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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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Retreat at York, where the number of recoveries was greater
when well directed medical discipline was united to moral means
of relief; at the asylum at Glasgow, and at La Sal Petrierie,
Charanton, France, under the direction of M. Pinel, the first
among the moderns for adopting the moral system; while, on the
other hand, in Holland, where through a mistaken belief that
the maniac is unsusceptible of mental enjoyment, and that insanity
is deemed an intractable disorder, no curative measures were
employed, and of consequence, recovery was protracted and
indeed rarely took place.*
Some of the abuses which I witnessed in Holland, in the treatment of the
insane, were scarcely inferior in their enormity, to those of the metropolitan
Bethlehem Hospital, as brought to light by parliamentary investigation. I hardly
know whether the memorable case of William Norris surpassed in cruelty an
example which presented itself to me of an aged male adult, who had been
manacled and confined for some twelve years, under circumstances of suffer-
ings, privations, and tortures, a parallel to which Mr. Haslam alone could pro-
bably supply. Other cases of a like character I might detail as specimens of
the practice of that country. Doubtless, the treatment of insanity has been
more humanely regarded in Holland, as well as elsewhere, within the past fif-
teen or sixteen years.

The evidence deduced from truths of this nature, and the con-
stantly accumulating proofs in behalf of medical treatment which
modern experience supplied, doubtless had their influence in caus-
ing Mr. Eddy several years before his death, to adopt the opinion
that the proper administration of medicinal agents, was favoura-
ble to the treatment of insanity; nay, oftentimes indispensable.

There is another circumstance I can hardly allow to be passed
over on this occasion without a remark, and which I think has
been a concurring cause of the too hasty and too general adop-
tion of moral management, as of itself alone the essential means of
cure of maniacal subjects. The delirium of inebriety, and the
more advanced forms of diseased action denominated delirium
tremens, have inadvertently been confounded with idiopathic
mania; and inasmuch as the right use of reason is for the most
part, in those cases, soon restored by mere abstraction from noxious
potation, which is effectually secured by confinement, moral
management, without other aid, has been allowed an undue
weight in the curative process of genuine mania. I am aware
that permanent cerebral disorganization may arise from intem-