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1. Throughout the first several chapters, mental illness has been treated as a much more communal issue than I had anticipated. Especially in colonial times, there seemed to be an emphasis on the idea that these “distracted” or “disturbed” people needed the support of the community around them to keep them alive. I question whether the motives of such efforts to “help” the mentally ill in colonial times were merely to help the communities keep face rather than providing any real lasting aid to those afflicted. Joey Welch

1)Throughout the text for this week there was a theme of care-taking vs treatment for those who had been deemed to have mental health disorders such as “insanity”. Given the knowledge that they had at the time, was it more effective and compassionate to attempt treatment in facilities or provide care in the community farm like facilities that were created after the asylums? ( Grob, 7, 25, 29, 43, 50, 52, 71-72, 73, 79) — Ruth Curran

2)Those in charge of Asylums appear to truly be pushing for continuing them as valid treatment options even though there is much conflicting evidence as to their effectiveness. What is the motivation here for them to continue this as an avenue to restoring mental health? (Grob, 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, 36, 45, 57, 76) —Ruth Curran

3)Some of the people who were deemed insane were violent in some way or committed some kind of crime. It is apparent that many of these people did end up in prison or jail prior, especially prior to the creation of the Asylums which were essentially a type of jail. How would the community have differentiated between someone who they would call “sane” committing a horrible crime vs someone who is “insane” committing a horrible crime? What would have been the criteria for putting someone in an asylum instead of prison? (Grob, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 35, 44,) — Ruth Curran

1. I found the link between the Enlightenment and the establishment of Asylums to be quite interesting. Although I had not considered it before, it does make sense. The increased interest in secular and logical views helped to develop the beginnings of modern medicine. There was, however, a retaining of religious thought in the form of religious asylums established in the Northeast. I find it interesting that these two worlds- religious/spiritual and logic and reason- found a way to coexist in the form of Asylums, at least for a time. What justifications did the asylum creators/supervisors have for retaining the “religious” part of the asylum network in the Northeast, and how did their views differ from their counterparts in other regions as asylum networks spread across the country? - Evan

2. The establishment of asylums for the mentally ill were done away from population centers, however they became population centers in a sense by virtue of their existence away from cities. In what ways were these areas selected? Did asylum planners buy out farmers land and develop it? - Evan

1. In Chapter 4, wrongful commitment is a fairly rare, but not impossible event. With overcrowding on the horizon by this time, one would expect increased selectiveness. Did the reduction of autonomy and freedom worsen outcomes in questionably confined patients? -RJD

2. On page 105, the chronically insane are said to be largely discharged as their path to recover was essentially non-existent. Was this a universal practice, especially in cases of patients who were chronically insane, but lacking in basic self sufficiency? -RJD

1. How was the economic cost of caring for the mentally ill a factor in the changes in who was considered responsible for that care, as well as in how this care was to be conducted? Was at times the driving factors in change in care based on practical reasons such as this rather than a better understanding of effective mental health treatment? - Morgan Kelley

2. How was the mental health care/psychiatry field driven by its need for legitimacy? Chapter five ends with the public perception of psychiatric hospitals becoming increasingly negative as they become less focused on curing acute conditions and more focused on longterm care for chronic conditions. How might this impact the field and the psychiatric hospitals themselves moving forward? - Morgan Kelley

1. It’s interesting to look at the initial treatment of the mentally ill in the colonial period, specifically the way a community made sure to look out for them. How did this central idea for early care of the mentally ill change so drastically to today? As we see many people who end up displaced or un-housed due to mental illness.-Margie Jones

2. The impact that the Enlightenment had on creating the mental institutions is quite interesting, in that the idea of being able to “conquer” a disease was possible. How did this change happen seemingly so fast? From rural community based to mental institutions, was it still common to have community-based support? Margie Jones

1. In the second chapter it discusses the ideas of Philip Pinel and his core beliefs. Essentially the idea of moral theory is what stands out. While Pinel was from France his ideas gained credence in America. Yet, why have American psychiatric hospitals constantly gone against these ideas? - Darian James

2. Economic difficulties are something that is touched upon in multiple chapters. This led to extremely poor conditions and inequality within hospitals. How did economic factors play into the overall development of psychiatric hospitals? Did economic factors play into the treatment of patients? - Darian James

1. Early on in the chapter Caring for the Insane in Colonial America, I would like to know why people originally thought “Mental Illness were perceived to be an individual rather than a social problem,” To me, this seems like people who were in charge were trying to blame an individual instead of realizing that mental health is a bigger issue. -Jake Martin

2. I would like to know why in the Caring for the Insane in Colonial America section, Colonial America seemed to mostly care about the social and economic consequences of an individual instead of the health and well-being of the individual itself. -Jake Martin

1. Grob spends a fair amount of time talking about the role that community played in the treatment and management of those afflicted with mental illnesses. Margie already touched on the idea of communal responsibility, but I find it interesting how by and large, people were allowed to, encouraged, and in some ways required to stay in their communities rather than be institutionalized. How then did this calculus of “placing” mentally ill people change over time? Was it simply the proliferation of asylums and other facilities in the post-colonial period, or was there a cultural shift in the view of what was most kind to the individual and the community? -Ricky

2. It's fascinating to me the role that the well-to-do had in the development and explosion in popularity of asylums in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Grob writes at length about the connection of these elites to religious revival movements, and the unique view of charity that led these elites to fund the construction of mental health care institutions. In many ways, I think these ideas were of the same mind as Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth sixty years later. Should the donations of these wealthy patrons to the construction of asylums be viewed as a caring act, or can they be seen as a way to sequester people suffering from mental helath issues, and keep them out of the public eye and consciousness? -Ricky

1. I found it interesting that during the colonial period, taking care of the mentally ill became a family and a community issue since communities then were more rural and small. However, I wonder how these communities treated people that were labeled as “distracted persons?” - Teresa

2. Something that I noticed, even from the colonial period, to Kikbride’s career (noted in last week’s reading by Nancy Tomes), was that the family and community were a big part of “healing” and “treating” the mentally ill. - Teresa

2023-471g4--week_2_day_1.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/05 13:24 by