Mental Health Check-In With Everyone

Since I am currently experiencing a moment in which I have no idea what to discuss or talk about for this website entry, I just thought that it would be nice to have a quick mental check-in with you all. And yes, Professor McClurken, this applies to you too.

So how have you been? Are you doing alright? Taking mental breaks every now and then? That’s good! Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest your brain for a bit, alright? Don’t overwork yourself; take it one step at a time.

If you haven’t already, take a minute to B R E A T H E. Remember; whatever mental health concern that you may have (not assuming anything, I promise), IT DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE.

Take care of yourself; your mental health ALWAYS COMES FIRST.

You got this! :3

d–(^ ‿ ^ )z

Abuse of Patients Today

This video by BuzzFeed is quite horrific as it depicts a patient in a mental facility being abused by one of the staff members. There are people around watching and do not seem to be perturbed by the situation. This video reminds me of Nellie Bly because while this abuse is not as harsh as described by Nellie, it still shows that the problem still exists today. Many mental patients are subject to the abuses of careless hospital workers. It is good thought that now there is legal repercussions for this type of behavior if it is caught.

A Memorial to Tennessee

Along with having an impact on states in the northeast, Dorothea Dix also sought change in Tennessee as well. In her Memorial to the State of Tennessee, she sought improvements for accommodations of the mentally insane by the creation of a new hospital. Talking about the conditions of the spaces she had seen as well […]

Nellie Bly Video

When we talked about Nellie Bly this week in class, it made me think about what first introduced me to her and her work. Below I have a clip from the Comedy Central show Drunk History about Nellie Bly. The clip gives a rundown of her ten days in the asylum but in a funnier way. It’s heavily exaggerated at times, but it is a good short clip about her.

Copyright: Comedy Central 2014

A Mind on Strike

Many of the research I’ve done for this project so far has been difficult. Broken links, incomplete sources, shady websites, and so on. John Forbes Nash Jr. was very private about his life and his mental condition, so it is hard to find reference to him outside of his biography and the movie adaptation.

I found this source while doing some research about his death, rather than his life. I do not know why this particular video was so hard to find, because it is very informative, put together with care, and from a credible institution.

“A Mind on Strike – Remember John Nash” chronicles Nash’s experiences by using video and interviews that actually feature Nash. It starts with Nash’s final moments, where he alongside Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize in 2015 from King Harald V of Norway. Afterwards Nash and his wife Alicia returned to the United States and were killed when the taxi they were riding in crashed. People discuss Nash, his achievements, who he was, and the difficulties he overcame before becoming a Nobel Prize winner.

Since I am planning to do a video documentary, this video is a vital source of information and footage. Most of the primary sources associated with Nahs are in the form of videos, including documentaries about him, interviews conducted by various institutions, and recordings of his lectures or honors. Finding a video like this is very useful, because it not only is a valuable resource, but a template I can use for when I create my own video.

Heidelberg Laureate Forum. “A Mind on Strike – Remembering John Nash.” YouTube, June 29, 2017.

Nelly Bly Muckraker

Hello everyone for this week Bonnie and I will be covering Women in the Asylum. As well as Dorothea Dix and Nelly Bly. The latter of the two being a “muckraker” an early form of investigative journalist. Her exposé on Blackwell Insane Asylum titled 10 Days in a Mad House, being what she most famous for. In this post a link to a brief biography of Nelly Bly, alongside a link to a short documentary about Nelly Bly’s 10 Days in a Mad House are posted below.



Why I Would Invite Nellie Bly For Tea

As you may have already noticed, one of the required sources this semester is Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House.

For those of you who do not know, Nellie Bly was an American journalist who committed herself to Blackwell’s Island Asylum for the Insane to witness asylum life and treatment first-hand.

You know that saying, “Not all heroes wear capes?” In my personal opinion, the statement applies to Nellie Bly.

Here is are my reasons as to why this author is unique and interesting to me;

Nellie Bly 2.jpg

#1: She does not sugarcoat or glorify anything. In her book, Bly directly describes her experiences inside Blackwell’s Island for the insane. Short, sweet, right to the point. Exactly how it should be.

#2: She is probably the only author in which we have read so far who feels some sort of sympathy for the patients. From the very beginning, we see that Bly is enormously concerned with how the patients are treated. In fact, in her introduction, she states how happy she was when, shortly after her visit to the asylum, the city of New York dedicated a total of $1,000,000 to the care of the insane. Compared to what has been done about mental health in the past, that is a BIG DEAL.

#3: She does not focus on the patients for what they have been diagnosed with, but rather the fact that they are human beings; living, breathing creatures that deserve to be taken care of. For the first time since our readings, we finally have someone who has knowledge of the full picture; these are people who need REAL help, and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their condition.

Image Source:

Bly, Winters, & Ratched

AMERICAN HORROR STORY “Welcome to Briarcliff” – Episode 201 (Season Premiere, Wednesday, October 17, 2012) Pictured: Sarah Paulson as Lana

The mental health related show I will be using during week 12 is 2020’s Ratchet starring Sarah Paulson and created by Ryan Murphy.  This week’s reading of Nellie Bly’s “Ten Days in a Mad-House” reminded be of another show starring and created by Paulson and Murphy, American Horror Story: Asylum.  Though heavily stylized and exaggerated, Paulson plays reporter Lana Winters who, like Bly, voluntarily commits herself for insanity to get the story behind the asylum walls.  Just as Bly, Paulson begins to learn the true horrors of the asylum through her own first-hand accounts of abuse.  Both stories highlight the amount of sane people present with in the asylum and the cruelty and borderline psychopathy of the staff.  

Dorothea Lynde Dix – New England Reformer

Tag: histmental 2021 – Week 5

This week Parker and I are focusing on 19th Century Female Reformers and accounts of women in asylums. Dix was an interesting person and her involvement in social reform is often underrated. Her early life was filled with disappointments that she was able to overcome and in his 1998 biography, Thomas Brown explains how she often experienced “crushing frustration” (ix) in her 50 year quest to provide asylum patients with moral treatment.

Brown, Thomas J. Dorothea Dix : New England Reformer Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998.

A Quick Overview

Below is a link to the History Channel page about Ms. Dix’s life and work.