A Mind That Found Itself

  • Title: A Mind That Found Itself
  • Author: Clifford Whittingham Beers
  • ISBN: 9781600960710
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Mind That Found Itself Clifford Beers tells what it was like to be institutionalized at a time when mental illness received little attention or respect A Mind that Found Itself is Beers own story as one of five children wh
    Clifford Beers tells what it was like to be institutionalized at a time when mental illness received little attention or respect A Mind that Found Itself is Beers own story, as one of five children who all suffered psychological distress and were all confined to mental institutions at one time or another Beers, who wrote the book after his own confinement, gained the suClifford Beers tells what it was like to be institutionalized at a time when mental illness received little attention or respect A Mind that Found Itself is Beers own story, as one of five children who all suffered psychological distress and were all confined to mental institutions at one time or another Beers, who wrote the book after his own confinement, gained the support of the medical profession and was a leader in the mental hygiene movement A Mind that Found Itself has been an inspiration to many mental health professionals in their choice of a profession It also did much to help the rest of the world see mental health issues as a serious disease.Clifford Whittingham Beers 1876 1943 was the founder of the American mental hygiene movement Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Ida and Robert Beers on March 30, 1876 He was one of five children, all of whom would suffer from psychological distress and would die in mental institutions, including Beers himself see Clifford W Beers, Advocate for the Insane He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale in 1897 In 1900 he was first confined to a private mental institution for depression and paranoia He would later be confined to another private hospital as well as a state institution During these periods he experienced and witnessed serious maltreatment at the hands of the staff After the publication of A Mind That Found Itself 1908 , an autobiographical account of his hospitalization and the abuses he suffered during, he gained the support of the medical profession and others in the work to reform the treatment of the mentally ill In 1909 Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, now named Mental Health America, in order to continue the reform for the treatment of the mentally ill He also started the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven in 1913, the first outpatient mental health clinic in the United States He was a leader in the field until his retirement in 1939.

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    About Clifford Whittingham Beers


    1. The founder of the mental hygiene movement, Clifford Whittingham Beers 1876 1943 launched one of the earliest client advocate health reform movements in the United States A former patient who was institutionalized for three years, Beers led national and international efforts to improve institutional care, challenge the stigma of mental illness, and promote mental health His efforts resulted in a major shift in attitudes toward mental illness, as well as the introduction of guidance counselors in US schools and the inclusion of evidence of a defendant s psychological state in law courts.Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1876, to Ida Cooke and Robert Beers The couple suffered a series of tragedies, including the death of one child in infancy A second child, who began having seizures as a teenager, also died early, and as a young man Clifford worried that he would develop the same condition Although he and three other siblings lived into adulthood, all died in mental health institutions two by committing suicide.Beers graduated from Yale University s Sheffield Scientific School in 1897, after experiencing frequent bouts of depression as a student Over the next three years, he worked as a clerk in New York City, gradually becoming increasingly anxious and distressed In June 1900, he returned to the family home and tried to kill himself by throwing himself from his bedroom window While in the hospital recovering from these injuries, he experienced hallucinations and paranoia As he convalesced at home, his mental state deteriorated further and he gave up speaking, convinced that he and his family were in grave danger His family decided to place Beers in an institution for the care of the mentally ill.Between 1900 and 1903, he was hospitalized at Stamford Hall, The Hartford Retreat, and the Connecticut State Hospital at Middletown He was mistreated by staff, experiencing physical abuse and degrading treatment, and resolved to campaign for reform After his release, he returned to New York City but suffered a relapse and spent the last few months of 1904 back at the Hartford Retreat In January 1905, he left the institution and completed a book about his experiences, A Mind That Found Itself 1908 The book made an immediate impact and helped to launch the mental health reform movement in the United States By acknowledging the seriousness of his condition as well as highlighting the brutal practices that may have slowed his recovery, Beers example helped to remove the stigma of mental illness among the general public Psychiatrist Adolf Meyer wrote an enthusiastic review and united with Beers in his campaign for reform.Two months after the publication of his book, Beers joined with Meyer, physician William H Welch, and philosopher William James to found the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene to improve standards of care and attitudes toward the mentally ill, and to prevent mental illness and promote mental health In 1909, Beers launched the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, which spearheaded legal reforms in several states, provided grants for research into the causes of psychiatric disorders, and funded training for medical students The organization also published the quarterly magazines Mental Hygiene and Understanding the Child to raise public awareness of mental health issues.Beers received great recognition during his lifetime for his pivotal role in the mental health movement He was awarded an honorary degree by Yale University for his contribution to humanity and in 1933, Welch presented him with a book of tributes from hundreds of leading figures involved in mental health care In 1950, the International Committee joined with the National Mental Health Foundation and the Psychiatric Foundation Known today as Mental Health America, the organization continues Beers mission to raise awareness and promote the highest standards in mental health services.


