A Look at Mental Illness within the Victorian Era by: phoebe villarreal

Mental illness has always been an issue within society, dating all the way back to the Victorian era. Although there is not much information on the topic due to lack of technology and little knowledge known, we do know that there was successful research done on asylums, religious effects, and diagnostics.

During the Victorian era, when people were considered "insane" they were put into mental asylums. There were different kinds of asylums, and different kinds of conditions as well. Some asylums were well equipped with proper conditions and care. Those kinds of asylums cared for the patients by feeding them and letting them exercise as they rebuild their mental state. In the late 1800's though a certain asylum was caught for practically holding their patients "hostage", this caused a certain law to come into action making asylums getting monthly inspections.

Within the asylums, physical restraints were used for certain people and conditions. The most used restraint was leather mitts. These devices were used to help prevent patients from ripping off their clothes and even worst, scratching themselves till scabs appeared, then picking those. Another one of the most used restraints was the straight jacket. This was used on the most unstable patients. This prevented them from not only attacking other patients, but attacking the doctors as well.

Mental illness had a large effect on crime within the era. Before a man's innocence was questioned, his mental state always was too. Many criminals during this period were sent into mental asylums rather than jailhouses due to their "mental state". The judge would simply rule that their minds were under the influence or acting incorrectly in which caused them to do the crime.

Today we have come a long ways with the development of information on mental health, way better than what we knew during the Victorian era. The Victorian era did help with the foundation we know today in the genre, but we are glad it has come a long ways and is now understood better!

Created By
Phoebe Villarreal


Created with images by ElisaRiva - "head brain thoughts" • Jon Bunting - "asylum" • PhotoAtelier - "Straight Jacket" • succo - "hammer books law" • Mediocre2010 - "brain"

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