The Snake Pit Essay Research Paper The

The Snake Pit Essay, Research Paper

The Snake Pit



Virginia Cunningham, thirty-ish, white female, married and suffering from schizophrenia was placed in a psychiatric hospital after an ongoing battle with mental illness. While in the psychiatric hospital Virginia received shock treatment, which was to no avail in achieving a cure, however her psychotherapy with Dr. Kik eventually rendered a cure.

The Snake Pit


The Snake Pit

Severe mental illness almost always alters a person’s life dramatically. People with severe mental illnesses experience disturbing symptoms that can make it difficult to hold a job, go to school, relate to others, or cope with ordinary life demands. Some individuals require hospitalization because they become unable to care for themselves or because they are at risk of committing suicide.

The symptoms of mental illness can be very distressing. People who develop schizophrenia may hear voices inside their head that say nasty things about them or command them to act in strange or unpredictable ways. Or they may be paralyzed by paranoia—the deep conviction that everyone, including their closest family members, wants to injure or destroy them. People with major depression may feel that nothing brings pleasure and that life is so dreary and unhappy that it is better to be dead. People with schizophrenia may also suffer from panic disorder, thus experiencing heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and anxiety so extreme that they may not be able to leave home.

Other mental illnesses, while not always debilitating, create certain problems in living. People with personality disorders may experience loneliness and isolation because their personality style interferes with social relations. With appropriate treatment, most people can recover from

The Snake Pit


mental illness and return to normal life. Even those with persistent, long-term mental illnesses can usually learn to manage their symptoms and live productive lives.



The subject was a white, 30-ish, married, female suffering from schizophrenia.


The materials were a mental hospital, and a psychotherapist.


Subject was placed in a mental hospital, where her illness could be closely monitored. Subject was assigned to Dr Kik, initially to aid her in overcoming her mental illness.


Subject was given several episodes of shock treatment, as well as psychotherapy.

The Snake Pit



As a result of the subject’s psychotherapy she was cured, by first diagnosing the root of her illness, which was the deaths of her father and her boyfriend, which she was blaming herself for and by accepting the fact that she did not cause either of the deaths or reactions from her mother.


The subject, Virginia Cunningham, a 30-ish, white, married female suffered from schizophrenia. Virginia’s mental illness was a result of the deaths of her father and boyfriend as well as her failed relationship with her mother. As a result of her schizophrenia Virginia she felt someone was following her at all times, she heard voices in her head, and could not remember events from day to day. Virginia also had trouble remembering her husband, Robert Cunningham. As a treatment, her doctor decided to try shock therapy on her, however this treatment was to no avail. After the shock treatment Virginia was even more confused, disoriented, lacked judgment and her sensorism was clouded. After this treatment Dr. Kik began to pacify Virginia to gain her trust, which would make her therapy much easier as well as her trust in her therapist would expedite her progression and cure. During Virginia’s stay she was placed in a ward for the most mentally disturbed

patients. It was in this ward that Virginia realized she wasn’t as sick as she thought. It was also here that she found she could help others overcome their illness, because she truly understood what they where experiencing.