A Guy Named Goo (aguynamedgoo) wrote in little_details,
A Guy Named Goo

Psychiatry and Hospitalization in the 1920s

I have some questions about some specific areas of what psychiatric or hospitalization practices would have occured in the 1920s, but sadly Google likes to focus more on how horrible hospitals and asylums were during that time period and the more brutal, horrific practices that went on and less on the specific, mundane things that happened, so I was hoping for some help:

1.) In an asylum in the early-to-mid-1920s in England, what would be the common treatments for a violent person who suffers from "delusions" and is known to go into hysterics when faced with certain objects (pocket watches are her main trigger, and she won't eat the food unless it is prepared a certain way so she knows what's in it). Basically someone who seems to be a violent paranoid schizophrenic (I say seems to be because her "delusions" aren't really delusions at all, but no one there knows that). What kind of procedures would they put her through? What would they do to keep her restrained or sedated? And how easy would it be for her to commit suicide?

2.) Crossing over the pond to the same time period but in Boston, what would be the treatment for a young man who suddenly, inexplicably goes catatonic for eight years, and yet still seems to be functioning perfectly? (He doesn't eat or sleep and yet he seems in perfect physical health.) What kind of facility would he be kept in, if any? And after he comes out of the catatonic state, if he suffered from lapses of memory and a seeming inability to register his own identity, would he be institutionalized or be treated outside of a hospital? (I also understand that during the Depression, mental health facilities often were overcrowded because people who were poor and homeless would get themselves admitted for the free beds and food.)
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