By Katherine Ziff, Samuel T Gladding
Asylum at the Hill is the tale of a very good American scan in psychiatry, a revolution in take care of people with psychological affliction, as obvious throughout the instance of the Athens Lunatic Asylum. in-built Southeast Ohio after the Civil conflict, the asylum embodied the nineteenth-century gold typical” standards of ethical remedy. tales of sufferers and their households, politicians, caregivers, and group illustrate how a village within the coalfields of the Hocking River Valley answered to a countrywide impulse to supply compassionate care in accordance with a healing panorama, publicity to the humanities, outside workout, worthwhile career, and private realization from a doctor. even supposing finally doomed by way of overcrowding and overshadowed by means of the increase of latest types of psychiatry, for 20 years the healing neighborhood at Athens pursued ethical remedy remedy with power and optimism. Ziff’s clean presentation of America’s nineteenth-century asylum circulation exhibits how the Athens Lunatic Asylum accommodated political, fiscal, neighborhood, kinfolk, and person wishes and left an architectural legacy that has been uniquely renovated and repurposed.
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Additional info for Asylum on the hill : history of a healing landscape
3 Note from Male Patient 819 to Superintendent Rutter and Dr. Kelly, 1880. Courtesy of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries. To John Smart: Friend John, as I have become convinced that my imprisonment has turned into persecution you are all I have left to depend on now I want you to go and hunt up a saw blade new or old it will be better if fine and hand it up to me at the third windo from the angle don’t fail to get me something this evening for I want to start for home to night also get me a good stout heavy club to defend myself with don’t fail me in the name of the God we both serve and worship.
Dr. B. Raymond wrote of the wretched condition in which Male Patient 319 was found: “The history of his case is as follows: He was found some years ago walking the road back and forward. People in the neighborhood became affright of him. He was taken up, found in a starving condition. He refuses to speak. He writes in German. The duration is unknown. The patient is free from infectious disease and vermin. ”38 Although the Civil War produced presidents and community leaders, the massive trauma endured by the nation inevitably exhibited itself in the lives of the war’s survivors.
M. 1 After arriving at the asylum, they climbed its steps and entered the brick building—with its sixteen-foot ceilings, tile and marble floors, and oak woodwork— walked past the carpeted parlors ornamented with potted palms, and entered the west wing. There she was left by her brother with her clothing and little else. Alice had a seizure disorder. Known at the time simply as epilepsy, seizure disorders were a great puzzle to American asylum physicians. ”3 Effective treatment for epilepsy was not developed until the twentieth century, and nineteenth-century asylum physicians were at a loss in their efforts to care for patients with the disorder.