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Audrey Schroeder –

1. Do people see mental health as only a field because that is all they know about it or is it because they do not want to humanize a difficult topic (Bertolote)?

2. Society blames medicine, the devil, etc. for impacting mental health, but in reality the real culprits are societal expectations. Questions/debate topics

   HIS471       8-23-2021				                                                      Akkerman, B

Dr.McClurken- I pledge…

1.The United States is a young country that has always been in a mental health “quagmire”. COVID-19 did nothing to help this situation. How do you think the societal distance mandates, fiscal uncertainty, and new social norms and behaviors will impact the mental health of the 18-25 generation? Will your children see the “scars” of COVID-19 in the values and behaviors you exhibit? Will isolation and sacrifice create more stoic minds? Will your generation have its own “Roaring 2020’s” when we reach some type of global herd immunity? How do you feel about it?

2.Our current pressing global concern is a physical malady and the various ailments that seem to accompany this virus. Mental health concerns and treatments in the US were already scarce for the marginalized. Now with a life-threatening virus consuming all our resources, what do you think will be the fate of those mentally ill marginalized souls who were already living on the fringes of society. Will “tent cities”, like San Francisco, crop up in many more of our major cities? Will big government have enough vision to predict if a social and mental health crisis is looming ahead. What will be done? What can be done to provide these folks with economic self-sufficiency (Grob ix)? Is compassionate care going to be at the forefront? Or will economic concerns continue to overshadow the US health care system?

3.Edward Shorter’s preface calls the history of psychiatry “a minefield” and emphasizes that it is still a “young field” of study with much to be discovered. What is your opinion of these statements particularly with regard to the United States history of mental health care and treatment? Is Shorter being pragmatic or naïve as the human mind has been referred to as “a mystery” for at least two millennia? Submitted by B. Akkerman

1. According to Grob, mental institutions that were once considered the solution to the growing mental health crisis are now thought to be more of a problem. How do you think innovations in modern medicine and the study of psychiatry have led him to this conclusion? — Lyndsey Clark

2. Andrea Tone’s The Age Of Anxiety brings up the issue of pharmaceutical companies and the commercialization of drugs. From your own experience, how has this commercialization drawn Americans to use certain drugs? What effects have you seen in the past and more recently with COVID-19? — Lyndsey Clark

3. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the book used by the American Psychiatry Association for the classification of mental disorders. The first iteration of this book was published in 1952. Shorter claims there was a revolution in the field from roughly the 1950s onward. Why do you think this was so? What events made prompted psychological research to expand so much in so little time? — Lyndsey Clark

Mallory Karnei-

1) Does the relationship between patient and doctor (Butler and Kirkbride) show how we cannot analyze certain historical norms or events in today’s lens? Could this be important when looking at a topic such as this where so much has changed overtime and many things from back then would be seen as horrible today? (Tomes)

2) Does the convenience of antidepressants ad tranquilizers impact the view on mental health? Would people possibly feel more inclined to take medicine rather than go to therapy to prevent being embarrassed? (Sandowsky)

3) The hierarchical behavior of Kirkbride’s mental institute has impacted the idea that those who are mentally ill are less capable or “human” than those who are not mentally ill. (debate)

Parker Siebenschuh

1. When writing on the relationship between the mental hospital and the community Gerald N. Grob in his text “Mad Among Us A History of Care of America's Mentally Ill”. He places both as being in an almost opposing manner. However, Nancy Tomes in her text “The Art of Asylum-Keeping” mentions the role that family and by extension the community has played and is playing in modern mental health. Either as the actor admitting people without their consent to asylums. Or as those trying to help their family members by taking a part in their treatment. Does this relationship between patient and family show that the lines two “opposing forces” seems extremely blurred in context?

2. Jonathan Sandowsky in his text “The Empire of Depression A New History” speaks of two main forms of talk therapy for patients, Depth Psychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) these two talk therapy being based on Freudian ideas or working to correct behavioral errors through counseling. Now after reading through “The Art of Asylum-Keeping” by Nancy Tomes. I find that there is a connection between CBT and the concept of moral treatment. Is there any deeper connection between the two beyond what seems like a some what superficial glance? Or was the seeing the “failure” of moral treatment over time in the asylum system lead to the rapid adoption of Freudian ideas?

