Girl, Interrupted Hospital Treatments

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Rory Boyan Writing 104/19/02

Considering all the treatment methods used at Mclean Hospital, harsh physical treatments were rarely productive. Methods such as seclusion, ice-baths, Electro-shock therapy, and even the Hospitals atmosphere itself can make one wonder how anyone came out of there better than they went in. It seems odd that people teetering on the edge of sanity were subjected to such horrible treatments. Although such treatments sometimes worked, it in no way outweighs the horrible side effects that usually happen.

One of these treatments is seclusion. It is as simple as it sounds but the side effects were not. Not only are the patients totally alone for however many days the guards wanted, but they are stripped of basically everything they have except clothing. It is more of a punishment than a treatment. If a patient acts out in any way or ran away for a day or two, off to seclusion they would go. When taking mentally unstable patients and putting them in solitary confinement all they can do is sit there and think crazy thoughts; so when they come out they were usually like zombies. "One of the worst things we watched, though, was Lisa coming out of seclusion two days later." (Page 21). How can that help anyone?

Another type of treatment used is wrapping a patient in freezing cold sheets. It is possible, by a far stretch of the imagination, this could be used to calm down patients. If hypothermia is what made people sane, this should do the trick. The last thing about this is that, when the body gets cold, the immune system get weaker. It seems like they wanted patients to get physically sick too; maybe the nurses get commission on medication.

The worst treatment used is electro shock therapy, also known as ECT. This is when one is shocked by strong amounts of electricity, repeatedly, for however long the doctors decided to keep the patients there. There are a few incidences when ECT actually worked and completely cured a patient,...
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