Reasons my great-grandmother could have been institutionalized
I have recently gotten my hands on my great-grandmother’s lunacy record. She was admitted to an insane asylum - Massillon State Hospital, Ohio (pictured) - in 1933. The record gives a medical explanation* for why she was admitted. However, this 'explanation' is a bit ambiguous, and I’m hoping to understand if the stated cause of her 'insanity’ on the report makes any sense with our modern understanding of mental illness. Of course, I’m using the term insanity lightly here; this was the 1930’s. Who can I contact to help me interpret this, or can any of the members on here offer insight? As far as I know, no further records exist for her stay at the insane asylum, besides the initial court admission that I have. Thanks so much!
*Her diagnosis and cause of ‘insanity’ was: “chronic digestive disturbance which required several operations; surgical menopause; morphine addiction.” She was 48 at the time. She was described as occasionally violent and unable to hold meaningful conversations. “Patient remained in bed, rolled head and eyes, mumbled a few words occasionally. History of loss of weight, poor appetite and general weakness.”
I'm sorry to learn of your great-grandmother's problems and institutionalization. Even if records still exist, it could be difficult to obtain them.
In that time, much less was known about mental illness, postpartum depression or psychosis, or menopausal depression. And, it was reasonably easy for a family member to have someone declared incompetent and institutionalized.
If the behavior was injurious to herself or to others, you might find newspaper reports or police reports, in addition to the court record you have located.1
note the comment about Morphine addiction.
she may have suffered the effects of morphine and other drugs that caused directly or indirecctly mental health issues.0
Chas Howell ✭✭✭✭✭
@AnthonyAmicangelo, you might want to post your question to a Psychiatry group like the American Psychiatric Association. I’m sure someone could give you some interesting insights or commentary into the state of the art in the 1930s in regards to this diagnosis and treatment.