Mistreated at the madhouse by: Jordan Feiner

Writer Nellie Bly used journalism to unveil issues dealing with mental institutions such as, poor regulations, abuse, and neglect.

Interesting Fact: Nellie Bly practiced acting insane in-front of her mirror, so that she could be easily admitted into the mental asylum.

“the admission of people who were not psychologically disturbed but simply physically ill or maliciously placed there by family members -- as in one case of one woman who was declared insane by her husband after he caught her being unfaithful” (Seaman).

“shaving the patient's head and washing it with vinegar, making the patient stand under a waterfall, or pouring cold water on his or her head”

Patient neglect could be partly attributed to the fact that besides doctors, there were no trained professionals in the mental institutions. For example, the asylums “were mainly staffed by untrained attendants, with doctors usually the key figure of authority.” However, Bly’s investigation helped eliminate the asylum attendants who had no mental health education and turned those uninformed and neglectful positions “into mental health nurses, and a range of other professionals [such as] mental health social workers, psychotherapists, clinical and health psychologists [that] started to contribute to the care and treatment of those with mental health problems and to understandings about mental health and illness” (Darity)

The inside of mental institutions were not taken care of and could appear to outsiders as a factory with blankets

By unveiling the poor regulations, patient abuse and neglect, Nellie Bly not only contributed to improving the lives of the mental patients at Blackwell’s Mental Institution, but contributed to the health of mental patients overall.


Created with images by olavXO - "Hallway of doors" • darkday. - "The Insane Asylum" • Keoni Cabral - "I Give Up" • Octopuserin - "boiler" • olavXO - "4 Walls Closing In" • olavXO - "Dropped the soap??" • Pexels - "abandoned chutes dusty" • kerttu - "abandoned factory abandoned factory" • DanielSTL - "Abandoned House"

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