Patton State Hospital Museum Fact Fridays
Visit DBH's social media pages every Friday in May to learn about a Patton State Hospital historic artifact.
Friday, May 7
Friday, May 14
Friday, May 21
Friday, May 28
Displayed in this case are items that were found in the storm drains that were dropped by Staff and Patients. The items on the left are lipstick casings, and the items on the right consist of miscellaneous items which include a pendant, rings, keys, etc. Most commonly found were the lipstick casings some of which still have lipstick in them. The glass bottle in the middle is labeled “consumption.” It was labeled “consumption” because it was given to patients who had tuberculosis, and it was unknown at that time that this “medication” did not have a therapeutic effect.
Pictured is an example of a strait jacket. These were used to restrain patients when they were exhibiting violent behaviors toward themselves or others. This form of restraint is no longer used. Patton trains their staff to use verbal and therapeutic strategies and interventions to manage patient behavior.
The tub in this picture was used for hydrotherapy and it is constructed of cast iron. During the early to mid-20th century, it was believed that mental illness possibly came from a bacteria in the body so hydrotherapy was a form of treatment that was believed to rid the body of this bacteria. At times, cold water was used to conduct this treatment or hot water was used in this intervention based on the patient’s diagnosis. Hydrotherapy was a common and inexpensive way to treat patients, particularly those who were deemed depressed or acutely disturbed. Canvas covers were often placed over the tub to insulate the water temperature and/or restrain patients.
Lobotomy treatments were used on patients from the late 1930’s to the 1950’s. There were three different types of lobotomy procedures that were performed at Patton: the McKenzie, the Lylerly-Poppen, and the Transorbital methods. Dr. Walter Freeman introduced this procedure to Patton State Hospital. He conducted training on this procedure to Patton staff, and he perfected the “ice pick” instruments used in these operations. Lobotomy was a procedure in which nerve fibers in the frontal lobe of the brain were severed to relieve patients who were extremely anxious, uncooperative, assaultive and/or erratic. The procedure was controversial because it was risky and permanent. This treatment fell out of use in the 1950’s when Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) was introduced, which would achieve similar results without such great risk.