Treating mental illness in Victorian Britain

Shepherd, Jade (2018) Treating mental illness in Victorian Britain. In: Demand the Impossible: essays in History as Activism. Westphalia Press. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Today, unlike in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there are few specialised institutions to care for the mentally ill; they have been replaced with day centres, overstretched hospital wards or prison cells, and – in some areas - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered over the telephone. The treatment of mental illness simply isn’t good enough. In this chapter I argue that whilst the demise of the the asylum isn’t necessarily a bad thing, such institutions did have their benefits. They were a sanctuary for some individuals living with mental illness, and the social activities provided as part of treatment led to the formation of friendships and a sense of community, making a world of difference to patients' lives. The sources consulted for the essay include patients' accounts of asylum life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords:Mental illness, Victorian asylums, Care in the Community, Madness, Broadmoor, History of Psychiatry
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:28140
Deposited On:06 Oct 2017 08:30

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