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The Mad among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill / Edition 1

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U.S.A. 1994 Clothbound Hardcover First Edition New in New jacket New first edition clothbound hardcover in new dust jacket. Remaindered. Note that previous owner was a collector ... who carefully reinforced the dust jacket with what appears to be archival tape along the interior edges to prevent shelf wear. The book itself is in pristine new, clean, crisp, tight and unread condition. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Americans want to be humane toward the mentally ill, yet we have always been divided about what is best for them and for society. Now, the foremost historian of the care of the mentally ill compellingly recounts our various attempts to solve this ever-present dilemma. In the first comprehensive one-volume history of the treatment of the mentally ill, Gerald Grob begins with colonial America, when families and local communities accepted responsibility for their mentally ill members. Their solutions varied, from confinement under lock and key, to granting mentally ill persons a wide measure of autonomy. As American society grew larger and more complex, the first mental hospitals were created to deal with growing numbers of the severely and persistently mentally ill. Grob brings to life the charismatic and innovative individuals who administered these hospitals and shows how they were successful at first in providing humane care and treatment. But under the pressure of too many patients and too few resources, the hospitals subsequently deteriorated into custodial institutions, and Grob charts this transformation. He traces the growth of the psychiatric profession, the change of the mental health field during World War Il, and the use of controversial shock therapies, drugs, and lobotomies. Mounting criticism of some of these techniques and of mental institutions as inhumane places led to the emptying of the hospitals and a new emphasis on community care and treatment. Americans daily encounter the pitiful sight of homeless, mentally ill people in the streets of our cities, and wonder how it came to be this way. Grob shows that while many patients benefited from the new community policies, there arose a new group of mentally ill substance abusers who desperately need treatment but who resist it. He argues that these people, and not deinstitutionalized patients, make up most of the disturbed homeless who confront us today. Their presence demands new solutions, and G

Caring for the insane in Colonial America/realities of asylum life/World War II & new models of mental illnesses.

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Editorial Reviews

William Beatty
Besides covering the changes in attitude toward and the treatment of the mentally ill in the U.S., Grob shows how psychiatry has progressed from a close relationship with asylums to essentially a private-office practice. Moreover, he clearly sets forth the birth and development of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (parent of the American Psychiatric Association) and related organizations, as well as of such lay groups as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health. He limns the gradual change during the twentieth century from the mental hospitalization of the elderly to providing surrogate homes for them, and he places fads in psychiatry (dynamic, biological, etc.) in their historical contexts. Smoothly written and well documented, this is another example of Grob's gift for scholarly yet readable work in this important field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029126950
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Abbreviations Used in Text
Prologue 1
1 Caring for the Insane in Colonial America 5
2 Inventing the Asylum 23
3 The Emergence of American Psychiatry 55
4 Realities of Asylum Life 79
5 The Problem of Chronic Mental Illnesses, 1860-1940 103
6 A New Psychiatry 129
7 Depression, War, and the Crisis of Care 165
8 World War II and New Models of Mental Illnesses 191
9 The Foundations of Change in Postwar America 223
10 The New Frontier and the Promise of Community Mental Health 249
11 Confronting the Mad Among Us in Contemporary America 279
Notes 313
Index 369
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