1948 movie The Snake Pit

Specialties Psychiatric


We watched this movie in psych & were asked what changes have taken place in the treatment of mentally ill clients since this time. Also the changes in the hospitals ect. If you would like to post the changes you have seen in your careers be it good or bad I would appreciate it.Thanks


140 Posts

I've never seen the movie. However, a couple of things off the top of my head is the reduction of people being placed in restraints and moving mentally ill patients out into the community rather than keeping them institutionalized for years and years.

p.s. The changes. The restraints, strait jackets, the terrifying "water treatments." Being treated as "crazy" and a non-person. The stigma, that unfortunately remains somewhat today. No patient rights, dictatorial. It is a strange dichotomy between the therapy used by the doctor that is used today and the primitive way mentally ill people were perceived and treated.


81 Posts

Great movie - hard to believe its only like 50 years since that stuff happening. If you liked that try FRANCIS - another great movie about Francis Farmer (an old actress) and her plight throught the psych world.

CHANGES - less restraints. Restraints not lasting for hours, days, and weeks. Right to have court review if really need treatment - non vouluntary treatment decreased.


Please tell me what happened after she looked around and saw that "she was not like them" and was healing. My recording of the movie cut off at that point. I saw it when it came out and have always remembered it, so I am dying to how the rest of it turns out. Like if she regains her mental health and gets on with a healthy life. If this was the case, the doctor responsible for this would have been ahead of his time. But the rest of it was really scary. That is where I am confused about the movie. The archaic treatments at that time, but also the knowledge the doctor had in treating her which is quite the same as today.

Thanks. ZZ

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