This and That
19th Century Advertisements
Medieval Historical Backgrounds
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1833 Classified Ads: Caring for the Mentally Ill
The ads of the London Times contain a noticeable number of requests or offers of care for the mentally ill or mentally challenged. They reveal the kinds of private arrangements that could be made, and indicate that institutionalization was not the only choice:
INSANITY---WANTED, as a NURSE, a young woman accustomed to attend on lunatics, and who will undertake household work. She must possess an unexceptionable character. (This reveals a common solution which was keeping the patient at home, probably confined and out of sight.)
INSANITY or NERVOUS DISABILITY--A respectable middle-aged man, of 15 years experience under the most eminent medical gentleman, wishes for the CARE OF A GENTLEMAN, either in lodgings, or at the gentleman’s own house, or to travel, or would provide a cottage and accommodate with board, etc, at a certain sum per annum. References will prove unexceptionable.
WEAKNESS OF INTELLECT or SLIGHT INSANITY--A medical gentleman, in private practice, is desirous of RECEIVING A CASE of the above description under his care. The advertiser has had a gentleman residing with him 33 years, to the friends of whom he would give references, as well as to others of respectability. The terms: 60 pounds per annum. The partial use of a cabriolet may be enjoyed.
LUNACY, "Idiotcy", or Nervous Excitement---A physician of age, and eminently successful in the treatment of the above class of disorders, residing in a large airy house with a walled garden a short distance from London, has now a VACANCY for an inmate of either sex, who will be treated with more than the ordinary care in such cases, one only being received. References of the highest character given and required. (The quotation marks around Idiotcy indicate this physician is up to date on how conditions were viewed in medicine, and considered this term antiquated..)
(all ads are transcribed from the October 1, 1833 London Times.)
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