Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type





The history of mental illness in the United States includes treatment that has varied from misunderstanding to death. In the past, society has ostracized, tortured, ridiculed, and killed those with mental illness. Even today, social stigma can be devastating not only for the individuals, but also for the family. Treatments have varied, from surgical lobotomy, electroconvulsive shock, pharmacological modalities, to alternative therapies. With each new therapy, and more physiological understanding, there is hope for societal stigma to disappear in the future. The purpose of this thesis was to explore treatments, beliefs, stigmas, and institutionalization at Warm Springs. As nurses, there is a duty to bring awareness to fair treatment, and freedom of choice to the mentally ill.