Nine Methods Stand Out In Care of Mentally Ill, 1955

10 09 2012

The following was published in the March 27, 1955 edition of the Oregonian newspaper as a supplement to an article by Ann Sullivan on new drug treatments being introduced at the Oregon State Hospital.  It is excerpted below. 

Nine Methods Stand Out In Care of Mentally Ill

These are the most frequent treatments for the mentally ill in use at the Oregon state and most other mental hospitals today:

Psychotherapy, counseling directly with patient by doctor.

Electrotherapy, use of electric shock treatments which often can bring patient back to reality.

Insulin coma, lowering of blood sugar by insulin so that higher centers of central nervous system can be rested, calmed.

Nutritional therapy, use of right food, vitamins, etc., to restore patient to physical health.

Milieu, maintaining setting of healthful social living as much as possible for those who can be helped.

Group therapy, group discussion by patients of mental problems led by a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Chlorpormazine and reserpine, new drugs which have calming effect on several types of patients.

Attitude therapy, in which entire personnel of a patient’s ward has been particularly instructed on special handling.

Sedatives and Hydrotherapy (warm baths), also used for calming down.





Cure by Hangover? — 1951

30 03 2011

The following is a transcription of an article that appeared in the Capital Journal newspaper September 20, 1951 (page 15).  Prior to the introduction of specially designated substance abuse recovery and treatment centers, OSH was one of the few places people could go to get help with alcoholism.  Even in the earliest records, alcoholism is frequently mentioned as reason for admitting people to the hospital.  A 1916-1917 report of “causes of insanity” of people brought to the Oregon State Hospital lists alcoholism as 6th in known causes.  This article gives an interesting perspective into treatment practices during the 1950s.

Cure by Hangover? State Hospital Pioneers New Cure for Alcoholics

By Paul W. Harvey, Jr. (Associated Press Special Correspondent)

If you’re an alcoholic and want to get cured, just go to the Oregon state hospital and take the antabuse treatment.

If you keep taking antabuse the rest of your life, you’ll never take another drink. That’s because antabase combines with alcohol to form a poison in the blood stream.

Taking a drink after antabase makes you think you’re going to die.  The blood pressure rises, quickly, then falls so low it might cause severe shock.  The eye balls pop way out.  Then you get violently sick at your stomach.

Antabuse, a newly-discovered chemical, is only one of the many treatments the state hospital uses to try to cure alcoholics.  Actually, it is used on only about three per cent of the hospital’s alcoholism victims.

Since antabuse is dangerous unless given under a doctor’s supervision, it can be obtained only from a few selected doctors.

The state hospital is one of the very few in the country that treats alcoholics.

Dr. Dean Brooks, assistant to the hospital superintendent, has charge of treating the ever-increasing number of alcoholics.  He doesn’t make any big claims, asserting the treatment is helpful in only 30 per cent of the cases.

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