Madness at home: The psychiatrist, the patient, and the family in England, 1820-1860

Research output: Book/ReportBook

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The history of psychiatric institutions and the psychiatric profession is by now familiar: asylums multiplied in nineteenth-century England and psychiatry established itself as a medical specialty around the same time. We are, however, largely ignorant about madness at home in this key period: what were the family's attitudes toward its insane member, what were patient's lives like when they remained at home? Until now, most accounts have suggested that the family and community gradually abdicated responsibility for taking care of mentally ill members to the doctors who ran the asylums. However, this provocatively argued study, painting a fascinating picture of how families viewed and managed madness, suggests that the family actually played a critical role in caring for the insane and in the development of psychiatry itself. Akihito Suzuki's richly detailed social history includes several fascinating case histories, looks closely at little studied source material including press reports of formal legal declarations of insanity, or Commissions of Lunacy, and also provides an illuminating historical perspective on our own day and age, when the mentally ill are mainly treated in home and community.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of California Press
ISBN (Print)0520245806, 9780520245808
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar 13

Fingerprint

England
Psychiatrists
Madness
Psychiatry
Doctors
Declaration
Responsibility
Insanity
Case History
Source Material
Historical Perspective
History
Social History

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Madness at home : The psychiatrist, the patient, and the family in England, 1820-1860. / Suzuki, Akihito.

University of California Press, 2006.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

@book{f3f82256646d426791b7852a86fcd311,
title = "Madness at home: The psychiatrist, the patient, and the family in England, 1820-1860",
abstract = "The history of psychiatric institutions and the psychiatric profession is by now familiar: asylums multiplied in nineteenth-century England and psychiatry established itself as a medical specialty around the same time. We are, however, largely ignorant about madness at home in this key period: what were the family's attitudes toward its insane member, what were patient's lives like when they remained at home? Until now, most accounts have suggested that the family and community gradually abdicated responsibility for taking care of mentally ill members to the doctors who ran the asylums. However, this provocatively argued study, painting a fascinating picture of how families viewed and managed madness, suggests that the family actually played a critical role in caring for the insane and in the development of psychiatry itself. Akihito Suzuki's richly detailed social history includes several fascinating case histories, looks closely at little studied source material including press reports of formal legal declarations of insanity, or Commissions of Lunacy, and also provides an illuminating historical perspective on our own day and age, when the mentally ill are mainly treated in home and community.",
author = "Akihito Suzuki",
year = "2006",
month = "3",
day = "13",
language = "English",
isbn = "0520245806",
publisher = "University of California Press",

}

TY - BOOK

T1 - Madness at home

T2 - The psychiatrist, the patient, and the family in England, 1820-1860

AU - Suzuki, Akihito

PY - 2006/3/13

Y1 - 2006/3/13

N2 - The history of psychiatric institutions and the psychiatric profession is by now familiar: asylums multiplied in nineteenth-century England and psychiatry established itself as a medical specialty around the same time. We are, however, largely ignorant about madness at home in this key period: what were the family's attitudes toward its insane member, what were patient's lives like when they remained at home? Until now, most accounts have suggested that the family and community gradually abdicated responsibility for taking care of mentally ill members to the doctors who ran the asylums. However, this provocatively argued study, painting a fascinating picture of how families viewed and managed madness, suggests that the family actually played a critical role in caring for the insane and in the development of psychiatry itself. Akihito Suzuki's richly detailed social history includes several fascinating case histories, looks closely at little studied source material including press reports of formal legal declarations of insanity, or Commissions of Lunacy, and also provides an illuminating historical perspective on our own day and age, when the mentally ill are mainly treated in home and community.

AB - The history of psychiatric institutions and the psychiatric profession is by now familiar: asylums multiplied in nineteenth-century England and psychiatry established itself as a medical specialty around the same time. We are, however, largely ignorant about madness at home in this key period: what were the family's attitudes toward its insane member, what were patient's lives like when they remained at home? Until now, most accounts have suggested that the family and community gradually abdicated responsibility for taking care of mentally ill members to the doctors who ran the asylums. However, this provocatively argued study, painting a fascinating picture of how families viewed and managed madness, suggests that the family actually played a critical role in caring for the insane and in the development of psychiatry itself. Akihito Suzuki's richly detailed social history includes several fascinating case histories, looks closely at little studied source material including press reports of formal legal declarations of insanity, or Commissions of Lunacy, and also provides an illuminating historical perspective on our own day and age, when the mentally ill are mainly treated in home and community.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84887793228&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84887793228&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Book

AN - SCOPUS:84887793228

SN - 0520245806

SN - 9780520245808

BT - Madness at home

PB - University of California Press

ER -