Help!! What was mental health awareness like in the 1980s UK?

Watch
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi, I’m trying to find information for my Drama homework and mental health conditions in the 1980s, but I’m really struggling to find any specific acts or dates. Thanks
0
reply
yagmaya
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
The NHS had the lowest amount of patients in the 80s, at around 79.6K, it was the best time for mental health hospitals after the 60s, hope that helped, i know its not much, are you doing Blood Brothers?
1
reply
Anonymousamie
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by yagmaya)
The NHS had the lowest amount of patients in the 80s, at around 79.6K, it was the best time for mental health hospitals after the 60s, hope that helped, i know its not much, are you doing Blood Brothers?
Thank you so much that’s brilliant!! I did Blood Brothers last year, but now we’re doing a play called Adult Child/Dead Child which I’m struggling to find context on
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
I mean, I don't think it was that different. Winston Churchill famously had depression, for instance, and he was way before the 80s. The suicide rate was about the same, slightly better if anything.

I think there was probably much more of a 'be a man and deal with it' type attitude, as well as lower expectation of the health service to fix things that are wrong (true across all of healthcare not just mental health). There was probably less awareness about things like PTSD.
1
reply
yagmaya
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by nexttime)
I mean, I don't think it was that different. Winston Churchill famously had depression, for instance, and he was way before the 80s. The suicide rate was about the same, slightly better if anything.

I think there was probably much more of a 'be a man and deal with it' type attitude, as well as lower expectation of the health service to fix things that are wrong (true across all of healthcare not just mental health). There was probably less awareness about things like PTSD.
Well actually I do think they were aware regarding PTSD as this was well after the war and many men dealt with it. During the World War periods it was referred to as Shell Shock so yeah they did know about PTSD i guess.
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by yagmaya)
Well actually I do think they were aware regarding PTSD as this was well after the war and many men dealt with it. During the World War periods it was referred to as Shell Shock so yeah they did know about PTSD i guess.
I meant among the general population rather than among professionals, but yeah you might be right.
0
reply
marinade
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
PTSD first made it's entry into the DSM-III in 1980 which nicely fits into interest in the 80s. Understanding, not so much, it's all very well saying these things, but after the vietnam war, countries had to deal with soldiers with PTSD and addictions for the 1980s, First gulf war, wars in the 1990s. I'm not really seeing the understanding of PTSD in the 1980s. The Shell shock, or war neuroses or various other names it had at other times and in other countries does go back a long way. It misses the point, in the western world most PTSD is caused by other things, not wars. I would say PTSD didn't start to gain mainstream understanding until halfway through the 2010s.

1980s wouldn't have been a bundle of fun for public awareness at all in other ways. Most of the 1980s was pre-SSRIs (and specifically pre-prozac). So yeah TCAs and MAOIs with all the side effects that go with them and hospitals and a bit of counselling would have been your options. The talk around SSRIs and serotonin although incorrect would have profoundly changed attitudes to depression. Depression had a massive stigma in the 1970s and 80s. Research looking back on it said doctors/health system was quite bad/very variable at picking up depression certainly pre-1990s. 1980s postnatal depression badly understood. Someone with OCD would have faced a massive amount of stigma for being 'odd'. Anxiety was still called 'nerves'. The 1980s neuroses was still a term used widely. Many mental health disorders it would have been believed that people could 'catch it' off other people. Community mental hospitals were still knocking around in much more urban locations (leading to quite vivid recollections). Domestic abuse would have been rife and tolerated. Things like social anxiety weren't called that it was called the superfriendly term 'social phobia'. In the 1980s in the UK and US used horrific medical procedures which carried on after that but became less common.
2
reply
Anonymousamie
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
Thank you all!!
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by marinade)
PTSD first made it's entry into the DSM-III in 1980 which nicely fits into interest in the 80s. Understanding, not so much, it's all very well saying these things, but after the vietnam war, countries had to deal with soldiers with PTSD and addictions for the 1980s, First gulf war, wars in the 1990s. I'm not really seeing the understanding of PTSD in the 1980s. The Shell shock, or war neuroses or various other names it had at other times and in other countries does go back a long way. It misses the point, in the western world most PTSD is caused by other things, not wars. I would say PTSD didn't start to gain mainstream understanding until halfway through the 2010s.

