A Hidden History? Dingleton Hospital's Outlook
Ms Jessica CampbellZoom
This paper examines the dynamics of an important yet overlooked institution within Scotland’s twentieth-century history of psychiatry, Dingleton Hospital, through the lens of its in-house magazine, Outlook. Focusing on the theme of boundaries, it seeks to draw attention to the ways in which notions of self and other were replicated in the hospital’s social and spatial structures through an exploration of the following key questions: Were the boundaries of identity and space tested at Dingleton? Did the pioneering and liberal rhetoric of Dingleton’s advocates match the expressions of lived experience within the community? Or was it simply another form of control, a mere ‘reconfiguration of power relationships without any in-depth change’ (Fussinger, 2001)? By addressing these questions through the lens of patient writings, this paper ultimately seeks to assess the extent of change in a period heralded as a turning point in the history of psychiatry - the demise of the asylum - whilst engaging with the vexed methodological issues inherent in historians’ attempts to access, understand and make visible, the patient’s view.