21 Haunting Photos That Give A Glimpse Of How Mental Illnesses Were Treated In The Past

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"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons," Dostoyevsky said. But perhaps there’s one other type of institution that also gives a glimpse into how societies treat those who are deemed unfit for society: mental asylums.

For centuries, the quality of most mental asylums revealed very little degree of civilization. Here are 21 haunting portraits of life inside these places.

1. A patient sits inside Ohio's Cleveland State Mental Hospital in 1946.

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2. Child patients sit bound and tied to a radiator inside the psychiatric hospital at Deir el Qamar, Lebanon in 1982.

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3. A hungry boy stands alone and eats with his hands as other boys sit together under a blanket on a bed beside a small wood-burning stove in a hospital for mentally handicapped children in Kavaja, Albania in March 1992.

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4. A psychiatric patient poses for a photo at Paris' Salpêtrière Hospital circa 1876-1877.

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5. A child patient sits inside Normansfield Hospital in Teddington, England on February 12, 1979.

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6. A patient at a mental hospital undergoes electroshock treatment in 1956.

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7. Patients sit inside Ohio's Cleveland State Mental Hospital in 1946.

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8. On March 29, 1950, at Philadelphia's Bella Vista Sanitorium, a fire killed nine patients, five of whom had been chained to concrete slabs like the one pictured.

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9. Pioneering and prolific lobotomist Dr. Walter Freeman performs a lobotomy with an instrument similar to an ice pick at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington on July 11, 1949.

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10. One of Dr. Walter Freeman’s lobotomy patients ten days after the procedure. 1942.

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11. A young patient's rotted teeth, due to poor dentistry, are shown at London's Friern Hospital (previously known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum) circa 1890-1910.

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12. A patient lies on the floor of Ohio's Cleveland State Mental Hospital in 1946.

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13. A patient stands in a straightjacket inside Ohio's Cleveland State Mental Hospital in 1946.

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14. Nurses hold down a patient receiving electroshock treatment at a facility in England on November 23, 1946.

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15. A surgeon uses a brace and bit to drill into a patient's skull before performing a lobotomy at a mental hospital in England, November 1946.

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16. Doctors test a new method of using radio waves to treat psychiatric patients at a hospital in Paris on May 13, 1938.

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17. Child patients sit in their room at a mental hospital in Ursberg, Germany circa 1934-1936.

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18. A patient sits alone in a dark room inside Ohio's Cleveland State Mental Hospital on February 3, 1955.

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19. Patients at the Riul Vadului Mental Asylum in Romania huddle together in an unheated room in the middle of winter. Date unspecified.

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20. Dr. James G. Shanklin administers electric shock and anesthesia in preparation for Dr. Walter Freeman to demonstrate his new transorbital lobotomy procedure at Western State hospital in Lakewood, Washington on July 11, 1949.

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21. A prisoner sits inside the West Riding Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield, England in 1869.

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Source: all-that-is-interesting

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