When They Closed the Doors at Modesto

  • Roberta A. Marlowe
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


One of the patients in my study group spent the major portion of her time at Modesto sitting mute in a chair by the office pleating her dress; she would start from the hem and work up to her stomach, then smooth down the material to begin again. In a psychiatric summary this might be referred to as compulsive ritualistic behavior. Immediately upon entering a convalescent hospital, she located, cornered, and seduced a not unwilling male—in full view of her roommate and staff and patients who happened to pass by the open door. When we studied her a year after relocation, she (1) had learned to close the door, (2) availed herself of a variety of additional social and recreational activities, and (3) no longer pleated her clothing.


State Hospital Community Facility Mental Hygiene Deteriorate Patient Rest Home 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta A. Marlowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health of the State of CaliforniaSacramentoUSA

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