In the time of Ruth there is no medical term for what ills her. It is a time when people were put into asylum's for many abnormalities. Sane people were often shipped of to these holding places where they were mistreated. People were embarrassed and afraid of anyone that wasn't acting normal. These asylum's had for the most part women. In the 1840's a man called Turret's was researching people like Ruth but nothing was confermed and nothing to treat any kind of mental illness. These people were smart, no body disability's, nothing that seemed abnormal. But they started with little ticks, movements that they could not control, sounding more like animal when spells were bad and with passing time they suffered more and more from obscene language. Ruth could function well enough to read, write, be creative, spoke in good English. So in her time she was a mystery. Doctor Brown gave her Laudanum ( a type of Morphine) to put her to sleep, to calm her. Ruth was becoming dependent on this drug.