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February 9, 1889

THE PSYCHICAL TREATMENT OF INSANITY.Read before the Mississippi Valley Medical Association at St. Louis, September, 1888.

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JAMA. 1889;XII(6):181-187. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400830001001

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I once heard a patient say: "Every Superintendant of an insane asylum should be shut up for six months in his own wards—especially the violent ones—before he is allowed to enter upon his professional duties, in order that he may realize what the insane atmosphere means. This ward is literally hell." The lady was herself considered a dangerous and irresponsible person, but I felt that she was uttering a truth, and the remark occurred to me years afterward, under utterly different circumstances, with renewed force, I had been for several months assistant physician in the Massachusetts States Prison for Women, and, interested in my work, had hardly left the building during that time until I was urged to go to an evening reception at Wellesley College, during which and before I reached President Freeman, whose guest I was, I became conscious of a curious mental condition, an overwhelming, bewildering feeling

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