Most mentally ill people in the 1800's were hidden away in prisons or alms houses. Many ashamed families locked their mentally ill family members away in their attic or basement. The Shuttered Room is a 1967 movie that is one of my all time favorites. Something lives in the shuttered room in the attic and that's all I will say. It is a great movie. The abuse of the mentally ill was horrid. Eventually a doctor named Dorothea Dix helped start the first real mental institutions. They were known as lunatic hospitals, madhouses, insane asylums. But before long they were overcrowded and understaffed. Many doctors conducted poorly tested treatments and conducted experiments that were nothing less than torture. Though today the mentally ill are somewhat better off, the stigma continues.
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