Dorothea Dix Paper
Dorothea Dix played an important role in changing the ways people thought about patients who were mentally-ill and handicapped, originally cast-off as being punished by God, as well as the way facilities handled and treated them.She believed that people of such standing would do better by being treated with love and care rather than be put aside. As a social reformer, philanthropist, teacher, writer, nurse, and humanitarian, Dorothea Dix devoted her life to the welfare of the mentally-ill and handicapped.During the mid-1800s she was a leader in the movements for prison reform and for providing mental-hospital care for the needy.She accomplished many milestones throughout her life, which changed the way patients are cared for, even today.She was a pioneer in her time, taking on challenges that no other women would dare dream of tackling.
Dorothea Dix was born in April of 1802 in Maine.She was brought up in a filthy, poverty-ridden household.Her father came from a well-to-do Massachusetts family and was sent to Harvard. While there, he dropped out of school, and married a woman twenty years his senior. Living with two younger brothers, Dix dreamed of being sent off to live with her grandparents in Massachusetts. Her dream came true. After receiving a letter from her grandmother, requesting that she come and live with her, she was sent away at the age of twelve. She lived with her grandmother and grandfather for two years, until her grandmother realized that she wasn't physically and mentally able to handle a girl at such a young age. She then moved to Worcester, Massachusetts to live with her aunt and her cousin.
The thought of her brothers still being in her former home environment in Maine hurt her. She tried to think of a way to get at least one of her brothers, the sickly one, to come and be with her. She knew that her extended family was financially able to take in another child, and if she showed respons…