Destabilizing the Domestic Psychiatric Regime

Akihito Suzuki

in Madness at Home

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245808
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932210 | DOI:
Destabilizing the Domestic Psychiatric Regime

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This chapter examines the difficulties of domestic psychiatry in a historical context, arguing that practicing domestic psychiatry in the early nineteenth century presented historically specific difficulties. It analyzes those aspects of the difficulty of domestic psychiatry that were conditioned by social and cultural forces then present. By close examination of the sources, one can uncover a certain historicity in the hardship experienced by the family in coping with an insane member. The chapter highlights two major concerns for the family that wanted to control a lunatic at home: the first was the danger posed to the family's property; the second was the lunatic's behavior in public. Families were worried about lunatics' mismanagement of their property and the possibility of their being taken advantage of by unscrupulous persons. Depriving lunatics of their civil rights and protecting their property were the reasons for seeking commissions of lunacy.

Keywords: domestic psychiatry; lunatics; family members; social factors; cultural factors; family property

Chapter.  14798 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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