Dorothea Dix And Mental Illness

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Throughout history, thousands of people have influenced today's society by their works and words. Dorothea Dix, for example, was a reformer of the mentally ill who changed the way mental institutions are run today. Dix, born in 1802, was an author, reformist, and teacher during her life who helped create dozens of new institutions across the US and Europe; challenging the idea that people with mental disturbances could not be cured or helped. Although some believe that Dorothea Dix created a new issue by introducing the idea of mental illness as a defense, in reality, she was important in our history because of her impact on the institutions and female education. Some believe that Dorothea Dix created a new issue by introducing the idea of mental illness as a defense. Hank Campbell believes “mental illness has become such an exculpatory part of the American cultural landscape that it is used to absolve all kinds of things- pleading mental illness is a common defense” (“Mental Illness and Crime: What the Legacy of Dorothea Dix Hath Wrought”). However, this belief is incorrect. Many people truly suffer from mental illness and are not using it as an excuse. Mental institutions are not a necessarily a pleasant place to reside, and people are tested thoroughly for mental illness when admitted to these places. To claim mental illness, it must be evident in the person, and it would be difficult to fake a mental illness in the extreme way that these people possess. Dix did not
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