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Should The Government Reopen Mental Health Facilities Around The Nation To Prevent More Mass Killings?

Buoyant Leadraft 2012/12/20 11:20:35
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Is it time to bring back the classic insane asylum from the1800's - 1950's, so the mentally ill can be protected and the public protected from them?


la la land
MENTAL
happy place

The Most Famous and Notorious Insane Asylums in History


















Before
1844, the mentally ill were stashed away in prisons and the basements
of public buildings. But in the middle of the 19th century, reformers
like Dorothea Dix pushed to improve the standing of those with serious
mental illness, an effort that led to the construction of sprawling
psychiatric hospitals with names like the State Lunatic Hospital at
Danvers and the Athens Lunatic Asylum.





Many of these new facilities were built under the Kirkbride Plan,
an architectural guideline which ensured the maximum amount of privacy
and comfort for the patients. However the concept of "building as
treatment" soon fell out of favor, and most American mental asylums
became overcrowded Gothic palaces of abuse and neglect.



In the latter half of the 20th century, the invention of anti-psychotic
drugs like Thorazine triggered a movement toward
"denationalization" -- so much so that by the year 2000 almost all
of the Kirkbride buildings had been abandoned or downsized. The shells
of the grand structures, and tales of the horrors they housed, still
remain. Read on to check them out.

HORROR

Danvers State Hospital

Built in 1878 to house 500, Danvers State Hospital (formally known the
State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers) had over 2,300 patients at its peak
in the 1940s. Needless to say, conditions were hellish. Danvers is the
rumored birthplace of the lobotomy, and doctors used that barbaric
procedure, as well as electroshock therapy, to the keep the inmates in
line.



The facility closed in 1992, but a plan to turn the building into condos stalled when it promptly burned down.
The structure's cursed history shouldn't be that much of a surprise: It
was built on plot of land once owned by John Hathorne, the most unforgiving of the Salem Witch Trial judges.
















The Athens Lunatic Asylum


The Athens Lunatic Asylum, or The Ridges, has been considered one of the more haunted places on Earth ever since an incident in 1978,
in which the lifeless, naked body of a missing female patient was found
in an unheated room that was locked from the inside.



Her corpse left a
stain, and legend has it this darkened silhouette has remained ever
since, despite numerous attempts to scrub it away.



It's also interesting to note that in 1876, two years after The Ridges
opened, the number-one-listed cause of insanity among its male patients
was masturbation, while menstrual issues were high up on the list of
ills for committed females.
















McLean Hospital


With prominent former patients like John Nash, Ray Charles, Zelda
Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath and David Foster Wallace, McLean Hospital in
Belmont, Mass., has long had a reputation as the insane asylum for the
rich and famous.






The private facility was the setting for "The Bell Jar"
and "Girl, Interrupted," and a teenage James Taylor wrote one of his first songs, "Knockin' 'Round the Zoo," about his stay at McLean.



In fact, the mellow-voiced singing legend credits the Thorazine-filled
nine months he spent committed at McLean as a "life saver." Today,
McLean Hospital is one of the most well-regarded psychiatric facilities
in the world.


















Pilgram Psychiatric Center


This Long Island asylum is most famous for its sheer size -- housing
about 14,000 patients during its peak in the 1950s. The massive facility
also featured a firehouse, a power plant, a bakery and a working farm.


Originally conceived with a "rest and relaxation" philosophy, Pilgram's
treatment techniques become more aggressive with an increasing
population. In addition to lobotomies and electroshock therapy, doctors
at Pilgrim violently induced patients into comas using large doses of
insulin and metrozol. A small part of the campus is still in use today,
with its abandoned acreage now fodder for photographs and urban explorers.


















Topeka State Hospital


In 1913, the Kansas legislature deemed that habitual criminals, idiots,
epileptics, imbeciles and the insane could be subject to castration.
From then until 1961, when the inhumane procedure was banned, about
3,000 Kansans were medically rendered infertile, with majority of those castrations taking place at the Topeka State Hospital.





Even before the facility became a hotbed of eugenics, it had a notorious
reputation. In the early 1900s there were reports of patients being
strapped down for so long their skin had grown over their bounds.
Thankfully, the Topeka State Hospital was shut down in 1997.
















Bethlem Royal Hospital


Even on a list of American insane asylums, we would be remiss if we
didn't mention Bethlem Royal Hospital in London. Bethlem, the world's
oldest institution specializing in the mentally ill, started admitting
unbalanced patients in 1357.

Throughout most of its history the
conditions in the asylum were atrocious. For example, in the 18th
century the public could pay a penny for the privilege of watching the
"freaks"; they were even permitted to poke the caged patients with a
long stick.



As an indication of what a house of horrors Bethlem Royal Hospital was, the word bedlam is derived from its name.


