“I cannot here avoid giving my most decided suffrage in favor of the moral qualities of maniacs. I have no where met, excepting in romances, with fonder husbands, more affectionate parents, more impassioned ... than in the lunatic asylum, during their intervals of calmness and reason.”. This is a strong and very sincere quote from one of the first human psychologist of his era Philippe Pinel.
Philippe was born on April 20, 1745 in Jonquières, Tarn, France. Having family including a mother in various high areas of the medical field the pursuit of the profession was not a farfetched one. Even though Philippe studied and mastered in the sciences he had a strong attraction to math.
Philippe selected a few schools and career choices in his lifetime. The first college that was attended was the Collège de Lavaur. Soon thereafter he transferred to the Collège de l'Esquille in Toulouse. Having decided upon a career in religion, he enrolled in the Faculty of Theology at Toulouse in July 1767.
Philippe often sat and talked to various patients in his spare time. His kind spirit towards the mentally insane might have came from the death of one of his close friends. Who had went mad and ran into the countryside and was eaten by a pack of wolves in 1785. After this event Pinel devoted all his time and career path to mental illness and treatments
So in 1792 he became the chief physician at Bicêtre, the Paris asylum for the incurable insane men. While working there he had first had experience to the inhumane brutal treatment that these people were exposed to. Almost all the men there were chained to the walls and poorly treated and cared for. Some of the men had been chained to the walls for up to 40 years. Yet this is not the most inhumane. The patients of the asylum were often put on display to the public who for a fee can walk through the asylum and observe the patients. Philippe found this treatment very appalling and sought to change it.
And on August 25, 1793 Philippe finally got a. opportunity to make that change when he was appointed médecin des infirmeries of the Hospice de Bicêtre. There he implemented the ideas and treatment values that he believed were humane to the patients of the hospice. But before assuming his new position at the dismay of the owner of the asylum ( Who was more concerned with profits than the wellbeing of the patients ) Had the chains remover from the patience and art put around the building To encourage mental stimulation and progress to sanity. As he quoted “In all public asylums as well as in prisons and hospitals, the surest, and, perhaps, the only method of securing health, good order, and good manners, is to carry into decided and habitual execution the natural law of bodily labor, so contributive and essential to human happiness”
On May 13, 1795, he became chief physician of the Hospice de la Salpêtrière. It was at this hospice where he would be in charge of up to five thousand patients. This would be the job...