ever do a project on insane asylums, this will help me very much. By I will know doctors in insane asylums and the treatments.

I learned that i could make a blog with no trouble at all on the internet. I can see me making another blog. It might come on handy in high school. I learned I am more of a visual learner. It was easier to learn from pictures for me. This project changed my learning from gathering information online to curating it more often. This project was fun and an amazing experience.

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Who came up with these treatments?

by on Feb.21, 2014, under Uncategorized

Dr. Benjamin Rush created the Tranquilizing Chair. Belief back then was that craziness or madness was an arterial disorder. Or an inflammation of the brain. The idea was to control blood flow to the confined patients brain. He was going to achieve this by lowering motor activity, or reducing muscular action. Both his inventions did harm or any good to the patients. Rush also believed that purging or bleeding patients to cure any illness or disorder. Rush used this in the Yellow Fever also. Dr. Kirkbride had a less painful way of treating his patients. Dr. Kirkbride split up each group of people into separate parts of the asylum. As in women in one hall and men in the other. The more hyper patients would be away from the main entrance. The calmer and well behaved patients would be located closer to the entrance. His idea was that patients needed more of a natrual environment with people like them. He let them get daylight and fresh air. Patients worked on farms and did house chores. Most doctors were catholic, that is why they believed in the demo possession.  On the more dark side a lot of insane asylum doctors did not follow Dr. Kirkbride’s lead.


(Meghan’s Perspective) OK, Dr. Rush i have heard of him before, he is totally CRAZY! He needs to go to an insane asylum himself. His theory on the chair was a good idea, it could of worked. I would of believed it. Now Dr. Kirkbride, he seemed like he knew what he was doing. I would rather go to his asylum than any other. Now people back then did not know what we do. So they believed on their religion like the whole demon thing. If i was alive that is what i would resort to. So that makes sense to me. It is still crazy!


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What were the cures for their illnesses?

by on Feb.20, 2014, under Uncategorized

Rotary Chair was one method, the electric chair, and even solitary confinement. The electric chair was used for patients with depression. Doctors in asylums believed that if they gave a shock to the brain it would fix you right up. Nope, they were wrong. Patients were put in solitary confinement for having suicidal thoughts or actions. They were put in a white room with padded walls and floors, so they cant hurt themselves or others. Treatments for schizophrenia included giving patients insulin until they passed out or went into a state of shock. Some were gave sugary tea, to revive them. The doctors believed that schizophrenia was caused by high or  low blood sugar. Or circulatory problems. Doctors also drilled holes in patients skulls to release the “demon” spirits. Dr. Benjamin Rush was the first one that thought that mental illness was a disease of the mind and not “demon possession”. He created theories that mental illness was caused by inflammation of the brain. He made the Tranquilizing Chair that was supposed to control the blood flow to the brain; which essentially did nothing to cure patients. He also believed that bleeding and purging patients was a good cure too.


(Meghan’s perspective) Did these people have brains? These methods are so stupid, how did they come up with these? They don’t even make sense. How would a shock to the brain fix them? Wouldn’t a shock to the brain make things worse? O it did, it made things a lot worse. The solitary confinement makes sense to me. If you don’t want people to hurt anyone or themselves the best thing is to put them by themselves. For schizophrenia, doctors gave them insulin until they passed out. How would this help? They had a good idea that it was caused by low blood sugar. I would believe that. The doctors that drilled holes into their skulls are CRAZY! How would they like to get holes drilled into their skulls with nothing to cure the pain or cause of infection? How would this release anything other than a lot of pain for the patient? Have those doctors ever been depressed? Would the use the electric shock or chair to heal themselves? Would they use these methods on men? Or just women? Because women had no rights then. First people are their for no apparent reason, then they can get illnesses and possibly die, which is probably not a bad thing for most, girls get rapped and have kids, they cant stay with their child, and then they get painful treatment for their so called “mental illness.” WOW I cant believe this.

(Jenny’s perspective) Did these people ever think? These treatments could kill patients! For crying out loud shock chairs i mean who uses those? This makes me sick! I mean solitary confinement did they really think that would work?  also what makes me really mad is the doctors drilled holes in patients skulls THAT’S CRAZY! How could they cure the pain or if they get an infection what would the doctors do about it? I mean this just ticks me off to see people treated this way!

(Jordyn’s Perspective) I think these methods are totally nuts. Who came up with these methods other than Dr. Benjamin Rush? Some doctor he was; bleeding and purging patients. He was wasting his time and making matters of the patient worse. Nowadays, bleeding and purging yourself are legitimate mental disorders. But back to the main question, who came up with these crazy theories? Were these methods thought of because of religion? These so-called “demons” were apparently inside of people, making them crazy…Sounds like some kind of Christian thing to me. It could be a reasonable theory because Christianity was (still is) the main religion of the United States. So maybe these cures were all thought of by Christian doctors thinking they were possessed by demons.


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