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Top Opinion

  • b real 2012/12/20 11:59:38 (edited)
    Yes!
    b real
    +7
    I think the mental health industry will find a way to NOT do its job and make tons of money preying on the mentally ill. Think about the hospitals. Do we really think its "all about the cure"? I'm afraid that mental hospitals may let some out too early. But I do think we need more mental institutions for those who are truely missing the biggest marble in their baskets

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  • Katherine Martin 2013/04/12 03:48:33 (edited)
    Yes!
    Katherine Martin
    Mental illness is the same as physical illness, but it doesn't show like a broken leg. Treatment is very different than physical treatment & require educated people that are not biased. With the stigma attached many don't seek help that need it. Public education is key. These patients deserve clean hospitals where they can learn coping skills & any symptom that they are starting to backtrack & to seek help immediately. They should be followed with blood draws monthly for meds. that are at a stable amt. in the bloodstream, so health care administrators know if they quit taking meds when they felt "cured". This is a frequent occurrence. It may prevent suicides if caught early, because as depression eases, & the energy level . rises, that is when they are more likely to commit suicide. The schizophrenic often feel they are given directions by God. They think it is up to them to protect us from the president. Because a patient is Schizophrenic a lot go after the president. My mom suffered& from Schizophrenia, but the voices she heard was mean, sad, & worried her. They told her so & so in the family died or that my brother & I didn't love her any more. She felt someone was going to hurt her. She went to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, Ky.. She had a few shock treatments & felt that wa...&
    Mental illness is the same as physical illness, but it doesn't show like a broken leg. Treatment is very different than physical treatment & require educated people that are not biased. With the stigma attached many don't seek help that need it. Public education is key. These patients deserve clean hospitals where they can learn coping skills & any symptom that they are starting to backtrack & to seek help immediately. They should be followed with blood draws monthly for meds. that are at a stable amt. in the bloodstream, so health care administrators know if they quit taking meds when they felt "cured". This is a frequent occurrence. It may prevent suicides if caught early, because as depression eases, & the energy level . rises, that is when they are more likely to commit suicide. The schizophrenic often feel they are given directions by God. They think it is up to them to protect us from the president. Because a patient is Schizophrenic a lot go after the president. My mom suffered& from Schizophrenia, but the voices she heard was mean, sad, & worried her. They told her so & so in the family died or that my brother & I didn't love her any more. She felt someone was going to hurt her. She went to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, Ky.. She had a few shock treatments & felt that was the most beneficial. She was suicidal when we were kids. Looking back we had the weight of the world on our shoulders. I loved my mom with all of my heart, but she NEVER forgave herself for me moving in with a relative when I was 8. She needed to be in an assisted living or nursing home from the age of 38 to 72. She thrived in settings that had rules & people with mental illness.- for all of these reasons, hospitals for mental illness need to remain or be rebuilt. It's the same as having hospital units taking care of physical
    (more)
  • Quincy Jones 2013/02/07 20:17:50
  • Buoyant... Quincy ... 2013/02/07 20:21:43
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Its really sad. We have let the mentally ill down in a big way. Less prisons more mental health hospitals.
  • Mangus 2013/01/13 02:38:49
    Undecided
    Mangus
    +1
    are asylum need yes should they be the same as old no as the old asylums were shut down due to the horable way we treated them as they were unmonitered and funding per person was much less then for a murder in a jail so we need to build new ones that are more humaine to restore the issue now that you can have a demon child but it near impossable to get him commited till they kill some one
  • Mangus Mangus 2013/10/06 16:49:21
    Mangus
    More I thought about it answer should be yes as there only three places for the mentally ill that are violent which is dead or in prisons and it only going to get worse as when they shut the lost most violent ones a large number of discharging were frontal lobotomized before they were to be released. I have a friend who several lovely kids a good home and a hellspawn which they cannot get into long term care as he stabbed kids in school kills small animal for fun generals bully and has threated to kill not only has family but also several kids in his school
    and yes he under Psychotic but they will taken him in for more then 3 days where this daemonspawn know better to act up so they do not see the problem but if you ever in there house you finds no silver ware or knifes or anything and every bedroom has a lock on it but his as they live under the fear of getting killed in the night.
  • Frank Stephens 2012/12/23 00:09:23 (edited)
    Undecided
    Frank Stephens
    +1
    I'm not sure the public or political will is there to reestablish institutionalization. One reason for closing State hospitals -- despite appalling conditions -- was they required a 300-percent increase in spending over a 10-year period, and were a substantial drain on state budgets. Yet deinstitutionalization initially progressed very slowly (by 1962 the resident population in institutions had fallen from 559,000 to 505,000). It only accelerated into a full-scale, nationwide policy in the late 1960s and 1970s, when the federal government became involved. Cost will be a factor if reestablished and it will be even higher today.
  • Buoyant... Frank S... 2012/12/23 01:07:02
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Thanks Frank!!!
    What we have now is not working. I wish there was a way to force the mentally ill to take their Med's and be monitored. As of now they can't be forced right?
    Something has to be done to make the public safe and the patient secure.
  • Frank S... Buoyant... 2012/12/23 02:38:10
    Frank Stephens
    +1
    It's a huge problem no one in government wants to deal with. Cuts to aid the care of the mentally ill have certainly not helped this cause. This loss of funding to help those who require regular supervision for meds and occasional hospitalization continues to propagate the old world belief that mental illness is somehow not a legitimate sickness. Meds and monitoring? A judge can order someone to take them -- who's going to enforce it?

