A Psychiatric Milestone by Various


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Psychiatric Milestone, edited by
Howard Townsend, Bronson Winthrop and R. Horace Gallatin

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: A Psychiatric Milestone
Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921

Author: Various

Editor: Howard Townsend
Bronson Winthrop
R. Horace Gallatin

Release Date: March 14, 2005 [EBook #15365]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A PSYCHIATRIC MILESTONE ***




Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Kathryn Lybarger and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team.






[Illustration: THE NEW YORK HOSPITAL, DUANE STREET AND BROADWAY

The building to the left was erected in 1808 for the exclusive use of
patients suffering from mental disorders.]


A PSYCHIATRIC MILESTONE

BLOOMINGDALE HOSPITAL CENTENARY

1821-1921

"Cum corpore ut una
Crescere sentimus, pariterque senescere mentem."
--LUCRETIUS

PRIVATELY PRINTED

BY THE SOCIETY OF THE NEW YORK HOSPITAL

1921


ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE

HOWARD TOWNSEND
BRONSON WINTHROP
R. HORACE GALLATIN




PREFACE


The opening of Bloomingdale Asylum on June 1, 1821, was an important
event in the treatment of mental disorders and in the progress of
humanitarian and scientific work in America. Hospital treatment for
persons suffering from mental disorders had been furnished by the New
York Hospital since its opening in 1792, and the Governors had given
much thought and effort to securing the facilities needed. The treatment
consisted, however, principally in the administration of drugs and the
employment of such other physical measures as were in vogue at that
time. Little attempt was made to study the minds of the patients or to
treat them by measures directed specifically to influencing their
thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and what treatment of this character
there was had for its object little more than the repression of
excitement and disordered activity. The value and importance of
treatment directed to the mind had, indeed, been long recognized, but in
practice it had been subordinated to treatment of the actual and assumed
physical disorders to which the mental state of the patient was
attributed, and, in the few hospitals where persons suffering from
mental disorders were received, means for its application were almost or
quite entirely lacking. The establishment of Bloomingdale Asylum for the
purpose of ascertaining to what extent the recovery of the patients
might be accomplished by moral as well as by purely medical treatment
marked, therefore, the very earliest stages of the development in
America of the system of study and treatment of mental disorders which
with increasing amplification and precision is now universally employed.

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