Blog Posts - Medical Treatments



Keeping Up

Like most people, Dr. Harry Hummer, superintendent of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, had a number of contradictory traits. Though he was accused of poor record-keeping on his patients and of a failure to institute any kind of mental health pla...

More Rules

The Indian Office provided rules for attendants working at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians which were thorough and explicit; similar instructions were most likely the case in all other insane asylums. Patients were supposed to “preserve or...

And the Patients’ Side

Employees at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians had clear instructions concerning their duties, including the all-important attendants who were at the heart of patient care. (See last post.) They were charged with keeping rooms neat and clean, atte...

Keeping Busy

Insane asylums tried to be self-sufficient, but in our modern era it can be hard to understand just how self-sufficient they were.  The Clarinda State Hospital in Iowa was one of many similar institutions that used patient labor for the dual purpose...

Alienists’ Diagnoses Were Never Foolproof

Alienists’ assessments of their patients’ mental conditions could be suspect at the best of times. They were particularly suspect when alienists dealt with people who did not fit the norms of an Anglo-centric society. Newly arrived immigr...

Canton’s Patients

Few patient records from the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians are intact or complete. This is not unusual–many asylums destroyed their records over the years, since early administrators did not see any potentially historical value in them. The...

Make it Pretty

Occupational therapy was an important part of patient care in nearly all asylums. Patients were encouraged to do skilled work that got their minds off their problems/issues and produced a tangible object in which they could take pride. Genteel ladies...

Policies and Procedures

No asylums had an overabundance of staff, and asylum administrators walked a fine line between doing what was necessary and convenient for their personnel, and what was best for patients. A 1906 article in The American Journal of Insanity discussed t...

Escape From Reality

Though most patients in insane asylums could not escape physically (see last two posts), doctors may have inadvertently caused them to lose touch with reality by dosing them with opium and other narcotics. In The Actions of Neurotic Medicines in Insa...

Children At Crownsville Hospital for the Negro Insane

It seems incredible to think of very young children being committed to insane asylums, but this idea was accepted many years ago. Children with misunderstood conditions (autism, epilepsy, etc.) might exhibit symptoms which seemed to indicate insanity...

Another Disadvantaged Group

The Native American patients at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians were at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts at other asylums; Native Americans had few rights and little voice in what authorities might choose to do to “help&...

Children in Mental Institutions

Not many patients looked back on their stay at an asylum with any fondness. Unfortunately, horrific experiences were not limited to adults or to the ancient past. One person wrote about his childhood confinement in the Rockland County (NY) Mental Ins...

Psychiatric Care Was Seldom Enjoyable

Though the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians offered little psychiatric care for its patients, they may have been better off without much of what was offered to patients elsewhere over the years. One patient at the Missouri State Lunatic Asylum wrote...

Deficits in Care

Inspectors regularly toured the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, and generally found the buildings in order. Even non-medical men, however, could see early on that the institution wasn’t really fulfilling its purpose. A report by James McLaugh...

Medical Attention at Canton Asylum

At many asylums, medical attention was easier to give than psychiatric attention; the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians was no exception. In his 1906 report, the asylum’s physician, Dr. John Turner, describes both the mental and physical conditi...

Agency Report

It is fascinating to read period reports from agents of the federal government (see last post) for insight into conditions and attitudes of the time. In a 1904 report to the commissioner of Indian Affairs, R. J. Taylor, United States Indian Agent, di...

Reports on Many Subjects

Many people involved with “Indian Affairs” made reports to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who then consolidated them into a report to the Secretary of the Interior. These people might be inspectors, superintendents of schools, reserv...

Asylum Activities

When the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians had a small patient population, physical care was very likely good. The asylum’s physician, Dr. Turner, had as thorough a knowledge of general medicine as any other regional practitioner, and was enthus...

A New Asylum

In his first official report, when the asylum was new and Superintendent Oscar Gifford had fewer than 20 patients, his glowing words probably did not fall too fall short of what was actually going on at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians. “Th...

Miscelleneous Cures

Suratul Fatiha Cure for every disease 70 times to cure pain anywhere 2/3 of Quran Thawab reward. Suratul Baqara Ayat # 72-73 for chest pain. Ayat #107  (3) three times for shoulder pain. Ayatul Kursi for eye pain. A humble request to please follow a...
by yallaah on Jan 4, 2014


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