Yesterday, I returned to the local mental health facility, this time for a fun-filled social psychology field trip. I didn't walk a mile this time, but I did climb seven flights of stairs, along with the rest of the class, in order to see the room at the top of the clock tower at the center of the campus. According to our thrilling tour guide, this may or may not be the highest point in the county, or town. He wasn't too sure. In fact, he was unsure about most things, and I don't know why he was our tour guide. For one thing, he actually believe that the mentally insane were never tortured at the facility, when the video that we were shown, about that very same facility, explained the brutal methods that were once used there, and the advancements that had come about in more recent times. He did know a few things, though.
1. There are about 600 residents at the facility.
2. There are 10 living units, which each house 50-75 people.
3. The oldest resident is 94, the youngest is 18 [that's the youngest that they will accept], and most residents are in their 30s and 40s.
4. The Department of Health Services [DHS] is divided into two sections: Developmental Disabilities [DD] and Mental Illnesses [MI].
5. Before electricity, surgeries were performed in the room in the clock tower, because it was the best source of light.
Other than that, we were mostly on our own. So, here are some fun psychological terms for you and I to learn about. Many of them are methods used to restrain mental patients. Whee!
1. Utica crib: a person at a former incarnation of this facility was kept in an Utica crib for 14 years!
2. Restraining chair
3. Calming chair: a restraining chair with a nice box for your head
4. Kissing chair: this has nothing to do with psychology, but there was one up in the clock tower, and I thought it was spiffy.
5. Dorothea Lynde Dix
7. Electroconvulsive therapy [ECT]
8. Wet sheet packs
9. Psychosurgery: more commonly known as lobotomizing
10. Idiot, imbecile, & moron: legitimate terms for levels of mental retardation in the 18th century.
Without the blessed intervention of the 3 Stooges, psychologists might still be using these outdated terms
Let's end on a positive note...