The Bethlem Archives

A

Apotheosis

Guest
#2
Thanks for the Link - if there was a genuine Asylum - then I would go to it.
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

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Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
2,191
Location
south london,england
#3
Thanks for the link, and yeppo it was the first type of help avaliable for mental health problems, and the bethlem royal hospital still is running and is part of the maudsley hospital now.
 
Jo1760

Jo1760

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Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
1,507
Location
London
#6
Wow Mark.uk,

Such an interesting link, thank you for posting it.
 
R

rasselas

Guest
#7
...

yes, it's absorbing stuff. the case notes are very interesting. this is pre-DSM. pre-chemical imbalance. lots of CAUSE OF ILLNESS: UNKNOWN

I like that. Unknown. Reminds me of Rumsfeld's speech:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
He was widely ridiculed for that statement. I think it was because it was him saying it and the context was disconcerting. However, his statement is actually philosophically astute.

Clinical psychiatry should print that quote on the front page of every DSM. They should have it hanging in every waiting room, every ward, every office. It should be printed on every leaflet and every drug box.

Humility. Humbleness. It would be transformative.

When you read the notes did you find yourself thinking: she's bipolar; he's schizophrenic; she's depressed?

I did. And then I realised, the labelling reveals nothing. The thing itself, the individuals distress, is no different now to how it was then - allowing of course for cultural aspects (the now rare but then common ailment of paralysed limbs).

The cause is still unknown, despite what interested parties push.

And for many people back then the remission came after about 1 year of being in a structured, non-pressuring therapeutic environment. The asylums have been given a bad name. But as you discover, there was a lot of basic human goodness and TLC - before the industrial revolution made men start thinking of the mind as a machine...

:)
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
#8
When you read the notes did you find yourself thinking: she's bipolar; he's schizophrenic; she's depressed?
no i didnt, i just thought thats me! im the same! and that one of my relations ended up in one of those places, according to the census anyway, in fact quite afew of them did which shows the unknown was a factor in that time.

i wonder how many women after childbirth ended up in places like that?

or old people who were confused in old age. or people who were just abandoned because of disablities at birth etc

god what a depressing post, i think i need cake now :unsure:
 
R

rasselas

Guest
#9
i wonder how many women after childbirth ended up in places like that?

or old people who were confused in old age. or people who were just abandoned because of disablities at birth etc
Yes, I agree. Psychiatry has traditionally been way too involved in dealing with social problems.

Not much has changed. People with dementia given 'antipsychotics' that make their condition worse. Poeple without dementia given 'antipsychotics' that cause early onset dementia.

Children being pathologised for not fitting in in the academic setting and drugged up with amphetamines - that damage their brains and lead to a later, more serious problems.

People with bereavement or suffering from the aftereffects of abuse told they have a disease invalidating their individual story and existential truth.

And the weird fact that if you are (a) a woman, and (b) you live in Wales - you are greatly more likely to be given ECT.

But that's all the bad stuff. I was more moved by the good stuff. We can select the good things and leave the bad things out, surely? There are lessons in the past that we can utilise, that are of value. There are aspects of the aslylum system that were very effective, that should not be abandoned or ignored or demonised.

Therapeutic communities can be very effective. To me, the focus should be: what works best for the individual? What approach shows the best outcomes? What approach is the most humane? What lessons from the past are worth exploring?
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
#10
But that's all the bad stuff. I was more moved by the good stuff. We can select the good things and leave the bad things out, surely? There are lessons in the past that we can utilise, that are of value. There are aspects of the aslylum system that were very effective, that should not be abandoned or ignored or demonised.

Therapeutic communities can be very effective. To me, the focus should be: what works best for the individual? What approach shows the best outcomes? What approach is the most humane? What lessons from the past are worth exploring?
what about lessons to be learnt from now, at this point?

if so start with rule number one, that a person should be treated and spoken to like a human being instead of being treated like a waste of time and being made to feel like they are asking too much from the health care trust. try making p-docs not gods who can piss ass around with people on their say so, employ more CPNs and care workers that actually turn up to see the person and not fob them off with excuses. give more opertunities for people to access the therapy they need that will actually help them. also to make sure that people dont drop out the system to early and are not forgotten.

just thinking out loud here
 
N

NrLondonGuy

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Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
163
Location
Nr London
#11
I find it too upsetting to read now although sure it was edited to ommit what really went on. When you see poeple from that era banging their heads on the wall or having gone totally mad its not cause thats how they were it cos if you or I were treated like that with our problems we woudl go like that too.

Thankfully things have moved on since and now one of worlds best hosptials. Nearly was going there myself but they decided to send me to the Denmark Hill Maudlsey place in London instead.

"what was the cause of your insanity" made me laugh though. Thankfully a bit more understanding and political correctness aroudn nowadays. Still laughing. If I was asked that by my old pychiatrist I woudl have said " you, you fucking idiot"