    300 Comments


    1. An amazing personal story of what it was like to have a mental illness in the early 19 hundreds. It also paints a picture of what one person can do and how much each of us can impact change in this world. Awesome book, could not put it down

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    2. Paraphrasing a comment made by the author of this book"What fosters our sense of well being is a sense of gratitude. When we are treated with dignity and respect, it is not difficult to prove ourselves balanced. In such a sense of balance, it is a joy to pass the gift along."I see this man's story and his ability to share it as nothing less than a miracle. Knowing the conditions of the time and the fact that those individuals who were institutionalized all too often not only were abused terribly [...]

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    3. Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Ida and Robert Beers on March 30, 1876. He was one of five children, all of whom would suffer from psychological distress and would die in mental institutions, including Beers himself, see "Clifford W. Beers, Advocate for the Insane". He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale in 1897. In 1900 he was first confined to a private mental institution for depression and paranoia. He would later be confined to another private hospital as well [...]

      Reply

    4. I had a tough time with this one, and finally gave up and returned it to the library. The author maintains that he suffered a psychotic break and was plagued by horrible hallucinations and paranoia. He believed that the police were after him and that everyone in his life - family, friends, etc - were actually government spies in disguise. The book travels back and forth in time and place, and I found it difficult at times to understand whether he was talking about the past, present, or future. T [...]

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    5. Clifford Beers' depiction of his own descent into madness and his journey toward wellness is especially interesting and insightful because he so thoroughly documented his experiences. This testament offers something no textbook, case study, or diagnostic instrument can manage, an opportunity to feel, imagine, and wonder with someone in the throes of bi-polar disorder. From the outside looking in, we see erratic behavior, nonsensical conversation, and other clinical indicators of insanity. But fr [...]

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    6. A first person account of those who suffer mental illness and how they are treated in institutions and by the society around them. They need so called normal people around them as much as they need specialist care and so, isolation is going to make things worse. While I liked the emotion of the book and how he would often be confused if his energy for the cause was mania or not, I felt that there was some confusion with the time-line. Overall, an interesting book about the history of mental heal [...]

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    7. Very interesting to see how mental hospitals operated back in the early 1900's. This is an especially wonderful book because the author is writing for first hand experience of being a patient in several hospitals, and the treatments he had to endure.

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    8. This was a good book. It wasn't my favorite because it is an autobiography and very tough to read. It took me so long to read it eventually I got sick of it. I really would not recommend this book unless you read autobiography books all the time.

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    9. Written in 1908; a classic in the mental health field. The book helped change attitudes about mental illness.

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    10. Sad to read about abuse, but great to hear of the author's determination to make changes.

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    11. I had to read this in college. It was a great book about a man who goes crazy and loses him mind and then finds his way back into reality. Very coolhappens to us all at somepoint :)

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    12. I have a 2nd edition copy of this book, that I am very proud of! 1914!!!

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    13. Hilarious tone for an otherwise serious subject.Particularly essential read for anyone working in mental health in Connecticut.Short and easy.

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    14. Horrible!!! I could not even finish it!

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