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Treatment of the mentally disabled in the 1930's
Living conditions in asylums were often unsanitary and overcrowded, which was a
direct result of the neglectful staff.
In these asylums, the staff was short-handed and often very cruel to the patients. The staff often physically and verbally abused to make the patients behave. When they did not behave, punishment was very severe.
In the 1930's, the mentally disabled were seen as inferior to regular people by society. Most were put in asylums, institutions that supposedly helped cure mental illness, however these asylums seemed to do the complete opposite.
One of the most infamous treatments for
mental illness of the time was a lobotomy.
Introduced to asylums in the early 1930's, this
treatment resulted in permanent brain damage
to the patient.
Two other common treatments for mental illness were ice bathes and electroshock therapy. Both
treatments were cruel, inhumane, and resulted
in further brain damage to already ill individuals.
An example of how the mentally
disabled were treated in the 30's,
is the story of Lennie Smalls in
"Of Mice an Men." Lennie has
little job and social skills and
depends on his friend George for
help. George's actions towards
Lennie show how most people
view the mentally disabled at
By Salvatore Cherone
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