The Problem With Institutions


This article is a blog post on why institutions are not positive places, despite being portrayed as such. When guardians send their relations off to institutions, they believe that this is the best course of action to take. Such institutions, however, have their own methods of controlling patients and altering their state of mind. While these methods are not forms of physical abuse, it is a form of mental manipulation. I think that this is due to the fact that the disabled people are not able to make simple decisions in their life such as when and what to eat. Instead, the staff take care of everything and the inhabitant is left feeling very useless. Eventually, the only way to cope with such treatment is to give up and lose what it means to be fully human. I believe that this is what the author means when she writes, “in order to survive it the inmates have to become as much of that unperson as they can manage.”

This is not and effective way to treat and/or care for disabled people. Instead, perhaps some thought could be given in having the disabled make their own choices and be held responsible for something. I know, however, that this needs time and a massive shift in the attitude of the general public regarding the potential of people who are disabled.

3 thoughts on “The Problem With Institutions

  1. Reading this article, I realized how my thoughts on the “good” institutions was wrong. As Amanda described, I always though the “bad” institutions that were run with violence were no longer in existence. I was tricked by the nice façade of the institution nowadays. From the article, I think nowadays it is worse now that they are manipulating people mentally rather than physically. Physical abuse are bad but they can certainly be treated outward; however, mental wounds would never or take a very long time to be healed. I could understand how awful and great of an impact being in an institution can be from Amanda’s article. I think this institution will continue to exist because it is going to keep going “until people can stop forcing us to damage ourselves in this way;” tracing history, I have never seen times when people were not oppressing others. However, the deinstitutionalization should be greatly supported to prevent the further and worse damage to disabled people.

  2. Part of my graduation project at my high school was talking about the effects of institutionalization at a young age. I did a lot of research which not only dealt with the physical consequences, but also, mental and emotional consequences. Although this was so, I mostly talked about the horrible conditions of the institutions, the neglect of caretakers and the abuse. I barely talked about the kind of institution mentioned in the article. When we see images of these kinds of institutions, we tend to think that at least that person is living in the finest institution and that person would be provided without any problems. We do not think about the consequences of living in fancy institutions. Amanda opened my eyes further into this. I knew that even if orphans lived in the nicest and fanciest institutions, it would not be the same as having a family. In this case, living in a fancy institution is not the same as having control, power and freedom. Seeing this, institutionalization should be opposed and instead, disabled people should be allowed to have control over their lives.

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