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Memories of a Lunatic Asylum Attendant

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Having retired, I felt the need to record some of the unpleasant, happy and funny times experienced in large Lunatic Asylums. Being incarcerated in a mental institution cannot be described as a normal way of life for patients or staff. Many experiences were horrendous but I still found working with the mentally ill most rewarding. Indeed, although I left the service shortl Having retired, I felt the need to record some of the unpleasant, happy and funny times experienced in large Lunatic Asylums. Being incarcerated in a mental institution cannot be described as a normal way of life for patients or staff. Many experiences were horrendous but I still found working with the mentally ill most rewarding. Indeed, although I left the service shortly after qualifying, because of terrible things I saw happening to the inmates, I was drawn back to care for them fifteen years later. Things had improved but there were still changes required to ensure empathetic care. Attitudes were still repressive, patients having to conform to an often harsh regime. My ability to bring about change was limited, so I moved into nurse management, hoping I could bring about major change, by becoming a member of the establishment. A false hope. A hierarchy, who said they approved of change, had an amazing ability to restore the system to its original shape. A fear of being left with egg on their faces if things went wrong? Risk taking, often required when implementing new ideas, was not to be encouraged. Today, there is a lack of understanding by the public of mental health issues, so there are those who would return to hiding the problem behind the walls of Asylums. I invite you to share my yarns that will help you to understand what went on inside them.


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Having retired, I felt the need to record some of the unpleasant, happy and funny times experienced in large Lunatic Asylums. Being incarcerated in a mental institution cannot be described as a normal way of life for patients or staff. Many experiences were horrendous but I still found working with the mentally ill most rewarding. Indeed, although I left the service shortl Having retired, I felt the need to record some of the unpleasant, happy and funny times experienced in large Lunatic Asylums. Being incarcerated in a mental institution cannot be described as a normal way of life for patients or staff. Many experiences were horrendous but I still found working with the mentally ill most rewarding. Indeed, although I left the service shortly after qualifying, because of terrible things I saw happening to the inmates, I was drawn back to care for them fifteen years later. Things had improved but there were still changes required to ensure empathetic care. Attitudes were still repressive, patients having to conform to an often harsh regime. My ability to bring about change was limited, so I moved into nurse management, hoping I could bring about major change, by becoming a member of the establishment. A false hope. A hierarchy, who said they approved of change, had an amazing ability to restore the system to its original shape. A fear of being left with egg on their faces if things went wrong? Risk taking, often required when implementing new ideas, was not to be encouraged. Today, there is a lack of understanding by the public of mental health issues, so there are those who would return to hiding the problem behind the walls of Asylums. I invite you to share my yarns that will help you to understand what went on inside them.

18 review for Memories of a Lunatic Asylum Attendant

  1. 4 out of 5

    Helen Perkovic

    Harrowing account of days gone by A valuable insight into how mentally ill people were treated in asylums, and interesting information about past psychiatric treatments. Vital reading for anyone interested in social care and mental health.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arlene lowe

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Harrington

  4. 4 out of 5

    A Roy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angela Rigley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terry Duggan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave Poynter

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mel Rowson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen Fuller

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Seago

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Estella Usher

  15. 4 out of 5

    holly morse

  16. 5 out of 5

    Neil Spink

  17. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Olenick

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