Conclusion: Shackled Bodies, Unchained Minds

  • Sarah Ann Pinto
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


This chapter provides an overview of the main research findings of the book. It concludes that historical traumas associated with the asylum elicited Indian aversion to the asylum. These historical traumas or ‘soul wounds’ disrupted the assimilation of the lunatic asylum and ensured its failure as a colonial medical enterprise. Traumas in the Indian experience included the colonial undermining of Indian worldviews, cultures, practitioners, and patients. Additionally, the use of patients for labour and profit and epistemic violence within the asylum caused deep-seated historical trauma. Families also experienced trauma because of the stigma associated with the use of the asylum and the admission process. The aversion of the local community towards the asylum was a type of everyday resistance, a form of ‘self-help’—a defence mechanism to avoid being wounded further.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Ann Pinto
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarWellingtonNew Zealand

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