36 Best Dorothea Dix Quotes (Mental Health).

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Dorothea Dix, in full Dorothea Lynde Dix, (born April 4, 1802, Hampden, District of Maine, Massachusetts [now in Maine], U.S.—died July 17, 1887, Trenton, New Jersey), American educator, social reformer, and humanitarian whose devotion to the welfare of the mentally ill led to widespread reforms in the United States and abroad.

Dix left her unhappy home at age 12 to live and study in Boston with her grandmother. By age 14 she was teaching in a school for young girls in Worcester, Massachusetts, employing a curriculum of her own devising that stressed the natural sciences and the responsibilities of ethical living. In 1821 she opened a school for girls in Boston, where until the mid-1830s periods of intensive teaching were interrupted by periods of ill health. She eventually abandoned teaching and left Boston.


In 1845 Dix published Remarks on Prisons and Prison Discipline in the United States to advocate reforms in the treatment of ordinary prisoners. In 1861 she was appointed superintendent of army nurses for Civil War service. She was ill-suited to administration, however, and had great difficulty with the post. After the war she returned to her work with hospitals. When she died, it was in a hospital that she had founded.

Source – Britannica.

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. 36 Best Dorothea Dix Quotes (Mental Health):

  1. You never saw a very busy person who was unhappy.

2. Your minds may now be likened to a garden, which will if neglected, yield only weeds and thistles; but, if cultivated, will produce the most beautiful flowers and the most delicious fruits.

3. With care and patience, people may accomplish things which, to an indolent person, would appear impossible

4. Moderate employment, moderate exercise, as much freedom as is consistent with the safety of the patient, and as little apparent anxious watchfulness with cheerful society should be sought.

5. The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character.

6. What greater bliss than to look back on days spent in usefulness, in doing good to those around us.

7. Society during the last hundred years has been alternately perplexed and encouraged respecting the two great questions: how shall the criminal and pauper be disposed of in order to reduce crime and reform the criminal on the one hand and, on the other, to diminish pauperism and restore the pauper to useful citizenship?

8. In order to do good, a man must be good; and he will not be good except he has instruction by counsel and by example.

9. The rose is the flower and handmaiden of love – the lily, her fair associate, is the emblem of beauty and purity.

10. The great benefactors of individuals and of communities are the enlightened educators: the wise-teaching, mental and moral instructors and exemplars of our times.

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11. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women; of beings sunk to a condition from which the unconcerned world would start with real horror.

12. The olive branch has been consecrated to peace, palm branches to victory, the laurel to conquest and poetry, the myrtle to love and pleasure, the cypress to mourning, and the willow to despondency.

13. Life is not to be expended in vain regrets. No day, no hour, comes but brings in its train work to be performed for some useful end – the suffering to be comforted, the wandering led home, the sinner reclaimed. Oh! How can any fold the hands to rest and say to the spirit, ‘Take thine ease, for all is well!

14. In proportion as my own discomfort has increased, my conviction of the necessity to search into the wants of the friendless and afflicted has deepened

15. I have learned to live each day as it comes and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow.

16. My happiest hours are spent in school, surrounded by those I hope to benefit.

17. I have little taste for fashionable dissipations, cards, and dancing; the theatre and tea parties are my aversion, and I look with little envy on those who find their enjoyment in such transitory delights, if delights they may be called.

18. Of all the calamities to which humanity is subject, none is so dreadful as insanity… All experience shows that insanity seasonably treated is as certainly curable as a cold or a fever.

19. I must study alone, as I am condemned to do everything alone, I believe, in this life

20. Always remember those things that tend to strengthen and improve your understanding. You cannot learn without attention, neither retain those lessons that you have once learnt without frequently reflecting upon and reviewing them in your mind; by this means, things long past will remain impressed upon your memory.

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21. We are not sent into this world mainly to enjoy the loveliness therein, nor to sit us down in passive ease; no, we were sent here for action. The soul that seeks to do the will of God with a pure heart, fervently, does not yield to the lethargy of ease.

22. A man usually values that most for which he has labored; he uses that most frugally which he has toiled hour by hour and day by day to acquire.

23. Pleasures take to themselves wings and fly away; true knowledge remains forever.

24. There is, in our nature, a disposition to indulgence, a secret desire to escape from labor, which, unless hourly combated, will overcome and destroy the best faculties of our minds and paralyze our most useful powers.

25. Indulged habits of dependence create habits of indolence, and indolence opens the portal to petty errors, to many degrading habits, and to vice and crime with their attendant train of miseries.

26. They say, ‘Nothing can be done here!’ I reply, ‘I know no such word in the vocabulary I adopt!

27. I shall try and effect all that is before me to perform; and God, I think, will surely give me strength for His work so long as He directs my line of duty.

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28. Society during the last hundred years has been alternately perplexed and encouraged respecting the two great questions: how shall the criminal and pauper be disposed of in order to reduce crime and reform the criminal on the one hand and, on the other, to diminish pauperism and restore the pauper to useful citizenship?

29. ‘Know,’ says a wise writer, the historian of kings, ‘Know the men that are to be trusted’; but how is this to be? The possession of knowledge involves both time and opportunities. Neither of these are ‘handservants at command.

.30. Men need knowledge in order to overpower their passions and master their prejudices.

31. Rules must be established and enforced, and, as numbers are increased in prisons, the necessity for vigilance increases. These rules, let it be understood, may be kindly while firmly enforced. I would never suffer any exhibition of ill-temper or an arbitrary exercise of authority.

32. A virtuous character is likened to an unblemished flower. Piety is a fadeless bud that half opens on earth and expands through eternity. Sweetness of temper is the odor of fresh blooms, and the amaranth flowers of pure affection open but to bloom forever.

33. I have had so much at heart. Defeated, not conquered; disappointed, not discouraged. I have but to be more energetic and more faithful in the difficult and painful vocation to which my life is devoted.

34. Nothing seems to me so likely to make people unhappy in themselves and at variance with others as the habit of killing time.

35. As you have learnt something of time, value and make a proper use of it. Once past, it knows no return; how necessary, then, that you spend it in improving your mind and fitting it for future happiness and usefulness.

36. I worship talents almost. I sinfully dare mourn that I possess them not.

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