Insane Asylums in the 19th and 20th Century

Tag: Women and the Insane Asylum.” Tennessee Genealogical Society. N.p.

Why were people admitted to Insane Asylums?

by on Feb.12, 2014, under Uncategorized

In the 1800s, mainly daughters and wives were admitted into the insane asylums because they were not obedient enough towards their husbands or fathers. If a woman spoke out or acted outside the “norm”, she would be committed. When children were admitted, most families would tell others that the child had died. ¬†Some children were admitted for unwanted pregnancies, disobedience or illness, such as Down’s Syndrome or Autism. Typically, the husbands would put their wives in the asylum and then file for divorce. Some of the other reasons why people were put into insane asylums was for depression, alcoholism, or just being a little different than normal, or sometimes, even going through menopause. Doctors didn’t know what to do with all the “crazy” people, thus being the reason of being put into the insane asylums. Almost all people admitted into the asylums stayed until they died. Women did not have rights to their own mental health, therefor putting men in charge of whether or not they were admitted into the insane asylums. Sometimes people were admitted, not to be cured, but so that the public could be assured the “crazies” wouldn’t attack them. Religious talk was also another reason for being put into asylums, such as”delusive on subjects” “religious fantasies,” and “foolish romantic talk about the devil and Jesus”.

(Jordyn’s Perspective) I think this information is very unfair and truly awful. I think it’s horrifying that people were sent off to these asylums because they might’ve been a little different or had Down’s Syndrome or even pregnant. It’s very upsetting because they were sent away against their own will and they didn’t have a true mental disorder. It’s terrible that this part of history has gone almost unnoticed and many people were sent there for stupid reasons. Being pregnant is not a mental disorder. Being different is not a mental disorder. Menopause is not a mental disorder. Being ill is not a mental disorder. Being disobedient is not a mental disorder. None of these are true reasons to be admitted into a mad house. It’s truly irritating how badly people were treated back then.

(Meghan’s Perspective) When I was researching, I found an article and I started reading it. While I was reading, some of the things I read were terrible. Like being being put in insane asylums for being depressed. Hasn’t everyone been depressed at one point in their life? So a lot of people would be in those places. Being Pregnant, it was not just the girls decision. The guy has a part of it also, so why not put him in to? What will they do with the child? Why would they not put men in insane asylums for the same reasons the women were put in? The dads, husbands, and even brothers are the ones with the messed up heads. These people would not last 10 minutes in the modern world. With all the teens being pregnant, all the depressed people, all the women going through menopause, everything being different. Why would they even put them insane asylums for these dumb reasons? To get rid of them? Im glad things have changed since then.

(Jenny’s ¬†Perspective) I honestly think that the women that were put in the insane asylums we miss judged. They didn’t get to say if they were put in the insane asylum because the men had all the rights to put them in there, because if women disobeyed there husbands boom they would be put in the asylum, if they were going through menopause boom they would go to the asylum, also if they were pregnant boom they would go to the asylum. What would they even do with the babies? Also children were admitted to insane asylums. women were also put in asylums because they were religious, or their husbands didn’t love them anymore and they just decided to put women in there. I think women were truly miss judged. Im glad our society has changed their ways

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