Shell Shock During WWI vs Today

This video does a great job at explaining how the term Shell Shock emerged after World War I. It also does a good job at explaining how the military community had a hard time determining whether it was a physical injury or just a mental health problem. The video does a good job mentioning that […]

PTSD Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

Article explores the prevalence of PTSD among different military subgroups of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. One of the findings of this article is that as of 2014, the incidence of PTSD was higher for veterans of Iraq (12.9%) compared to veterans of Afghanistan (7.1%). Authors surmise this discrepancy may be in part due …

Susanna Kaysen and Girl, Interrupted

While looking for information on the book we are reading for class tomorrow, I came across an interview of the author, Susanna Kaysen, herself. The interview, written by Tara Wanda Merrigan, comes twenty-five years after Kaysen first published her autobiography. During the interview Kaysen discusses some misconceptions that some readers took from the book and …

Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital (2001)

In connection with our reading of Girl, Interrupted (1993) this week, I decided to dig up a source I looked at because it was also connected to my project about John Nash! McLean Hospital is the location of much of Susanna’s Kaysen’s book, and the hospital itself has a longstanding history as a mental institution. In 2001, Alex Beam published Gracefully Insane : The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital which, like many other books we’ve read this semester, focuses on McLean Mental Hospital as a case study. I discovered this book after doing research into Nash’s life and was surprised when I saw Kaysen’s name, because at the time I had not read Girl, Interrupted, and was only familiar with the name because it was an assigned text for this class. In connection with our reading of Girl, Interrupted (1993) this week, I decided to dig up a source I looked at because it was also connected to my project about John Nash! McLean Hospital is the location of much of Susanna’s Kaysen’s book, and the hospital itself has a longstanding history as a mental institution. In 2001, Alex Beam published Gracefully Insane : The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital which, like many other books we’ve read this semester, focuses on McLean Mental Hospital as a case study. I discovered this book after doing research into Nash’s life and was surprised when I saw Kaysen’s name, because at the time I had not read Girl, Interrupted, and was only familiar with the name because it was an assigned text for this class. However, as I did more digging I discovered that not only did Nash and Kaysen end up in McLean, so did Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, Sylvia Plath (author of The Bell Jar, which also talks about her experiences at McLean), James Taylor, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, and David Foster Wallace. First off, wow, this hospital had a lot of famous patients. Secondly, Beam’s book is filled with stories about patients and doctors, including a protégé whose brilliance disappeared alongside his madness, Anne Sexton’s poetry seminar, John Nash’s stay before becoming a Nobel Prize winner, and many more. Beam’s tale of McLean covers the hopes and failures of psychology and psychotherapy (much like we have been discussing in class), the evolution of attitudes about mental illness, the differing approaches to treatment, as well as the economic pressures that are making institutions like McLean become “relics of a bygone age.” I personally was using this book as a source to better understand the treatment John Nash received while he was at McLean, however that doesn’t mean it cannot be used by others to study McLean in a similar matter to what we have done with Nancy Tome’s work on Thomas Story Kirkbride or Wendy Gonaver’s work on the Eastern Lunatic Asylum. Beam, Alex. Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital (2001)

In connection with our reading of Girl, Interrupted (1993) this week, I decided to dig up a source I looked at because it was also connected to my project about John Nash! McLean Hospital is the location of much of Susanna’s Kaysen’s book, and the hospital itself has a longstanding history as a mental institution. In 2001, Alex Beam published Gracefully Insane : The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital which, like many other books we’ve read this semester, focuses on McLean Mental Hospital as a case study. I discovered this book after doing research into Nash’s life and was surprised when I saw Kaysen’s name, because at the time I had not read Girl, Interrupted, and was only familiar with the name because it was an assigned text for this class. In connection with our reading of Girl, Interrupted (1993) this week, I decided to dig up a source I looked at because it was also connected to my project about John Nash! McLean Hospital is the location of much of Susanna’s Kaysen’s book, and the hospital itself has a longstanding history as a mental institution. In 2001, Alex Beam published Gracefully Insane : The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital which, like many other books we’ve read this semester, focuses on McLean Mental Hospital as a case study. I discovered this book after doing research into Nash’s life and was surprised when I saw Kaysen’s name, because at the time I had not read Girl, Interrupted, and was only familiar with the name because it was an assigned text for this class. However, as I did more digging I discovered that not only did Nash and Kaysen end up in McLean, so did Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, Sylvia Plath (author of The Bell Jar, which also talks about her experiences at McLean), James Taylor, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, and David Foster Wallace. First off, wow, this hospital had a lot of famous patients. Secondly, Beam’s book is filled with stories about patients and doctors, including a protégé whose brilliance disappeared alongside his madness, Anne Sexton’s poetry seminar, John Nash’s stay before becoming a Nobel Prize winner, and many more. Beam’s tale of McLean covers the hopes and failures of psychology and psychotherapy (much like we have been discussing in class), the evolution of attitudes about mental illness, the differing approaches to treatment, as well as the economic pressures that are making institutions like McLean become “relics of a bygone age.” I personally was using this book as a source to better understand the treatment John Nash received while he was at McLean, however that doesn’t mean it cannot be used by others to study McLean in a similar matter to what we have done with Nancy Tome’s work on Thomas Story Kirkbride or Wendy Gonaver’s work on the Eastern Lunatic Asylum. Beam, Alex. Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America’s Premier Mental Hospital. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

Weekly Posts

Oct 7, 2021 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nPM1_kSZf91ZGkcgy_95Q This week, I’ve decided to talk about the YouTube channel “How To ADHD” Not only is it incredibly accessible through its fun animations and quirky host, but it also maintains a solid research basis and constantly invites Ph.D.’s on to discuss current issues. Most likely, I will be doing my media… Continue reading Weekly Posts

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