The idea of this thread is to examine cases of mass murder and their relationship to prescribed drugs such as
and so on in the United States. Plus individuals who suffered from psychotic disorders and never sought or received treatment and committed heinous
crimes. It will also involve a brief history of America during the countries
institutionalization of the mentally ill and the
deinstitutionalization which began in 1955 with the introduction of
thorazine and it's advent in to modern day pharmacological giants.
There are three separate revolutions which happened throughout this history, the first being hospitalization,
moral management, and the third is
cooperation and interaction Focusing on these separate periods is not the idea, but rather the brief introduction and it's final solution to
release patients back into society regardless of mental health
issues and risks, which have led to a mass increase in prescribed mental related drugs in the U.S. today and overcrowded
prison systems that have become the front line in the
Americas first institution was founded in Virginia in 1773, and located in Williamsburg. The
Eastern State Hospital housed individuals who were at the time deemed
lunatics and miserable objects. During the 17th and 18th century, those individuals whom were affected with mental illness were treated with contempt.
With very little scientific support and knowledge, religious ideals were strong, usually labeling people as demon possessed or vile creatures,
individuals would find themselves in restraints locked away from society.
Throughout this period the lunatics suffered under cruel
conditions. Mental, physical abuse and inhumane treatment were commonplace inside asylums.
In 1908 the American health community would see it's first real documented effects of life in the asylum. Written in an
Clifford Whittingham a Yale graduate and businessman, whom in 1900 suffered a severe breakdown
brought on by the death of his brother. After attempting suicide he was later hospitalized in a private mental institution in Connecticut.
The impacts of his book had widespread and historical relevance
for the current state and well-being of future persons with mental illness. Being a pioneer and former mental patient, Beers modern approach to
therapy and first hand account helped him to form the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, the first association of its kind.
Having said that, let's jump ahead to 1955, the year hospitals began
deinstitutionalization and closure, a major contributing factor to increased homelessness, incarceration and acts of violence.
Beginning in 1955 with the widespread introduction of the first, effective antipsychotic medication chlorpromazine, or Thorazine, the stage was
set for moving patients out of hospital settings. The pace of deinstitutionalization accelerated significantly following the enactment of Medicaid and
Medicare a decade later. While in state hospitals, patients were the fiscal responsibility of the states, but by discharging them, the states
effectively shifted the majority of that responsibility to the federal government.
In 1965, the federal government specifically excluded Medicaid payments for patients in state psychiatric hospitals and other "institutions for the
treatment of mental diseases," or IMDs, to accomplish two goals: 1) to foster deinstitutionalization; and 2) to shift the costs back to the states
which were viewed by the federal government as traditionally responsible for such care. States proceeded to transfer massive numbers of patients from
state hospitals to nursing homes and the community where Medicaid reimbursement was available. (Note: IMDs were defined by the federal government as
"institutions or residences in which more than 16 individuals reside, at least half of who have a primary psychiatric diagnosis.")
The list could add several other compelling stories of individuals whom committed acts of violence. This leaves me with the question why? Was
closing down our Nations hospitals in the 50's beneficial to society as a whole, or should we go back to more inpatient care facilities that provide a
more modern day approach including all the services we can provide to hospitalize, manage and reintroduce mentally ill people.
I think we're missing some steps along the way. Not to say that earlier treatments were good, but proposing a new system that can deliver the three
revolutionary steps combined, instead of out patient therapy and drugs first. All i can say is something is missing.
The "recent" history of how our country has dealt with mental illness in this country is appalling, both when so many were institutionalized and now
that most are not. Really is a sad state of affairs.
"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of
life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey
"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi
I am so glad you started this thread. S&F for you. In light of the CT shooting, many, like me, are having difficulty understanding how anybody could
purposely stand there and murder little children in cold blood. He had to have had zero feelings and absolutely no conscience. I decided to start
researching drugs that can cause apathy and was amazed to find that even some antibiotics have this side effect. I know antidepressants do because I
had a friend tell me that she can no longer cry over a sad movie. Maybe drugs are interacting with other medications that we're not yet aware of.
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