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The Dawn of the Therapeutic As

Usually no deeper than 5 feet, a hole would be dug into the ground and covered with a grate to confine a lunatic who had been established as a menace to society. In this dwelling a mentally-ill person would be placed, fed, and kept until death. This was one of the many household remedies that people of the early 18th century implored as means of suppression of a mad-person. From this treatment arose the development of the Traditional Asylum. In the Traditional Asylum, patients would be crowded into small facilities along with the homeless and criminals, where the mentally ill would endure brutal treatments and poor conditions in which the ill-person would corrupt in their own filth. Household treatments predating psychiatry and Traditional Asylums were developed for custodial purposes. Dismissing all hope of treatment, these treatments were simply performed and placed to remove mentally-ill individuals from the public domain. With the dawn of the Enlightenment, came a new type of asylum, the Therapeutic Asylum. This asylum focused on the treatment and cure of the clinically insane through isolation from indecent environments, rigorously scheduled activities, and daily baths. Between the grotesque methods of suppression implemented in the household, the custodial beliefs of the Traditional Asylum, and the treatment focus of the therapeutic asylum, the therapeutic method stood as the best development in treatment for the insane. Psychiatric treatment endured many revolutions within the 18th and 19th century in England.
In the early 18th century, the treatment of the insane was cruel and poor. Since psychiatry was not yet an official field in medicine, treatment of an individual with a mental disorder was often left to the family. Only when the individual became unmanageable were they sent to one of the few hospitals accepting mental patients where they were cared for by physicians. Often times, when such a measure was finally taken, it w…

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