GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2004-10 > 1097367001
From: "Betty" <>
Subject: Dorothea DIX, Biography ..
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 20:10:30 -0400
This evening someone recommended I visit the www.amazon.com web site to
look for something I wanted. While at the site, I did a search for:
"State, Mentally Ill, Hospitals" and was told that there were thousands
of books with those words in the titles. When I checked some of them out,
I came across several books about .. Dorothea DIX. I haven't finished
looking at the story yet, but, as with other "1800's women," she .. went
about "changing the world."
Just this one page about her life is worth the read.
And, there were several books which seemed to discuss how the "mentally ill"
were treated .. from Colonial times....
I also did a search for "Social, 1800's, United States," looking for
books on the social laws of the 1800's in the USA, and, again, was told
thousands of books have those words in their title.
...And, a PBS "Mystery" movie was just on TV, and one of the conversations
reminded me of another reason why women ..were sent to live in
"institutions" or "asylums" in the 1800's: Their husbands didn't want
them anymore, and had them "declared" mentally ill. In the old days,
women / wives had NO rights at all, and had no one to defend them against
....men with no conscience.
...And, in my own life, because of people I've met, I've found out that
there are "mental illnesses" which come on .. around Age 18 - or just about
the time a young person finishes his or her high school years. And, how
many people in the 1800's and early 1900's became "abusive drunks" - and
were "committed" because they no longer had the capability to take care of
their responsibilities. And, what about all the women who became
"unstable" due to childbirth. The list of "reasons" could go on and on
... for people to no longer live ... in their own homes.
And, I would imagine these reasons went clear through "class lines."
Although it was probably "the idle rich" who didn't want anyone "imperfect"
living in their homes.
And, on the other side, "the poor" couldn't afford "full time care" for
their "imperfect relatives" - especially if both husband and wife were
forced to work.
And, here it is 2004 going into 2005 .. and "people with mental health
problems" are STILL not treated with respect and treated with the proper
It makes me wonder ... where are the "Dorothea DIX's" of .. the 2000's !
Betty (near Lowell, MA)