Byline: Frank Sutherland; 1974-01-23; The Nashville Tennessean; pages 1, 4, 6
There was little joy to the world of Central State Psychiatric Hospital Christmas Day. Tempers got shorter and the patients stopped talking with each other; most of us knew we would not be going home for Christmas. My Christmases have always been joyful celebrations with family and friends. I never hope to know another time of sadness like Dec. 24-25, 1973. I posed as a patient at Central State for 31 days, including Christmas, and I watched with interest the real patients around me. As the day of "joy" approached, I watched their spirits diminish. This was a time when most of my fellow patients felt their absolute isolation from the real world. About 80% of the patients in my building could not go home for Christmas. Of those who stayed, only a handful had visitors. This angered me. "Where in hell are their relatives?" I asked myself. Some members of the staff made attempts to brighten the holidays, but the rejoicing never occured with any intensity.