The historical development of psychiatric hospitals from the past to the present

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The historical development of psychiatric hospitals from the past to the present

Today, countless people suffer from mental illnesses, major or minor, at some point in their lives, and they try to combat these illnesses. On the other hand, while mental illness is one of the most prevalent problems of modern times, it is nothing new. There have also been mental illnesses for hundreds of years. However, the approach to psychiatric and psychiatric hospitals was very different from what it is now. For example, mental hospitals were places where family members who were “unmanageable” were “locked out” and people who wanted to be cut off from social life were detained. In other words, many centuries ago, the undesirable and powerless members of society would walk the corridors of mental hospitals rather than mental patients awaiting treatment.

Yes, a lot of the mentally ill in the past did not have a mental illness. Being unwanted by those in power in the family or social life was reason enough to send him to a mental hospital. However, the inhabitants of mental hospitals in the past were really unfortunate people. Because mental hospitals were places where abuse, isolation, torture, and death were considered very normal. Fortunately, humanity’s approach to mental patients and mental hospitals has changed dramatically. Modern science has largely triumphed over torture and isolation. However, this victory took a long time to pass. Here’s what you need to know about mental hospitals’ history of inhumane practices.

Mental hospitals were seen as places where “unwanted” people were imprisoned until the end of the eighteenth century.

Yes, people who were truly mentally ill were “treated” in mental hospitals. However, unruly children, women who had been thrown out by their husbands, or people who did not adequately conform to social norms were among the permanent residents of mental hospitals.

Prior to the 19th century, torture and death in mental hospitals were common.

Almost all mental hospitals had very difficult conditions for the patients inside. Abuse, torture, and death were common concepts in mental hospitals. However, the abode of terrible experiences incompatible with human dignity was also these mental hospitals.

Countless people have lost their lives in these hideous healing institutions of the past due to various tortures and neglect. The lucky ones were forced to take very dangerous drugs and drugs and suffered greatly. Some were made the subject of blood clotting experiments incompatible with human dignity. In short, before the end of the nineteenth century, mental hospitals were among the most terrible structures in cities.

Most of the unwanted residents of mental hospitals were women and children.

Because women and children can easily be pushed into the ‘unwanted’ position both in the family and in social life. For this reason, mental hospitals were the only destination for unruly children and women who had been disgraced by their husbands.

For example, in the 18th century, a woman could be placed in a mental institution simply because she could not bear children. However, women who think differently from their husbands on some important issues were also “treated” for this reason only. Children with uncontrollable behavior that “embarrassed” their families were also sent to mental hospitals…

It was not until the late eighteenth century that the first hospital appeared in England to call for the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

The Retreat Hospital for Mental Illnesses, which began operations in York, England in 1796, was one of the first to be established with scientific methods. At the very least, unlike many previous institutions, it acknowledged that the mentally ill were also human beings and openly declared that they should be treated humanely.

Here, the hospital called The Retreat and the few similar establishments that appeared in the following period were important and rare organizations that attempted to make mental hospitals cease to be places of fear.

Friends Asylum, which opened in Philadelphia, USA in 1814, was an important step for mental hospitals to stop being places of torture and death.

On the other hand, Friends Asylum was one of the first mental hospitals whose directors were neither doctors nor nurses. This place was created to “help the deprived to use their minds”. However, unlike many mental hospitals of the time, it did not only serve those with money.

The hospital was open to all people from all walks of life. For this reason, people who were really sick could be treated here, as well as wealthy people who wanted to keep their family members out of sight.

Friends Asylum was the first place to institutionalize mental hospitals

This hospital was funded largely by taxes from the community. Some countries, particularly inspired by the Friends Asylum of the 1890s, have taken action to establish government-funded mental hospitals and asylums.

This situation has enabled psychiatric hospitals to have a more institutional structure all over the world. The opportunity for official authorities to stop inhumane practices in mental hospitals appeared for the first time in this period. Supervision and control have become two inseparable concepts when it comes to mental hospitals.

Governments’ involvement in psychiatric hospitals has strengthened the institutional structure. Thus, treatments and practices in mental hospitals have become standard.

Psychiatric hospitals

In other words, at the end of the nineteenth century, mental hospitals were transformed into ever more humane places.

The Lunacy Act, enacted in England in 1845, provided for regular inspections of mental hospitals.

Psychiatric hospitals

The Act, enacted through the efforts of Lord Shaftesbury, provided for regular inspections of mental hospitals. This practice in England has been carefully followed by countries such as the United States and France.

Thus, psychiatric hospitals have become places where standard treatments are prevalent, inhumane practices are gradually abandoned, and they are inspected and monitored by official authorities. However, it has taken some time for modern science and modern thought to fully gain control over mental hospitals.

Unfortunately, poor treatment and inhumane practices continued in mental hospitals well into the nineteenth century.

Psychiatric hospitals

For example, many mental hospitals have held events where mental patients they have treated are shown in order to earn financial income. Those who bought the tickets sold by the hospital came to the mental hospital as if they were visiting a zoo, and had the opportunity to closely examine the patients!

However, the fact that people working in mental hospitals are not adequately equipped and educated has caused problems to arise again in the past. So violence, abuse, and death continued as everyday concepts in mental hospitals until about the end of the 20th century. In the 1950s, many people died in various mental hospitals due to horrific torture and neglect. Only in the first decade of the 21st century have mental hospitals become fully modern and safe places …

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