    The problem haunts the family members of these individuals. When police become involved they don't want to become entangled in potential lawsuits so they will usually take and easy way out of a sticky family situation. And what it all comes down to is a HUGE financial burden city, counties, and states don't want to assume.
  • Chokmah 2012/12/22 21:31:29
    Yes!
    Chokmah
    +2
    It was stupid to close them in the first place. You can thank the LWers and the ACLU for that boneheaded mistake.
  • Buoyant... Chokmah 2012/12/23 01:08:18
    Buoyant Leadraft
    So its Liberals fault? ...for a moment I forgot I was on SH! *SIGH*
  • Chokmah Buoyant... 2012/12/23 01:33:15
    Chokmah
    +1
    So you really think it is Reagan's fault?..... *sigh* Oh that's right... I am on SH
  • Buoyant... Chokmah 2012/12/23 01:37:44 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Ronald Reagan shut down over 500 by de-funding them from the Medicaid and Medicare programs and eliminated them from Federal grant monies to the states
  • Chokmah Buoyant... 2012/12/23 01:56:24
    Chokmah
    +1
    In 1967, Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), which went into effect in 1969 and quickly became a national model. Among other things, it prohibited forced medication or extended hospital stays without a judicial hearing.

    That's right, Governor Reagan signed a bill inspired by those who clamored for the "civil rights" of the mentally ill to be on the street AND who bogusly claimed they'd be better off with community counseling. So no, Reagan, didn't close mental hospitals or put anyone on the street. FAD views on mental health, a misguided ACLU, and politicians who "know better" did it.

    Oh and IN a 2005 article:
    "Last year, Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, D-Davis, and Sen. Don Perata, D- Oakland, sponsored legislation that would have reformed the 30-year-old LPS Act and allowed California to join the 27 other states that can consider a patient's history of mental illness, as well as his or her current state of mental and physical deterioration. It cleared the Assembly 53-16, only to be stopped cold by Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, who vowed, 'It ain't going to happen.'"

    Some things never change. Oh and for those who don't know, Burton was a DEMOCRAT, so don't try to pin this on Reagan.
  • Buoyant... Chokmah 2012/12/23 02:23:25
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Chock? Do you think both sides might just be to blame? Why does it always have to be so black and white with you. What gives? Second, I'm a moderate. I'm not some hippie commie tree hugger. Sure I can be liberal on some issues and conservative or libertarian on others. I just wish we could have the conversation about guns switch over to mental health. It would be a great starting point. I own a gun. I am not anti gun. But Jesus H., these crazy people are using guns that spray 40 some odd rounds per second and they end up in the hands of the insane. If you need to kill a deer with a rocket launcher then you are no hunter.

    What do you think we should do to fix it other then have all the evil Liberals die off?
  • Chokmah Buoyant... 2012/12/23 02:39:44
    Chokmah
    +1
    Buoyant, I am trying to get at the heart of the issue. Gratuitous slams at Ronald Reagan are unwarranted. Reagan signed the LPS Act 40 years ago! State and Federal legislatures could have attended to this problem at any time. Since you raised the Reagan connection I answered. Let's examine the culture, the mind-set, the milieu that set this 'brave new world' of mental health treatment on its present course.

    Your article paints mental health hospitals and institutions as houses of horror, like our modern day STATE OPERATED prisons. And until modern medications and methods sanitariums were probably horrible places. But how would you have treated them back then? With the technology they had back then?

    As far as assault weapons; No, I do not think the average hunter or hobbyist should have access to these weapons, or a more complete check must be made, and a damn good reason for owning them must be made before the crazies get their hands on them. It is ironic that Lanza used hand guns and not assault weapons or automatic guns with large magazines.

    Better security and better mental health laws and screenings must be implemented. Reagan had nothing to do with it and neither do the people of the past.
  • Buoyant... Chokmah 2012/12/23 03:09:18 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft
    +1
    Yes I painted the idea of the asylum as a house of horrors because over time it did become that. But it didn't start out that way. I'm a bit of an optimist. I envision clean places with white walls, a caring staff and amazing doctors. Fold it into healthcare. Universalize it but keep it private at the same time.

