According to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum of 1864 to 1889, these 43 reasons and a few more would hospitalize you. Mental institutions in past history were known for inhumane treatment, experimentation on patients, and malpractice by doctors. The list displayed are all examples of why someone could either be admitted to a mental health institution in that time, or why they could admit themselves. For instance, some “old folks who had no one to take care of them could simply walk into the hospital, sign some papers and stay there until they died” according to grafwv.
Many patients in history passed away due to malpractice or negligence, including teenagers, children, and infants. Many times, families that would admit their children would often to just tell others that their children passed away. Once you were in a mental asylum, unfortunately there was a very rare chance you ever left.
Psychiatry has obviously evolved, but very scary to think that we were once using this list as evidence for mental illnesses in our past.
History of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was originally built in West Virginia, and was designed to house 250 patients. Looking back on U.S. history, this “insane asylum” became infamous for being so poorly run, as well as their lobotomies. The mental institution was always so overcrowded. In fact, “the hospital held 717 patients by 1880, 1,661 patients in 1938, over 1,800 in 1949, and at its peak, 2,600 in the 1950s in such overcrowded conditions” according to Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, due to the poor conditions, many patients died while under care at Trans-Allegheny. The number is estimated somewhere between 400 and 500. Trans-Allegheny later became known as Weston State Hospital, and was home for the West Virginia Lobotomy Project in the early 1950s. The reason why they started lobotomies, was to reduce the number of patients and to control severe overcrowding… There has also been evidence of patients being locked in cages if their attitude or temper could not be controlled.
Nowadays, community activists in West Virginia are actively trying to repurpose and revitalize the building for something much better than the asylum’s history.