1980s wouldn't have been a bundle of fun for public awareness at all in other ways. Most of the 1980s was pre-SSRIs (and specifically pre-prozac). So yeah TCAs and MAOIs with all the side effects that go with them and hospitals and a bit of counselling would have been your options. The talk around SSRIs and serotonin although incorrect would have profoundly changed attitudes to depression. Depression had a massive stigma in the 1970s and 80s. Research looking back on it said doctors/health system was quite bad/very variable at picking up depression certainly pre-1990s. 1980s postnatal depression badly understood. Someone with OCD would have faced a massive amount of stigma for being 'odd'. Anxiety was still called 'nerves'. The 1980s neuroses was still a term used widely. Many mental health disorders it would have been believed that people could 'catch it' off other people. Community mental hospitals were still knocking around in much more urban locations (leading to quite vivid recollections). Domestic abuse would have been rife and tolerated. Things like social anxiety weren't called that it was called the superfriendly term 'social phobia'. In the 1980s in the UK and US used horrific medical procedures which carried on after that but became less common.
That's some very interesting insight thanks!

I'm not convinced all the differences are as stark as you describe. For example, which OCD awareness is pretty good on TSR and in the psych community, are they really not going to be called 'odd' outside of that circle? That applies to... well most of your points tbh. Psychosurgery was at its very end in the early 80s, but I guess it was still carried out in small numbers.

Out of interest: you seem very positive about that changes that have happened since the 80s. Other standard of living parameters have also increased. Why do you think the suicide rate now is about the same as it was in the late 80s? Certainly progress during the 80s was substantially better than current...
0
reply
marinade
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by nexttime)
That's some very interesting insight thanks!

I'm not convinced all the differences are as stark as you describe. For example, which OCD awareness is pretty good on TSR and in the psych community, are they really not going to be called 'odd' outside of that circle? That applies to... well most of your points tbh. Psychosurgery was at its very end in the early 80s, but I guess it was still carried out in small numbers.

Out of interest: you seem very positive about that changes that have happened since the 80s. Other standard of living parameters have also increased. Why do you think the suicide rate now is about the same as it was in the late 80s? Certainly progress during the 80s was substantially better than current...
Suicide is a very complicated topic, I appreciate those who care and are interested in it, but it's only a small snapshot of mental health. For all of these there are hundreds of thousands more at the fringes of society able to do less than they would do with more support. One of the biggest problems with suicide is it isn't talked about much even today. A second problem is parts of the DSM still mean the stigma is there. Self harm/ Suicide is talked in terms of a rather obscure extra that gets ignored and bunged in called NSSI and then apart from that suicidal behaviour is mentioned only for a particular condition and people google this and it attracts a lot of attention. These definitions are out of date and don't allow stigma to move forward.

I wouldn't particularly link standard of living metrics to the suicide rate in that there are many other factors. In the western world loneliness has increased, a lack of confidents has increased since the 1930s and support networks have dwindled and inequality and job insecurity has increased. Unequal societies (and we are very unequal in 2020 historically looking back well into the 20th century) make unhappier ones with more mental health problems. Moreover as commented elsewhere, some of the people at a high risk of suicide will be supported in secondary care and the last decade there have been savage cuts to these services. Helping people is very specialist help, very specialist indeed and even they can get caught out. If you break down the stats, there is/was a high rate among elderly men which I've not really seen a proper commentary on as passed on to the general public.

Not an in depth view, but that's my view saying it's way more complicated than standard of living metrics.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you think receiving Teacher Assessed Grades will impact your future?

I'm worried it will negatively impact me getting into university/college (139)
42.51%
I'm worried that I’m not academically prepared for the next stage in my educational journey (38)
11.62%
I'm worried it will impact my future career (27)
8.26%
I'm worried that my grades will be seen as ‘lesser’ because I didn’t take exams (70)
21.41%
I don’t think that receiving these grades will impact my future (34)
10.4%
I think that receiving these grades will affect me in another way (let us know in the discussion!) (19)
5.81%

Watched Threads

View All