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Houses of MadnessInsanity and Asylums of Bengal in Nineteenth-century India$
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Debjani Das

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199458875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199458875.001.0001

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Treatment of the Insane

Treatment of the Insane

Conflict between Theory and Practice

(p.76) 2 Treatment of the Insane
Houses of Madness

Debjani Das

Oxford University Press

The treatment practised in the asylums was correlated with the understanding of insanity and the building plan of the asylums. The therapeutic means adopted in asylums by the medical officers could broadly be divided into three categories—mechanical, moral, and medical. This chapter analyses factors behind the implementation of different kinds of treatment, while also discussing the difficulties faced by medical practitioners in adopting any particular form of treatment in the asylums. Significantly, this chapter looks at asylum labour, which was a part of moral treatment, and questions whether there was any gendered division of labour in the asylums.

Keywords:   medical treatment, moral treatment, mechanical restraint, asylum labour, insanity

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