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Trapped in Insanity

Shedding light onto Insane Asylums in the 20s and 30s

Amanda Foster

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of Trapped in Insanity

Trapped in Insanity
The Asylum
In the early 20th century Insane asylums were terrible. Asylums were over crowded, dirty, and inhumane. These institutions were meant to do good, and for some they might have, but for most they were a torture chamber.
Thank you for watching
We hope that this presentation shed some light onto the sad conditions of mental institutions in the 20s and 30s. Our hearts go out to all the people who suffered in these places.
Danvers State Hospital
Danvers was Ranked #1 on "The Worst Mental Institutions of All Time".
Originally designed for 500 patients, with an overflow into the attic for 100 more.
Housed over 2000 patients, resulting in horrible living conditions, starvation, neglect, and disease epidemics.
This hospital is also known for using wooden spoons to perform lobotomies on the "insane".

Pennhurst State Hospital
Pennhurst opened in 1908 and closed 1987.
The institution was built to house the insane, epileptic, children and adults with mental disabilities unwanted children, and criminally insane.
Athens Lunatic Asylum
Opened in 1874 and closed in 1993
Known as one of the most crude asylums of all time.
Like Pennhurst, the hospital was built to hide the mentally ill.
This was one of the first places to use Lobotomies to cure Schizophrenia. Unlike Danvers, their instrument of choice was an ice pick.
According to Dictionary.com the definition of Lobotomy is "Surgical incision into the frontal lobe of the brain to sever one or more nerve tracts, a technique formerly used to treat certain mental disorders but now rarely performed"
In the early 20th century Lobotomies were performed to people who were considered to be "insane".
In this time Lobotomies were performed with anything from legitimate surgical tools to such objects as rusty ice cream scoops, icepicks, and wooden spoons.
Insulin Shock
Insulin Shock Therapy is when you are fed high, unsafe levels of Insulin.
This therapy caused extreme seizures, coma, and occasionally death
In the 30s it was thought to "Shake the schizophrenia out of someone."
ECT was used as a means of punishment for patients in mental institutions with chronic behavior problems. At times these treatments were even administered without proper anesthetics or restraints
McLean Psychiatric Hospital
This was a well known asylum, glamorized in a sense. It was the “hospital” where many famous people came for treatment.
This was the hospital that gave inspiration for the famous book "Bell Jar" by Silvia Plath.
Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane, aka Bartonville Asylum
Opened in 1902 and closed in 1972
What started out as a hospital that refused to restrain patients in the 1900s, by 1914 all patients were restrained, no matter what their problem was.
They used Electroshock, Insulin Shock, and Lobotomies on most of their patients.
In 1968 Bill Baldini of NBC reported on an expose of Pennhurst called "Suffer the Little Children". He was the First person to shed light onto the problems Pennhurst had for the last 60 years.
The institution was built to be self sufficient so the public did not have to see "The scum of society".
In the 30s is when this became very popular with psychiatric hospitals.
Patients were put in padded rooms with strait jackets on.
In many institutions the nurses and doctors neglected so many of the patients, that if you were put into isolation you could possibly be there for 24+ hours.
Athens Lunatic Asylum
Life in an Asylum
Final resting place
Pennhurst State Hospital
Bartonville Asylum
Life in an Asylum
Patients were told to bite on a mouth guard or a piece of wood. Then they had wands placed onto their forehead and the wands were connected to a battery that would surge electricity into their brain. They could be electrocuted from anywhere from 2 minutes to up to 15 minutes.
Isolation was thought to be helpful for schizophrenics, but ended up causing more hallucinations and attempted suicides.
They would get trapped inside their own minds with no way out.
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