American Insane Asylums in the Mid-1900s

Decent Essays

Asylums of the 20th century were deplorable places created for insane people because of the ignorance of the medical community about helping or treating the mentally ill, the way the asylums were use to get the insane out of the way, and the sheer fact that the hospitals felt the need to withhold the information about what was going on inside the institutions from the public. Some Americans today may believe that in the last few decades we had treated our patients suffering with mental illness with dignity and respect. However, the conditions in which many of them lived and the treatment they received were worse than that of animals. Treatments of these patients were so inhumane that, in Athens, Ohio, an asylum nicknamed the Ridges, a female patient named Margaret Schilling disappeared from one of the active wards. Schilling went missing on December 1, 1978, and on January 12, 1979, her body was found on an abandoned top floor of ward N. 20. The ward had been used for sick, infectious patients, and had been abandoned for years. When searching for Schilling, employees had forgotten to search in ward N. 20. Eventually, when Schilling was found, a maintenance man discovered her body lying on the floor in front of a window. Her body had been laying there for several weeks unattended. According to Carolyn M. Zimmerman, Ünige A. Laskay, and Glen P. Jackson, her body was left laying for so long that it had begun to rot and had left a stain that can still be seen today. This

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