Saturday, May 19, 2007
Life List Day 62 - Visit a Museum called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death
Today my son Danny and I met my Aunt Marcy and Uncle Ben at a museum in Hollywood called, "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death." We were lured by promises of pictures of people getting labotomies and forms of psychiatric torture throughout history, like bloodletting.
The stuff I found the most interesting:
- that being African-American was coined a psychiatric disease - that with proper treatment you could turn white, and that runaway slaves had a malady called "drapetomania," a mental disease that caused them to flee from home, curable by whipping.
- thousands of labotomies were performed from a Labotomobile - a mobile hospital that looked strangely like an ice cream truck.
- the fact that in the 1950s there were about 35 psychiatric diagnoses (numbered and coded) - now there are thousands, including such mental "diseases" as teenaged rebellion, generalized anxiety and "parental alienation syndrome". By current definitions, we're all crazy.