There are many reasons why we should be thankful to be living in today’s World, one major reason to support this statement would be that which directly relates to the treatment that people with mental disorders were given. Patients with mental disorders are treated with the utmost respect and care in most places today but that wasn’t the case back in the day. Years ago people with mental disorders were treated rather poorly. They were considered outcasts and rejects and were used as lab rats for experiments, and suffered ghastly treatment at the hands of the staff, including doctors, of the institutions where they were admitted. Shockingly, most people who were sent to these asylums did not even have any problems to start with but it was the treatment given to them that drove them to madness. Listed below are the horrors that these patients faced within these brutal asylums.
It was a clumsy method in which ice picks were shoved into the brain to severe the connection of the prefrontal cortex; this would result in the patient becoming a zombie with no expression left in them. Sadly this treatment was sometimes carried out by people who have not had any medical training.
2. Electroconvulsive Therapy
Also known as shock therapy, these patients were subject to electric shocks to numb all their feelings and cure their illness. It was more torture than treatment though.
Those who could not control their emotions were caged, sometimes for days on end.
4. Waterboarding Torture
Patients were treated as guinea pigs in which their chair, which was hand cranked, was tipped into a pool of freezing water in order to subdue their emotions.
5. Unlivable Conditions
Some asylums held as many as ten times the amount patients it could hold and some just had only three attendees for these patients, leaving them to sleep in filth and their own excrement.
6. Left Naked & Idle
Byberry Hospital was one of the few in which the living conditions of the patients were exposed. Patients were left idle with no activity and all of them were left naked. There was no cleanliness and they were left to wallow in their own filth. This hospital was built to hold 2500 patients but it held 6000 patients with no care and facilities.
7. Unqualified Staff
Most asylums had a shortage of trained staff so they employed help from wherever they got it, irrespective of their qualifications. Blackwell prison in fact hired prisoners to take care of the patients. WTF!!
8. Terrible Facilities
Patients were left in darkness at nights, scorching heat of the sun in days and were left at the mercy of the weather because of the poor facilities provided.
9. Experiments On The Patients
In Beachworth asylum, Australia, patients were experimented on and autopsies were performed on them to see the effects of the treatments. Apparently the labs were filled with shelves containing human body parts stored in preservatives.
10. Murder & Satanic Rituals
Jane Toppan, a nurse in Cambridge hospital, reportedly killed 31 mental patients in 1894 and in Taunton State Hospital patients were dragged into the basements and satanic rituals was performed on them. Till today the hospital is deemed haunted.
Most staff because of the facilities, overcrowding and the fact that they had to deal with people with disorders were overcome with sadistic tendencies. They were reduced to patients themselves after they abused the patients, both physically and sexually and some even resorted to murder. Sadly most of these places were crowded with women who had no mental disability but were forced into these asylums by their husbands as an act of discipline or if they contemplated divorce. These asylums eventually drove them crazy and a lot of them committed suicide.