Week 2 - Questions for Tuesday August 31,2021
1. The Grob text mentions how the treatment of insanity was interlinked with religion as an “operative element” (pg. 31). He later states (pg. 58) how mid-nineteenth-century psychiatrists managed to infuse both moral values and science into their model of insanity. Grob stresses (pg. 60): the two general causes for insanity were classified as “physical” and “moral”. I believe this school of thought had a tremendous negative impact on how mental patients were viewed in the 19th century. What is your opinion?
2. Grob states (pg. 51): “urban areas created institutions that did not differentiate between the insane, the unemployed, and other dependent groups, and even individuals who were incarcerated because of criminal activities”. The US has made very little progress in this area and psychiatric sections of regional jails are often examples of how inadequate mental health care can result in tragedy. Opinions?
3. Institutionalization used to be “sine qua non” (a necessity) – Grob (pg. 64). In today’s world, the goal is to have the patient placed back into society as quickly as possible. When and why did the approach change?
Submitted by Bonnie Akkerman. I pledge…
1) It is interesting that legislation pertaining to the care of “distracted” persons existed as early as 1641 (pg. 7). This combined with the knowledge that the problem posed by these people was more social and economic rather than medical in the colonies begs the question of just how aware the colonists were of mental illness outside of their own perceived superstitions. From what we know so far, did the colonists merely not care enough to take care of these so-called “distracted” individuals outside of the poor law system, or do you think there simply wasn't enough of an understanding of mental health pre-Revolution to create successful help and/or institutions for those in need?
2) The history of mental health appears to be deeply ingrained with social and economic structures. This is also a theme that is common in the present day, with insurance companies and their want of a “proper” diagnosis. Why do you think this is so? What makes mental health a social and economic issue?
Submitted by Lyndsey Clark.
Question 1: According to Grob, the institutionalization of people without any mental health issues did occur, however, it was very rare. How did this belief that thousands of “sane” people were institutionalized happen and what is the estimated number that actually occurred?
Question 2: did Asylums ever have issues with drug addiction since Opium and other drugs were used as a treatment for patients? Submitted by Griffin Nameroff
1) Could the possible failure of early asylums have impacted the public view on the mentally ill as being incurable? If they were to have used better practices (not purging, isolating, restricting, etc.) and possibly saw an increase in effectively treated patients, would the public be more accepting to those who are mentally ill?
2) Did the privatizing of the care for mentally ill patients have an adverse effect on the ill rather than when the community would care for them as a whole? Grob mentions how those who were mentally ill were cared for by everyone in the community to help alleviate the family and continue growth within the community (6). However, mental illness was then privatized which resulted in issues of finding funding and also allowed doctors to use their own beliefs and medical reasonings, some of which were not always safe for the patient. If the community were to have remained in the main care, such as increased public funding, would patients have had a better chance of being “cured” and would treatments have not been as harsh? Submitted by Mallory Karnei
1. Why wasn't urbanization, stress, etc. blamed for mental disorders but “unfortunate love” was?
2. Grob mentions the disagreement over whether or not to create a classification system. If it was agreed to create a classification system would that have made treatment easier, worse, or would it have stayed the same? Submitted by Audrey Schroeder
1. What are some of the societal implications of admission rates being different among genders and sometimes ethnic backgrounds?
2. What kind of effects might the assumption that institutions should be funded by the state and local governments have on how society might have viewed the mentally ill and their treatment? Submitted by Jack Kurz
1.In the mentioned causes of melancholy Robert Burton in Anatomy of Melancholy mentions faulty education. What does that mean or reference what does he mean by faulty education? Alongside how was the difference between non-religious melancholy and religious melancholy defined and how was it diagnosed?
2. Grob mentions that with the rise of urbanization, increased immigration, and the rise of capitalism. The rise of institutions began due to their seeming necessity need to deal with the large population of “Insane” peoples. However, at the start the use of community aid was crucial to the founding and management to these asylums. But this would change over time. So could this change in the management of those suffering mental illnesses at this time, be seen as the start of the separation of community and the medical hospital? -Submitted by Parker Siebenschuh
1. As stated in the chapter, “Caring for the insane in Colonial America”, those who were called “distracted” were the responsibility of the local town and community. Do you think this was a system that benefited both the “distracted persons” and the community?
2. How did the public respond to the use of government money, taxes, to fund and operate public mental institutions? – Jayden Jordan
1. Grob notes how “fear and optimism shaped the ways in which American's responded to social problems” however early public hospitals seemed to operate more in the way of financial motivation, had money been less of an issue would those suffering from mental illness truly have been cared for differently?
2. While early colonists believed that mental illness was the work of the devil, they did apply a community commitment to helping it, by the 1820s those who were ill were being kept in prison-like asylums. Were the colonists, though ignorant and misguided, better and more humane at handling mental ill persons? -Janis Shurtleff
1. Why did Cotton Mather, Grob (9-10), believe that madness was caused by the devil, yet believed in the efficacy of inoculating against smallpox? What was does this say about his opinion of the causes of insanity versus physical ailments?
2. What does it say about the state of race relations in American society when Dorothea Dix, who felt deep sympathy for the plight of the mentally ill, dared not condemn the issue of slavery? (Grob, 47)
3. How could state legislatures fail to see that it was a bad idea to establish public mental hospitals that were geographically in the center of the state, but far away from urban centers? (Grob, 51-3) -Submitted by Chris O'Neill
1.“, we learned that those who were called “distracted” were considered the local town and community's 'responsibility.' Is this kind of solution/treatment good, or should we likely consider it tokenism?
2. At what point is it irresponsible for family members of mentally ill people to insist on caring for them alone?
3. Do we have data on whether the amount of PoC with mental health issues went under or over-reported during this time? Grob's chapters so far have made this unclear.
-Submitted by Theron Gertz. I pledge…