The following is an excerpt from an article published in the Oregon Statesman newspaper on August 19, 1962. In it a woman, identified as Mary is quoted describing her experiences at the Oregon State Hospital.
Although Mary praised the doctor at the hospital and the later care she received, she considered her first two weeks in the hospital “a very degrading experience.”
Her chief complaint involved the fact that “I was not respected as an adult. I was treated as a raving maniac for the first two weeks.”
“We Crazy People”
On being admitted, Mary said “I was absolutely furious because there wasn’t anything wrong with me. They put me in with crazy people. I can laugh about this reaction now, but it wasn’t funny at the time.”
Later, through regular interviews with the psychiatrist, occupational therapy, and group therapy, she was ready to leave the hospital in seven weeks. She was returned to the care of the University of Oregon’s Child Guidance Clinic, which treats both children and adults.
Although her family and close friends treated her “with kid gloves” when she first came home, this attitude has disappeared during the four years since she has been out of the hospital.
“Hard to Convince.”
However, she told the students, “it has taken me most of the four years to convince people in the community that I’m not a raving maniac. It’s hard to convice them I wasn’t. I’m not, and I’m not going to be.”
She is still bothered by depression and uncontrollable crying when small crises build up in her life, but the university clinic care has helped her over these mild relapses.
“Without the university’s help. I would be back in Salem,” she said.