Nervous Breakdown

When I was a kid people had nervous breakdowns. Almost every neighborhood could say that they either had or had at one time a woman in whitfield. Odd thing I never remember any men having one. That isn’t to say they didn’t. I just never remember one.

I think if a man had one, he was just called a drunk or something. He might get put in jail for a week or so but not go to the hospital.

Typically, Friday was a bad day to have a nervous breakdown. You couldn’t get in Whitfield before the following Monday. It could be longer than that.

Back then you didn’t have to get a judge to declare someone insane. You simply called the sheriff and said, “My wife is gone as crazy as a loon.”

Typical before a deputy could get there the woman would do something to get the neighbors all stirred up. Sometimes she might get in a car and run over garbage cans while screaming to the top of her voice. Sometimes she would strip off all her clothes and run around in the yard screaming she was on fire or that something was chasing her.

Either way this always drew a crowd. The most exciting was when she would get naked. Everyone could see if she had really lost her fat from the last baby. Of course, any males past twelve had their own reason for preferring this action.

Everyone enjoying the public view of what would normally not be seen made it very difficult on the deputies.

You haven’t been entertained to you see two over weight middle age deputies trying to get a wild woman to put her clothes on.

This could take from fifteen minutes to a couple of hours. Of course during all this time, your mother would be screaming at you to go home.

Saying things like, “You don’t need to see this. It will give you nightmares.” Sure Mom, nightmares.

When they finally would get her in the car the husband would follow them down to the jail and sign all the necessary paper work. As you might guess, there would be a crowd waiting to see the deputies get her out of the car and into the jail.

Remember in the 50’s a movie was a quarter for a grownup and this was free.

Any way the poor woman would be locked up for a few days at the jail. She would not be allowed any visitors. The sheriff knew from past experience that visitors seem to get the prisoners cranked back up.

With in a week she would be transported to Whitfield State Hospital.

There she would receive shock treatment for about 2-months.

This would either push her on over the edge of insanity in which she would never recoup or it would cause her to become very calm. Sometimes this calm wasn’t real. The patient simply faked it to satisfy the doctor and to get home.

Still the fear of returning would often be enough to keep the woman acting like her husband thought she should act.

Other poor women would be shocked too much and never return to normal. They would be doomed to spend the rest of their life in sweet bliss. These would come home and set on the front porch and smile at the passing cars.

It seems as if there was no book, to say how much electricity the human brain could take.

Any way these memories crossed my mind today and I decided to write them down. Just another childhood memory.

I will add there is one thing I always wondered. What was the last thought a person had before they passed over the line of sanity? The other was what was their first thought after stepping into their new world.

I have always had a great interest in insanity. When I was much younger, I actually daydreamed of going insane.

Maybe that was what the 60’s were all about. People just wanting to cross over to see what it was like.

Sorry if this was a little weird today. Still it is my blog and my memories.

ggs

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Explore posts in the same categories: Growing up, humor, ramdom thoughts, stories

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