Asylum for the Insane: The History of the Kalamazoo State Hospital
William A. Decker, M.D.
Michigan Notable Book Award Winner 2009
Author, William Decker, M.D., wrote from his vast experience having served as Medical Superintendent at the hospital from 1953-1987. The book begins with the history of the asylum system in England and the general treatment of mental illness and then narrow its focus on the asylum system in Michigan and finally a comprehensive history of The Michigan Asylum for the Insane, later called the Kalamazoo State Hospital.
The Michigan Asylum for the Insane opened in Kalamazoo in 1859 as Michigan's first state institution created solely for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. In this outstanding history —complete with dozens of images and schematic maps — Dr. Decker places emphasis on the treatments themselves, including hydrotherapy, electro-convulsive therapy and psychoanalysis, the various instruments used, and the growth and development of the hospital's campus and buildings.