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Recovered, of all the chronic cases discharged the past year, 31.81 per cent.
Recovered, of all cases discharged, 57.55 per cent. Recovered, of all recent cases discharged, 89.11 per cent. Recovered, of all chronic cases discharged, 29.26 per cent.
Since the opening of the Asylum 424 patients have been admitted, 311 have been discharged, and 113 remain in the institution.
Of the 424 patients who have been admitted, 179 have recovered, equal to 42.21 per cent.--21 have died, being a little less than 5 per cent.
We have again to acknowledge our obligations to a kind Providence, for the many favors we have been permitted to enjoy, the past year. - We have been preserved from any suicide or serious accident, and have enjoyed an unusual degree of health. We have received a greater number of inmates than in any former year, and our endeavors in behalf of our afflicted fellow-men have been crowned with increased suc. cess.
We have had no epidemic sickness, and but six of our patients have died. Two were brought here in a moribund state, neither of which lived a week. One died of epilepsy, one of marasmus, one of inflammation of the brain, and one of old age.
The wide difference in the proportions of cures in recent and chronic cases, strongly reininds us of the importance of placing the insane in a proper asylum in the early stage of the disease. We would not, however, discourage the friends of those whose disease has been of longer duration from making a fair trial. During the past year we have had the gratification of witnessing the recovery of two who had been insane six or eight years. One had been with us twenty-two and the other thirty-one months. In the case of the one last mentioned, there had been no indications of amendment until within a few months of his restoration. The chief means used at the time of his improvement was constant useful la.
bor. It is thought by some, that three or at most six months will afford abundant opportunity for ascertaining the curabil. ity of the patient. In many of the cases, twice that length of time is necessary to remove the physical disease which produced the insanity. I have no doubt that many more chronic cases would recover, if they could have a sufficient time of trial.
The cure of the insane, though the greatest, is not the only object of the institution. The improvement and comfort of those who have passed into an incurable state, is of no small importance. Many who were so violent before admission as to be confined and even chained, have now become peaceful members of our family, and conduct with propriety,
In asylums for the insane, every necessary appliance, both medical and moral, are requisite, to obtain the greatest success. Without the indispensible aids of good moral management, little can be done, Medical treatment is equally necessary to remove the physical disease on which the insanity depends. Insanity itself is nothing more than the effect of physical disease, and the skilful application of remedies to remove that disease is of the first importance. Even moral causes never produce insanity, until some change has taken place in the physical system, which requires physical reme. dies to restore that system to its natural, healthy state. The successful medical practitioner duly appreciates the judicious application of moral means in reinoving disease. But the skilful co-operation of both medical and moral treatment, affords the best chance for the restoration of the patient.
In our endeavors to restore the insane, our chief object is to make use of such means as shall tend to promote the health of the patient, and keep his mind agreeably occupied. One of the best means we have found for this purpose is exercise in the open air. For those of our male patients who are able, and whose former pursuits have been agricultural, employment by useful labor in the garden and on the farm, has proved very beneficial. It operates morally by occupying the attention and diverting the mind from its inorbid fancies; and physically by improving the health of the patient. We are
constantly making improvement on the farm, which, in a few years will be in a high and profitable state of cultivation. More land is needed to furnish sufficient employment for our patients.
The inmates of a lunatic hospital are unlike those of a hospital for the cure of other diseases, where its patients are not only unable to attend to their own wants, but need the constant and unremitting care and watchfulness of their attendants to alleviate their sufferings. The insane on the contrary are frequently in comfortable health, able and willing to àssist in the support of themselves and others, and even rojoice in the opportunity to assist in relieving their fellow men from the greatest affliction to which human nature is subject, While they are engaged thus in their laudable and humane employment, they are using the best moral means for their restoration.
We wish not to be understood that all who are not confine ed by sickness are engaged in some useful labor; for in a lu. natic asylum there are always some who are too feeble to be employed. The greatest care is always taken that no one shall exercise beyond his strength. All of those who are able, are not engaged in useful employments. Some are employed in works of ornament, according to their former education, habits and taste. We have a carpenter's shop and also a shoemaker's shop for our male patients in the winter season.
While we have made so great exertions for the employment of those who were in a proper condition, we have not failed to bestow the most kind and assiduous attentions upon the sick. According to annual statistical reports, our bill of mortality has been less than that of any similar institution in this country. Whenever a patient is taken sick, he is always removed to the most quiet part of the establishment and is attended day and night as long as his sickness continues.
Our female patients take exercise in the open air by riding, walking, and culling flowers in the garden. We have horses and carriages devoted exclusively to the benefit of our inmates, and most of our female patients who are able, ride ev. ery fair day. We have, connected with the establishment, a beautiful garden, containing a great variety of plants, to which our females frequently resort in the summer and take great delight in culling flowers for their rooms.
The matron has frequent sewing parties, which all the female patients who are in a proper condition attend. In these parties they appear to take great delight. At these times they are furnished with fruit aud other suitable entertainment, Those who have been accustomed to playing on the piano, practice the same at the asylum. Others amuse themselves by playing chess, backgammon, draughts, battledoor, graces and other similar amusements.
We have a library of about four hundred volumes, which affords much interesting matter for those who are fond of rea ding. The assistant physician is ex officio librarian, and books are taken out every Wednesday and Saturday. We have commenced collecting a cabinet of minerals, which will probably increase from year to year.
We would gratefully express our obligations to thosc editors and publishers who have so generously sent us their news. papers for the benefit of the patients. Each paper is eagerly sought by those who have resided in the vicinity where it is published. Newspapers and other periodicals furnish more entertainment and topics for conversation than any other kind of reading.
It was a source of great regret that we must part with our matron, Mrs. Wilkins. She had devoted her energies to the best interests of the institution with a zcal and prudence which is rarely equalled. Being at once kind, humane, prudent, assiduous, and untiring in her efforts to promote the welfare of those committed to her care, her resignation was much to be regretted by the friends of the asyluın. We are happy to state that our present matron has performed her Juties in a manner that merits our approbation and inspires us with anticipations of her great usefulness in her department.
We have continued our religious exercises ever since the asylum was first opened. We know not of their having been
injurious to a single patient, and to many they have not only been a source of great comfort, but have greatly assisted in their restoration. Most of our patients delight to attend and would be greatly disappointed if they were denied the privi
Encouraged by the success which has attended our past endeavors, may we not hope for a continuance of the smiles of Divine Providence to bless our future labors.
WILLIAM H. ROCKWELL.
Brattleboro', Oct. 1, 1842.