The iconic image of the lunatic asylum is one that often leaves us wondering what went on inside these imposing buildings.In this new book, Juliana Cummings first questions what behaviours and characteristics define insanity and leads us through a comprehensive history of insanity and the asylum from the early treatment and care of mental illness in the Middle Ages and early modern period through to the closure of mental institutions in the twentieth century.Throughout the years, we learn of how the treatments and institutional structures for caring for the mentally ill developed and changed. The Age of Enlightenment and the rise of humanitarian reform was followed by the emergence of the insane asylum in the 1800s, which saw the beginning of the widespread constructions of asylums.We explore the different reasons for admittance, as well as the vast array of treatments. It shows that your treatment as an inmate of an asylum could vary depending on your gender and your social class.Although once thought of as criminals, the mentally ill were gradually treated with care. Juliana discusses the different treatments used over time as attitudes towards the mentally ill changed, such as drug use, psychosurgery and insulin therapy. We learn of the regulations and reforms that led to the closure of asylums, how their closure affected society and consider how the mentally ill are treated today.This insightful new history helps us to better understand the haunting past of the asylum and leads us down a fascinating road to where we come to an understanding of a time in history that is often mistaken.
This was an eye opening deep dive into the history to insanity and the asylum, written with great detail, but not densely.I learned many new things I had no knowledge of. This goes over the good and the bad. How poorly the mentally ill had been treated, how those without mental illness, but just undesirable were locked away under the pretense of being deemed insane. This goes into the science behind it all, the discoveries and the growth of humane practices.I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking to further inform themselves about the history of asylums and scope of how medicine and procedure has changed through the centuries. This was so compelling!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsBrilliant book, so much history about asylums etc and I have read many books like this and found this one be the best.Well written and shows care to the history of those involved.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars This is the first book that I have read by this author however I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the authors style of writing, it was easy to follow and covered the facts without the need to resort to add in opinions or made-up stories in order to illustrate the point. The book was well researched and provided interesting and important details. I have read many books on this area however there were still things that I got from this. I also enjoyed some of the topics covered especially the chapter on eugenics as this is not always covered in books about this topic. The chapters covered the topic well, without excess rambling detail. I would certainly recommend this to lovers of history and those interested in the topic of mental health, I would also look out for this author again.
We can all learn something from Juliana Cummings' new book about the development of mental illness treatments through the ages - an interesting history lesson.This is an excellent book that provides a comprehensive history of insanity and the asylum. Juliana Cummings does an excellent job of questioning what behaviours and characteristics define insanity, and leads us through a well-researched history of how treatments and institutional structures for caring for the mentally ill have changed over the years.The book is well-researched and gives a thorough review of the history of insanity and asylums.It's fascinating to learn about how mental-health treatments and institutional systems evolved and altered throughout time.The book is filled with interesting anecdotes and examples. If you're interested in learning about psychiatry, mental illness, or just want to know more about history, then this is a book you won't want to miss. 2b1af7f3a8