Is mental illness real? It’s a question as old as the idea of mental illness itself. Most famously addressed in the 1961 book, The Myth of Mental Illness, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz argues that the idea of classifying difficulties as “illnesses” takes away personal agency.
The history of mental illness in the United States is a good representation of the ways in which trends in psychiatry and cultural understanding of mental illness influence national policy and attitudes towards mental health. The U.S. is considered to have a relatively progressive mental health care system, and the history of its evolution and the current state of the system are telling landmarks in the overall history of psychology.
In 1966 Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane gave filmmaker Frederick Wiseman unprecedented access. The resulting documentary, Titicut Follies, shook up the medium and launched Wiseman’s innovative, Oscar-winning career.
The origins of the “Dixon Case” go back to 1974, when a class action lawsuit was filed against the federal government and District government on behalf of individuals civilly committed to Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast D.C.
Ever since Wilson’s final and terminal stroke in 1924, the interrelationships between his health, his self-righteous personality, and his decision-making have been the subject of heated debate among historians.
Back in the 1970s, eight mentally well people, including psychologist David Rosenhan, presented themselves at psychiatric hospitals, where they showed signs of mild anxiety and complained of auditory hallucinations, specifically words like “empty” and “hollow”.
Hogg Foundation offices were located in the UT tower when the shooting occurred and, following the event, the foundation was involved in implementing campus mental health services in response to the tragedy. In this podcast, we hear a Hogg Foundation employee’s first-person account of the UT tower shooting and the mental health questions that arose Read more
“It is our community-mindedness and willingness to love one another, as well as our ability to resist fear, stigma, and scapegoating, that provides the surest bulwark against the dark forces that drive individuals, like Whitman, to perpetuate inexplicable acts upon their fellow human beings.” – Dr. Martinez Hogg Foundation offices were located in the UT Read more
America’s attitude toward pain has shifted radically over the past century. Psychiatrist Anna Lembke says that 100 years ago, the medical community thought that pain made patients stronger.
Film-maker Carol Morley uncovered a huge archive about a promising Royal Academy student whose life was changed by a mental breakdown. She describes her journey into Audrey Amiss’s world.
by Sebastian Purcell In the spring semester of the school year, I teach a class called ‘Happiness’. It’s always packed with students because, like most people, they want to learn the secret to feeling fulfilled. ‘How many of you want to be happy in life?’ I ask. Everyone raises a hand. Always. ‘How many of Read more
Abraham Lincoln on Living with Loss: His Magnificent Letter of Consolation to a Grief-stricken Young Woman
On trusting that time will transmute the unbearable pain of grief into “a sad sweet feeling in your heart.”
History and Current Relevance of Chicana/o Psychology: Addressing Mental Health in Mexican American & Latina/o Communities
Guest post by Manuel X. Zamarripa, Ph.D., LPC-S In 2014, a Fox News Latino article cited that only 1 in 11 Latina/os seek mental health treatment. Chicana/o Psychology is rarely discussed as recourse to address this situation. In 2004, Dr. Manuel Ramirez outlined the tenets of Chicana/o Psychology, but the roots of Chicana/o Psychology run Read more
A conference convened in Amsterdam to once and for all answer the question of whether van Gogh suffered from some sort of medical problem or mental disorder, such as bipolar disorder, during his lifetime.
In 1976, the pioneering Open Door charity for young people with mental health problems launched. Forty years on, it’s asking whether it’s harder than ever to be an adolescent.
In the early 1960s, Howard E. Butt Jr. was both a prominent Texas business executive and a rising star in Christian preaching. But in retrospect, the most important quality Howard E. Butt Jr. had was a touch of self-awareness.
Every now and again a psychology finding is published that immediately grabs the world’s attention and refuses to let go – often it’s a result with immediate implications for how we can live more happily and peacefully.