May 21, 2006
Section Program Session I
and Mental Health: Changing Perceptions and Treatment
and treatment of the mentally ill (formerly termed mad or insane) have changed.
Papers, skits, or posters may cover topics, persons, or institutions involved
with these transformations including pharmacotherapy; stigma; medicolegal information
(insanity defense, imprisonment); deinstitutionalization; definitions (e.g., homosexuality
was previously considered a psychiatric disorder); or preserving unique or historic
library collections about these topics. Three papers and two posters will be presented
in this session.
by: History of the Health Sciences Section; Pharmacy and Drug Information
Section; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Health Sciences Librarians
SIG; and Mental Health SIG.
Toni Yancey, Co-Convener, Mental Health SIG
to be Presented:
Changing Measures of Madness: The Case of Winnie Ruth Judd.
L. Worel, AHIP
Library/Information Consultant, St. Paul, MN.
of Hedvig Samuelson)
One of the most notorious and controversial crimes in the history of Phoenix,
Arizona, was the case of Winnie Ruth Judd. The crime left Ruth's chums Agnes Ann
LeRoi and Hedvig Samuelson shot, dismembered, and shipped in trunks to Los Angeles
in October of 1931. The court initially found Ruth guilty of this crime, acting
alone, and in sound mind. She was sentenced to hang, but was declared insane in
time to save her from the gallows. She spent much of her life at the Arizona State
Hospital for the Insane, escaping often, sometimes even for years. Ruth's true
story has merged with folklore in the historical record of Arizona.
Ruth's mental condition was
the subject of much debate during her trials, appeals, and escapes over the forty
years she fought to regain her freedom. What evidence is there to substantiate
the mental health of Ruth Judd? What measures were used? Records from the Arizona
State Archives, Arizona Historical Society, Clements Library (University of Michigan),
tabloids, and newspapers from around the country weave together a strange tale
of a woman attempting to recapture a normal life. Cultural
elements of the Twenties to the Seventies color the picture of the mental health
of Winnie Ruth Judd. Particular situations in her fight to regain her freedom
called for different strategies, blurring much of the evidence for or against
Ruth Judd's sanity.
Perceptions of Anorexia Nervosa: From the Saintly to the Scientific.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
To trace society's changing perceptions surrounding Anorexia Nervosa (AN),
a serious condition in which a person refuses to maintain body weight, over time.
Although Anorexia Nervosa is currently described a mental illness, "Holy
Anorexia", was revered during the Middle Ages. Today, biomedical and neurobiological
studies offer new insights which could transform current perceptions of Anorexia
Methods: The media seems fascinated with Anorexia Nervosa.
Currently described as a mental disorder, Anorexia Nervosa has serious physical
symptoms and a long term mortality rate of 5-10%. Although Anorexia Nervosa was
first identified in the late 19th Century, fasting to the point of self-starvation
was described in biographies of several Saints from the Middle Ages. A series
of case studies drawn from the psychological and medical literature and popular
press will illustrate society's changing perception of this condition. Contemporary
perceptions of the cultural and emotional basis for Anorexia Nervosa will be included.
A review of current medical and psychological literature will provide a summary
of neurobiological and biomedical investigations focusing on serotoninergic dysregulation,
neuropeptides, brain imaging, and the neuroscience of feeding behavior. Such research
should guide development of new pharmacological treatments and new understanding
of the etiology of Anorexia Nervosa.
Implications for Librarianship Resulting from Deinstitutionalization.
W. Bishop, Florida Mental Health Institute Research Library, Tampa, FL
Prior to the discovery of mental illnesses' somatic base, involuntary commitment
occurred. Stigma developed because of the separation of mental health's treatment
facilities and funding mechanisms during institutionalization. The deinstitutionalization
movement in mental health affects libraries' collection development and training.
How have libraries been instrumental in the dissemination of mental health information?
In addition, what steps can they take to reduce the stigma of mental illness in
their own libraries?
Methods: This narrative will search for examples
of special accommodations in libraries for users with mental illnesses, who may
or may not be homeless. In addition, a telephone survey of both public and medical
libraries' ADA Librarian, will inquire about specific library guidelines on the
treatment of users with mental illnesses, who may or may not be homeless. In addition,
the survey will include questions about the libraries efforts to educate the public
about mental health. Prior to the telephone survey, the researcher will perform
a review of each library's catalog in order to determine each library's holdings
on mental health and related issues. If the library's information is found outdated,
the telephone survey will include questions about how this void will affect each
library's future collection development.
to be Presented:
Emerging from the Darkness
Clista Clanton, University of South Alabama, Mobile,
Objective: While the term schizophrenia is less than 100
years old, written documents have traced accounts of schizophrenia as far back
as ancient Egypt. Over 100,000 new people in the U.S. alone are diagnosed with
schizophrenia each year and it ranks among the top 10 causes of disability in
developed countries worldwide. Sadly, however, this has been one of the most misunderstand
Methods: This poster will look at societal perceptions
of schizophrenia throughout history, key research that has firmly established
schizophrenia as a disease of the brain, and highlight some of the promising new
pharmacological treatments that have made such a tremendous difference in the
lives of both patients and their families.
The Retreat at York: Providing a Transformation to Humane Treatment of the
Mentally Ill in the 19th Century.
Joan M. Stoddart, AHIP, Spencer S. Eccles
Health Sciences Library, University Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
This poster will examine the role of the Retreat at York; an English asylum
which was founded in 1796 by the York Society of Friends (The Quakers) led by
William Tuke. It is credited with revolutionizing the attitude and treatment for
the mentally ill in England from cruelty, patient restraint and filth to one of
dignity, decency and cleanliness.
Methods: The York Retreat can
be credited with transforming the treatment of the mentally by utilized what was
called "moral treatment" which acknowledged the connection between a
sound mind and body, reflecting the Quaker belief in the importance of inner discipline
and control. It largely abandoned the practices common to the day such as chaining
and beating, purging and bleeding. Instead, the Retreat at York offered clean
and comfortable rooms, activities including daily chores and outdoor exercise.
It provided a homelike atmosphere with surrounding grounds that emphasized orderliness
and serenity and an opportunity to heal. A treatise entitled "A Description
of the Retreat, an Institution near York for Insane Persons" was written
in 1813 by Samuel Tuke and is thought to be the first full length written account
of a mental institution.
POSTERS PRESENTED BY MH SIG LIBRARIANS
Advertising of Psychiatric Drugs in Popular
Magazines: How are Mental Disorders
Sunday May 21, 2006, 3:30- 4:30 p.m.
Rebecca Abromitis, MLS
Health Sciences Library System