07 May 2019

7th May 1925 - Psychiatrist said modern 1925 conditions produced mental breakdowns

It was reported in the Portsmouth Evening News on 7th May 1925 that Dr. H Devine, the Medical Superintendent of Milton Mental Hospital, delivered an address to the Portsmouth Association for Mental Welfare.

While deprecating the alarmist view of the increase in the recorded cases of insanity, he admitted that modern conditions of civilisation tended to produce mental breakdown in many instances, and made some remarks on the effect of scientific discoveries into the condition of collective neurasthenia or mania which were so noticeable in 1925 modern life. He gave a warning that the stressing of intellect and the neglect of the body might lead us to disaster, and urged the necessity of work to prevent decadence.

Another point the doctor made was that the mentally afflicted should not be regarded as social outcasts. Mental hospitals were institutions where people were admitted with the object of being cured of their disorder, and not permanently repressed. People in 1925 had to get rid of the idea that there was a stigma attaching to treatment in a mental institution. He said that many people were kept out of mental hospitals until they had reached the last stages of insanity. If they were to be cured they should be treated in their early stages, and a proper grading of cases in the hospitals would help to wipe away the fear concerning the institutional treatment of mental disorders.

It was reported, that Portsmouth in 1925 was fortunate in possessing a mental hospital where the most modern ideas for the cure of what was broadly called insanity were practised.

Thankyou to the british newspaper archive for the date and report.

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