Ghosts: Choosing to Live In a State Mental Hospital

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoliticalChic, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Thumbing through the Columbia University magazine, Winter 2009-10, I came across a review of “Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals,” by Payne and Sachs.
    Haunting and eerie, it takes on a journey that, hopefully, few of us will ever assume in real life.

    Long Island’s Pilgrim State was the largest facility of its kind in the world when it was built in the 1930’s:”I was astounded by its desolation…I wondered how a place so big could be so forsaken.

    Creedmoor State Hospital and others, both “when they were hellish warehouses of neglect and cruelty; and when they were, like the hundreds and thousands of people who inhabited them, forsaken.”

    The first state hospitals “were often palatial buildings, with high ceilings, lofty windows, and spacious grounds, providing abundant light, space, and fresh air, along with exercise and a varied diet….most were largely self-supporting and grew or raised most of their own food. Patients would work in the fields and dairies, work being considered a central form of therapy for them…Community and companionship, too, were central- indeed vital- for patients who would otherwise be isolated in their obsessions or hallucinations.”

    “These hospitals, invariably built far from populated areas, also offered literal asylum by providing control and protection for patients, both from their own (perhaps suicidal or homicidal) impulses and from ridicule, isolation, aggression, or abuse so often visited upon them by the outside world.”

    By the end of the 19th century, state mental facilities had “become bywords for squalor and negligence, and were often run by inept, corrupt, or sadistic bureaucrats.”

    This is the sentence that jogged my conscience to the present: “There is…something utopian about these self-sufficient communities that ultimately, alas, devolved into dystopian dumping grounds….sadness, deterioration, and death.”

    In this review, one sees the conclusion of the Progressive regimen. The outcome of turning our existence over to government ‘bureaucrats, technocrats, experts.’ The end of individuality. The dystopia that is the presaged result of attempts at earthly utopia.
     
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  2. LibocalypseNow
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    LibocalypseNow Senior Member

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    Call the Ghost Hunters. It's a pretty good show. It's on tonight on SyFy. Enjoy. :)
     
  3. Terry
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    Terry Shut the $%$ Up!

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    Time will tell but I don't doubt that state institutions of the past will come back but much worse.
     
  4. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Ah, my friends, I meant the 'review' as the proverbial 'handwriting on the wall' if society chooses to allow Progressive inclinations, those aimed at 'taking care' of the rest of us.

    Society will then be the 'state mental institution."
     
  6. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr.Fitnah Dreamcrusher

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    The inevitable end to many progressive dreams .
     
  7. Truthmatters
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    THE EARLY 1980s, when Health Affairs arrived on the health policy scene, was the time of a decisive shift in mental health policy. Deinstitutionalization demanded a new configuration of mental health services. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, policymakers aimed to build an organized, community-based mental health service system. The Carter administration’s Mental Health Systems Act and a set of categorical federal mental health programs offered a fiscal centerpiece for this structure. However, in 1981 the Reagan administration orchestrated the repeal of the Mental Health Systems Act, consolidated the categorical mental health programs into a block grant, and cut spending on those programs about 25 percent.1 The vision of an organized, community-based, and dedicated mental health system ended. The effect—intended or otherwise—was to thrust mental health policy making into the mainstream of health policy.
    Since the early 1980s, the decisions that have most affected the well-being of people with mental illnesses have been those taken by mainstream health and disability insurance programs. One such move came when the Reagan administration changed the eligibility criteria for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 1982. SSDI, and its sister program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provide a stable, though often minimal, source of income for people disabled by mental illness. Absent these programs, survival in the community for people with severe mental illnesses would be nearly impossible. The Reagan administration’s changes to the SSDI criteria disproportionately affected people with mental illnesses. They made up 11 percent of SSDI recipients at the time but represented 30 percent of the people losing program eligibility. The resulting public outcry led to the revamping of all disability criteria and, ultimately, to expanded enrollment of mentally ill people.2

    Participation in these public disability insurance programs carries with it eligibility for Medicare, for those with SSDI, and Medicaid, for those with SSI. Today, mental health care for most people with severe mental illnesses is paid for by one or both of these programs. Mental health policymakers have come to recognize that changes in these programs can have powerful effects on the well-being of the population with mental illness.
     
  8. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    How do you feel about the prison system?
     
  9. LibocalypseNow
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    LibocalypseNow Senior Member

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    Will they have to ration Mental health care as well? Health Care rationing will rear its ugly head at some point under their recent Health Care debacle. I'm assuming Mental health care will suffer as well. It is very sad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  10. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    As bad as they were, they were huge improvements on what went on before.
     

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