Week#4: Racist origins: Central State was built to imprison Black people in nightmarish conditions.


This article is about Central State Hospital. A mental institution in Virginia that was built with the sole purpose of house “insane and idiotic colored persons”. This article talks more about the opinions of white Physicians and how they thought about mental illness in enslaved and newly freed African-Americans. Similar to how Galt thought about mental illness in African-Americans, other Physicians at the time believed that the rise in “insanity” in “colored persons” was due to newly found freedom. With given task and busy labor to occupy them slaves would fall into “madness”.

The 1973 APA over turn of Homosexuality as a mental illness

This link below links to a New York Times article from December 16th, 1973 that speaks about the at the time. Recent change in the American psychiatric world, that homosexuality is to be no longer viewed or considered a mental illness. The article also goes on to explain the type of mental effects that the LGBT community would have experienced due to their sexual/gender preference being viewed as a mental illness. And how this has been used in the past to discriminate against homosexuals



Whilst we are a few weeks within the semester, I have one question to ask: how is everyone? Are you all doing alright? Drinking plenty of water? Getting some fresh air, making good decisions? Good!

Anyways, the post for this Thursday is going to be about grounding; one of the most infamous methods of easing panic attacks. From my personal experience with my anxiety, I have found that this method has worked in helping me stay rooted, and has helped me focus on the now.

Here’s how it works: when you feel a panic attack on the way, look for:

5 Things you can see

4 Things you can touch/feel

3 Things you can hear

2 Things you can smell

1 Thing you can taste

This method will help you develop a sense of where you are, and will allow you to focus on something other than worrying.

Also, don’t forget to B R E A T H E.

TikTok announces new mental health resources for users.

This CNN article talks about how TikTok is making new resources for users to help with potential mental health issues that they could get from the platform. An example the article talks about is when someone searches for suicide on the platform brings the user to results that help deal with suicide. Ironically this is also being revealed after the news that Facebook has known about the mental problems that could happen on their platforms but kept the information hidden.


Social Deviation and Mental Illness

Modern psychiatry has moved past the diagnosis of Hysteria as a mental disorder today. This disease used to be thought to originate from women’s unpredictable reproductive organs. Their “floating wombs” in their bodies caused women’s brains and behaviors to change. They could be extremely emotional, unpredictable, irrational, or experience other unexplainable symptoms. Society really governed what was seen as normal behavior and what was mental illness, so if you were a woman who deviated from social norms, you could have been seen as mentally ill. This short video from PBS features historians discussing the history of Hysteria throughout the centuries.

Mysteries of Mental Illness | Hysteria. https://www.pbs.org/video/hysteria-axk6v2/.

Risk Factors Contributing to “Nervous” Diseases in Civil War


Article is actually about the risk factors associated with physical and “nervous” illnesses among veterans of the Union army in the Civil War. Authors analyzed over 15,000 randomly selected complete medical records of Union soldiers to determine what factors were more likely to produce cardiac, gastrointestinal diseases and “nervous” (what we would break down to mental or neurological disease today) disease. The most significant factor determining if you developed a nervous disease is if you were wounded.

Elizabeth Packard

While I was looking at news articles about nineteenth-century asylums, I came across this Time’s article about Elizabeth Packard. We read about her in chapter four of Gonaver’s book. Packard was wrongly confined by her husband because she had differing religious beliefs from him. The article was written by Kate Moore who gives a little history on Packard and her feelings about being a woman in the nineteenth-century. Moore also has a book advertised at the end of the article that she has published that is about Packard called The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear (2021).


Civil War Soldiers and PTSD

This article touches on how some of the first forms of PTSD seen was from the soldiers of the Civil War. It mentions how the devastation that many of the soldiers saw was unseen before and since they were subject to pre-modern medicine, their inflictions were difficult to treat. I think this is a great example of how the lack of information on mental health as well as medicine led to many patients being mistreated and misdiagnosed.


A Beautiful Mind (1998)

A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994 (1998) is an unauthorized biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. Published in 1998, it was written by Sylvia Nasar, who is a professor of journalism at Columbia University. It inspired the 2001 film by the same name.

This source is actually one of the first ones I managed to come across related to John Nash, however I had a little trouble finding a copy of it. I had to hunt down a copy since it is actually the best source available on John Nash’s life. Sylvia Nasar has written multiple works on John Nash, however this is the results of extensive reviews she conducted with Nash, his wife, and other who knew him. I am mainly interested in it to learn more about Nash’s experiences with schizophrenia and plan to use it as a starting point when learning about Nash.

This is an image of the cover of Nasar’s book from Wikipedia. I obtained a version of the book through interlibrary loan. Though it does not contain the book cover, it is an original version.

Nasar, Sylvia. A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1998.