Ghosts are implied but not actually filmed in this spectacularly eerie tour of a massive asylum, closed for 20 years. Elegant editing and camerawork, including some graceful aerial footage, capture graffiti-covered abandonment as well as what the narrator terms “a presence, as if something was still there.”
“Western culture throughout its long and tangled history provides us with a rich array of images, a remarkable set of windows into both popular and latterly professional beliefs about insanity,” writes Andrew Scull in his extensive look at images of madness throughout history, including an oddly peppy Thorazine ad.
How many potential American soldiers, going off to fight in World War II, were rejected because they were thought to be psychopaths? In some places, forty percent. Here's what the military did about that.
Mental asylums will probably never have a good reputation. Bad as they are now, in the 1700s they were worse — deliberately worse. The person to really change the theory governing mental asylums was Philippe Pinel.
Do mental illnesses have certain eras? When we look at history, it seems like they do. There was the famous dancing sickness that struck medieval Europe. And then there was a strange delusion, first experienced by a king, in which the sufferer thought they were made of glass.
Brian is a male bonobo who was born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, but spent most of his life at the Milwaukee County Zoo. His childhood was rough, thanks to an abusive father, and as he transitioned into early adulthood, his prospects seemed grim.
Doctor Joseph Mason Cox was a man to avoid. Unfortunately, those who went to the Fishponds Private Lunatic asylum didn’t have the option to avoid him. To be fair, Cox just wanted people to have long, healthful periods of sleep. At the dawn of the age of opiates, he turned his back on pharmacology and practiced…
Henry Cotton got into psychiatry with noble goals, and ended up as one of the historical horrors of the medical profession. How did he transform from visionary to monster? It had to do with his habit of curing psychiatric disorders by chopping things off his patients.
It's probably not as easy as you think – but determining when someone is faking is also notoriously difficult.
We love looking at creepy photographs of former mental institutions that have fallen into disrepair, but sometimes the true stories behind these hospitals is far more horrifying. Here are a few abandoned and partially abandoned institutions will tales more chilling than their photographs.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama kicked off the White House's National Conference on Mental Health by calling for more honest, open and understanding discussions about mental health and its far-reaching effects.
In a major milestone, a powerful organization of mental health researchers has said it will not be using the new, fifth edition of the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), a handbook that has virtually defined the field of psychiatry in the United States for decades. Here's what this means.
It's been four decades since futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler predicted a wave of "future shock," the sensation of panic and unease that happens when people are "overwhelmed by change." And, depending on who you talk to you, we're either in the middle of a huge epidemic of future shock, with people struggling to…
On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association officially approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The new ‘psychiatric bible' features a number of important changes to the existing canon, including the elimination…
Chances are, you've at least seen the term. It refers to someone in an altered mental state creating havoc. Anything from a bunch of kids getting too crazy at a birthday party to a mass murder can "run amok." Except it can't, because the term refers to an actual psychiatric condition, albeit one that was…
Over the course of its 69-year history, the Soviet Union was notorious for its heavy-handed suppression of political dissent — most infamously through its use of the Siberian GULAGs. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the Communist Party took their intolerance for ideological deviance to extremes by…
Mention psychedelics to almost anyone and inevitably you get the usual associations to spaced-out hippies and back-alley junkies. There's little question that the current impression of psychedelics is a very negative one, and for those who choose to use them, it can often carry a fairly heavy social stigma. But as…
All drugs affect your brain differently... that's assuming, of course, that these drugs have a brain to affect in the first place.
The New York Times has published two thought-provoking opinion pieces relating to Attention Deficit Disorder and the medications used to treat it.
A new therapy, called cognitive-bias modification, has allowed people to relieve anxiety and the strain of certain addictions. It doesn't involve a doctor or medications, just a few minutes a day on a computer performing some simple tasks.