Victory for Progress in Mental Medicine: Defeat of Reactionaries, the History of an Intrigue (Classic Reprint)by L. Vernon Briggs
Early in my professional life I became interested in the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Studying into the history of their care and comparing it with the conditions that I found, I was impressed with the small progress that had been made in many
Excerpt from Victory for Progress in Mental Medicine: Defeat of Reactionaries, the History of an Intrigue
Early in my professional life I became interested in the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Studying into the history of their care and comparing it with the conditions that I found, I was impressed with the small progress that had been made in many years; in fact, it seemed as if we had, in some ways, gone backward, and were reverting to the treatment accorded to this class in medieval times. I found that the private hospitals needed attention quite as much as the public ones, many of them being conducted solely for financial profit and with almost no therapeutic treatment. They were nothing more nor less than large boarding houses, the only difference being that the boarders in these "private hospitals" could not leave, but had to submit to the treatment accorded them and to the food given to them. They were prisoners.
I set to work to improve conditions, but found that the proprietors of several of the private institutions of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts State Board of Insanity, which had supervision of the private and State hospitals, resented any suggestions from the outside, and, while giving out plans and propositions for modern care, they were not acting in accordance with what enlightened psychiatrists of the day considered proper and humane treatment.
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