    I have some sort of Utopian/Orwellian solution to those who suffer from mental illness because we may all face it in our lifetime or the effects of the mentally ill on our own healthy lives. A sub-dermal implant that gives the patient a measured dosage of his our her drug cocktail daily for a year. Well behaved patients who come in for check-ups, who feel like they have improved and are on track and for all intense and purposes take their Med's on time. The delivery system can be refilled at the point of the injection site or adjusted if needed.

    I have had members of my past family housed in such places. Sure it was in the late 1800's, probably the best time for institutions, but we can modernize. Bring it into the 21st century. If governments no longer want to do it, we can vote them out of office year after year. If we can build prisons then we can build less of them and build more institutions. Many people in prisons aren't criminals they are mentally ill. They should be protected.

    Thanks for your response chok!
    -Buoyant

    P.S. Of course the right would view this idea as being micro-chipped and the sign of the beast. *sigh again*
  • Chokmah Buoyant... 2012/12/23 04:26:36
    Chokmah
    +1
    I applaud your idealism.
  • Mangus Buoyant... 2013/01/13 03:16:14
    Mangus
    +13
    They became hell as they kept cuting funding so when all closed a mentally ill person got less the half the funding the a person in jail
  • Mangus Buoyant... 2013/01/13 03:08:36
    Mangus
    +11
    the AR 15 only fires 12-15 a minute as faster rate jam to over heating and a 2.23 round which is concider a varment round if I was a sick bastard like these shooters I carry 4 to 6 pistols which would be much more letal if your skilled with useing 2 pistols who will get twice the fire rate at a time and letal with much more powerful 9 or 10 mm round or 45s hand guns which are not even being chalenged
  • gypsy1000 Buoyant... 2014/09/20 18:40:41
    gypsy1000
    +1
    Obama care doesn't that help? Do you know where those patients are at today? They might be in homeless shelter who aren't equipped to take care of them, on the streets defenseless, in jail, or dead. When is America going to confess that they screwed up.
  • Ron in Oregon 2012/12/22 21:28:38
    Yes!
    Ron in Oregon
    +4
    My mother worked as psychiatric aide at Prigg Cottage, part of the Oregon State Hospital system.
    The patients meds were monitored and they called her "mom".
    Oregon State Hospital is where One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed.
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/22 21:30:15 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft
    VERY INTERESTING!! The look of that place is rather creepy.
    I can't seem to find any pictures of the front of the building on google
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/22 23:21:57
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    It was on Center Street in Salem and is now in process of being remodeled.
    But I will look after I get back from work tonight.
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/23 01:09:49
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Thanks Ron! It would be nice to add a picture of it to this post!
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/23 16:05:01
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    Google Oregon State Hospital Salem

    google oregon hospital salem
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/23 16:07:54
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Oh my! Would you look at that. Its stunning. It looks perfect. *shivers*
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/23 16:12:49
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    I can take a picture today and show you what it looks like now.
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/23 16:22:54 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Wow!!! I would love to walk through it, that would be so creepy. How cool.... you live by this place? Yes please! take some cool shots from the outside I'll post it and write something cool about it.
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/28 21:13:36
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    Ok here is a photo.
    i just took it.
    it is now a museum Oregon State Hospital Salem Oregon
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/28 22:36:40
    Buoyant Leadraft
    wow it's stunning!! Thank you so much! I'll have to add it to my list of placed!
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/29 21:57:37
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    I wish I had pictures of the parts they just tore down this last year.
    Several years ago they found canisters with cremated remains in them, no family ever claimed them.
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/29 23:14:06
    Buoyant Leadraft
    I think I remember hearing a news story about ashes left behind. I wonder if this is the place. I love the look of all that old hospital equipment from the past. Would have been a blast to walk through it.
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/30 14:58:34
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    I have not gone through it since it has been made into a museum, so maybe they have saved some of it.
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/30 15:00:34
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Ron, I can't thank you enough for taking that picture!
    That was very very nice of you! I just love history, I am obsessed!
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/30 17:33:40
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    You would probably love pictures of the Pittock Mansion and of the Peter Iredale(not much left of it)
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2012/12/30 17:58:25 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft


    I could not find a pic of the Peter Iredale mansion but I did find this picture of the pittock mansion.

    I LOVE IT! Its so pretty and kinda spooky as well.
  • Ron in ... Buoyant... 2012/12/30 20:09:31
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    Here is a pic taken last month.

    pic
  • Ron in ... Ron in ... 2012/12/30 20:10:35
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    Well it was a pic when I copied it I will try again but my battery is low.
  • Ron in ... Ron in ... 2012/12/30 20:11:44
  • Buoyant... Ron in ... 2013/01/13 12:57:40
    Buoyant Leadraft
    This is the mansion? ON THE BEECH?? Oh my

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