Description: During the mid-nineteenth century, the citizens of Texas were forced to keep their mentally disturbed family members at home which caused stress on the caregivers and the further debilitation of the afflicted. To remedy this situation, mental health experts and Texas politicians began to create a system of healing known as state asylums. The purpose of this study is to determine how Texas mental health care came into being, the research and theories behind the prevention and treatment programs that asylum physicians employed to overcome mental illness, in addition to the victories and shortcomings of the system. Through this work, it will be shown that during the 1850s until the 1920s institutions faced difficulty in achieving success from many adverse conditions including, but not limited to, overcrowding, large geographical conditions, poor health practices, faulty construction, insufficient funding, ineffective prevention and treatment methods, disorganization, cases of patient abuse, incompetent employees, prejudice, and legal improprieties. As a result, by 1930, these asylums were merely places to detain the mentally ill in order to rid them from society. This thesis will also confirm that while both Texas politicians and mental health experts desired to address and overcome mental illness in Texas, they were unable to do so due to arguments, selfishness, corruption, failures, and inaction on the part of both sides. However, this thesis will ultimately reveal it was lack of full support from Texas legislators, deriving from the idea that this system was not one of their top priorities among the state’s concerns, that led to the inability of the Texas mental health care system to properly assist their patients.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Boyd, Dalton T.