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Mental Illness and the Treatment of patients in the 1930's

for Ms. O'Connor's 9th Honors English Class 2013-2014
by

Alex Foreman

on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of Mental Illness and the Treatment of patients in the 1930's

Mental Illness and the Treatment of Patients in the 1930's
Methods Used
Exposing patients to baths or showers of warm water for an extended period of time to calm patients and treat illness.
Lobotomy
A procedure in which the prefrontal cortex would be scraped or cut away from the rest of the brain.
Admission
Of Mice and Men Comparison
In Of Mice and Men, Lennie has a form of Mental Retardation which is not specifically told to the reader. In this time period, however, Lennie would have most likely been taken to a Mental Hospital and given one or more of the methods shown if caught.
Patients were Exposed to bromide; inducing deep sleep followed by electrical current passed through the brain to help cure dementia.
During the Great Depression Era, there was an increase in patients being admitted to Mental Institutes.
Hydrotherapy
Deep Sleep Theory
•The Treatment of Mental Illnesses, Diseases and Symptoms have altered greatly in the last century.
•During the 1920's and 30's, methods were used in hopes of "curing" the diseases and doing whatever steps necessary to do so, whereas in current times, patients are examined more thoroughly and scientific evidence proves many of these methods were unsuccessful or unethical.
The circumstances in which one would be admitted to a Mental Institute, and the Living conditions were also not as appropriate as they would be today.
The prefrontal cortex controls parts of the brain responsible for personality, decision making, and social behavior. After lobotomy, patients would either become "cured", but loose all personality, or turn into nothing more than a walking vegetable. The chances were unpredictable.
As more became skeptical, lobotomy practices were unheard of after the 1960's and 70's
Times Have Changed
Living Conditions
Once at the Hospital, Patients were neglected, left in straightjackets for days, beaten, and had their teeth pulled in prevention from biting, among other cruelties.
As well as this, the hospitals were usually understaffed, and unsanitary.
Some even faked insanity to be placed in one, to avoid severe struggles, or to avoid prison. Many, however, think that the Hospitals were worse than the prisons themselves.
Part of this reason was parents not being able to take care of children, and The Mental Defectives Act of 1911 allowed people to admit themselves to mental hospitals voluntarily.
Impact
Mental Hospitals in the 1930's had a major impact on American Society.
Science soon began to prove that the current treatment for the Mental Ill was unethical, and by the mid 1970's such Institutes ceased to exist.
The controversy and frightfulness of Mental Institutes (and Asylums before) created a classic fear, and an "Abandoned Mental Hospital" has been a horror element ever since.
Works Cited
• History of Mental Health. Mental Health America, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
<http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/our-history#.Uw5vIONdXD8>.
• Howstuffworks. Discovery, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
<http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/
lobotomy3.htm>.
• Insulin Coma Therapy. 2002, n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/
amex/nash/filmmore/ps_ict.html>.

• Lobotomy. Encyclopidia Britannica, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/345502/lobotomy>.

• Mental Health Services. Warwick Brunton, 13 July 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
<http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/mental-health-services/page-3>.
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