Sometimes after looking back at our history and the way we once took care of things, I am grateful to see that we have evolved. That is how I feel when looking at these crazy photographs of asylums that are decades old. I think it was a lack of knowledge that lead to such brutal behavior, but I will let you decide for yourself.
1. This is just plain creepy.
2. Patient in restraint chair at the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, Yorkshire ca. 1869.
3. Sunland asylum, this is Dr. Freeman, the man who invented lobotomies.
4. A ‘self-decorated’ patient in the 1800’s.
5. Hydrotherapy first used in the early 1900s, Immersion in a tub of water to make a patient relax when agitated or relieve some ailment. This lasted a few hours to overnight. 1936.
6. This is a 17th century insanity mask.
7. In the late 19th century, it was believed that masturbation caused insanity. Therefore this device was created to prevent men from doing such insane behavior.
8. An abandoned asylum in Italy.
9. An X-ray showing needles driven into the skin of a patient in a psychiatric ward.
10. Patients in steam cabinets in the early 1900’s.
11. Washington, D.C., circa 1921. “Foundling Hospital, playroom.” Tots at the Washington Asylum for ‘Foundlings’
12. Sections of brain encased in wax, for research.
13. Insane Asylum in Spain.
14. Drawing from a paranoid schizophrenic patient.
15. A mother who has tuberculous, and is on strict bed rest, leaves her room at the sanatorium for a Sunday walk with her family…. but she does not leave her bed.
16. Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut.
17. This is a Mechanical Slapping Device used in the asylum in BC.
18. This is at the Philadelphia State Hospital, this man is in the violent ward.
19. These are Lobotomy tools.
20. This is a picture of patients in the asylum in the 1940s.
21. Reasons to be admitted in the Trans-allegheny lunatic asylum.
22. This was the dining hall in the basement.
23.The Pilgram Psychiatric Center in Long Island, NY, USA could house as many as 14,000 patients at a time. This self-sufficient mental asylum adopted extremely aggressive methods of “curing the insane”. Lobotomies and electric shock therapy were the norm.
24. In the 1870s, this was the asylum in Michigan.
25. A patient undergoing lateral cerebral diathermia treatment in the early 1920’s. Doctors eventually deemed it unsafe and unreliable.
26. This chair was used to calm down irrational patients.
27. These are female patients being treated with Radium therapy.
28. And lastly, this is a patient of Serbian Psychiatric Hospital taken in 1999.
These photos are incredibly creepy, but open your eyes to how horrible ‘insane’ patients actually were treated. I am grateful that some of the procedures that were used are no longer thought of anymore.