Asylums were initially set up to remove the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘deviants’ from civilized society and confine them in a separate place away from the centres of towns and cities. This peripheral location showed that insanity was not considered a ‘disease’ in the early nineteenth century; rather, it was a cause of shame for society. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, a proposal for a central asylum changed the situation and asylum buildings began to be constructed in central locations, much within the sight of the public. Insanity was no longer seen as a sign of shame or sin, but as a disease that could be medically treated.
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