Mental Illness In The Victorian Era

2090 Words9 Pages
Mental Disorders date back to the beginning of mankind, but mental institutions and treatments for these disorders do not. In the beginning people believed that a mental disorder meant a person was being possessed or was the work of witchcraft. This brought along a social stigma to the disorder as people did not want to associate themselves with those things. In turn, the mentally disabled people were sent to prisons, poorhouses, abandoned or left at their own houses. People before the Victorian Era did not care about mentally disabled people, they put them in the back of their minds and continued on with their lives. Going into the Victorian Era the image of the institution started to change, people started to change their minds and the government did as well. In 1841 England they passed a law that required institutions to have a higher level of standards than they did before. During the Victorian Era people realized that it was actually a serious medical problem and something that a person needs treatment for. When the mental institutions first started they were basically prisons that really only separated the insane from regular citizens. Nevertheless it was a step up from being cast away from society like the insane had been. Even with the reforms and the better looking future for the mental institutions, they were still horrific places where the food was on the brink of edible and the living quarters were crowded and filthy. The nurses and doctors would often mentally
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