Jack Kurz

1. Has the vagueness that comes with diagnosing modern depression and anxiety lead to an increased willingness to accept pharmaceutical treatment over talk therapies, which may have less drawbacks?

2. There are parallels between how we view the use of pharmaceuticals today and as it was viewed in the 1950’s when taking pharmaceuticals was a sign of struggle and many did not see them as embarrassing, rather it signaled an individuals desire for personal growth. Debate topic.

Janis Shurtleff

1. Tomes discusses the role of family within the treatment of an ill family member which plays into the larger notion of the environment’s effects on mental health, in modern times has this role increased or decreased in significance?

2. When Sandowsky poses the discrepancies between depression and melancholia and the rise in current diagnoses, does the rise in technology/media and its subsequent (and ironic) disconnection from reality stand as a cause?

Griffin Nameroff Grob, Preface and prologue:

Question 1: Grob states that the book focuses less on the mentally ill themselves and more of the American people’s response.  Wouldn’t discussing the mentally ill in the book help clarify the responses of the American people and the book’s focus?
Question 2: What does Grob mean when he states on page 3 that family members who want to take care of mentally ill relatives threatens the integrity of the household?

Tomes, Intro:

Question 1: Was it common for therapists to marry their patients similarly to Kirkbride in the 1800s? 
Question2: Where were African American and other minorities who had mental health problems sent during the beginning of asylums?

Shorter, Preface:

Question 1: How did black and white patients in asylums get along? Was their animosity between patients? 
Question 2: How many asylums were started by a religious organization?


Question 1: who coined the term depression?
Question 2: what were some of the early treatments for depression that were considered extreme?

Chris O'Neill

1. An interesting dilemma, noted by Nancy Tomes in The Art of Asylum Keeping, is how to balance the needs of the mentally ill, their families and their community when treating mental illness. Who is the treatment really for?

2. Jonathan Sandowsky, in An Empire of Depression, makes an interesting point that the high rate of prescriptions for drugs to treat depression does not necessarily mean that drugs are being overprescribed but could be a result of 1. There is actually more depression in society 2. Better diagnostic methods are being used to catch depression 3. Symptoms previously categorized under other illnesses now fall under depression. He then suggests if there is indeed more depression in society, we need to ask why.

3. Edward Shorter, in A History of Psychiatry, in answer to critics who do not think mental illness is real, states that schizophrenia and depression are no more “social constructs” than parkinsonism or multiple sclerosis. To what degree is this true?

Carson Berrier (I pledge…)

1) In Tomes’ The Art of Asylum Keeping, the author notes that the American Psychiatric Association was over 150 years old. With as old a field as psychiatry is, why has the shift towards mental health being not such a taboo thing been so recent? What has made mental health “easier” to talk about?

2) Shorter’s Preface noted that “zealot-researchers… have converted protest into illness, locking into asylums those who otherwise would be challenging the established order.” Historically, what power did this give psychiatrists? What did this take away from a patient?

3) Sandowsky frames and holds the idea that depression is shaped and changed by history and culture. Through no further research, how do you think the idea of depression has changed over the past few decades?

Allison Love (I pledge…)

The only reading that really talked about minorities being left out of the history of mental health was the Tomes reading. So, has there been more recent research that has included their input into the narrative? And what about children?

In the Tone reading, they talked about how popular and socially acceptable the tranquilizers were and that there were shortages. I don’t understand why they didn’t limit prescribing the pills when the need exceeded the demand for the product. Wouldn’t that have helped to control the whole dependency issue that they realized was a side effect later?

A theme that I noticed repeating in some of the readings was the debate of over diagnosing disorders and where do you draw the line from just normal feelings and actually having clinical depression or an anxiety disorder? Why is this a reoccurring debate in scholarship when it’s nearly impossible to prove?

471g4/questions/471g4--week_1.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/26 11:55 by