New Mental health concern related to zoom.

This article from the Guardian talks about this potential new mental health condition brought on by zoom where people who have been on video conferences a lot become self-conscious about what they look like on zoom. According to the article, they are not aware of the distortion that zoom creates which causes them to stress over their appearance to the point of wanting plastic surgeries to fix issues they see that do not actually exist.

White Enamel

So according to the syllabus, we must post something to our blog every Thursday that is related to the class or our project at hand. Since I am in love with video games, I thought that this post would be cool and unique!

So I am not sure if any of you have heard of the game known as White Enamel, but it is pretty interesting. Although it is unplayable now since Adobe has left the chat, the developers of the game are still trying to find a way to make it accessible to players.

White Enamel is horror-based story game that is divided into different parts. Each part takes the player into the world of the fictional Glenfield State Penitentiary. The player goes into each section and is bombarded with real audios from real patients of asylums (warning; they are not happy sounds). The players is also greeted with images of the inside of old asylums as well.

Whilst playing the game, one cannot help but feel a wave of sympathy for the patients; they were treated more similar to animals rather than human beings, and were not given proper treatment. It is something about the screams and the images that stick with you throughout your gameplay.

Now, why did I choose this game? Simple; what one witnesses throughout playing the game is the reality of how those with mental health concerns were “treated” in the olden days, and further provides evidence of how far we as a society have come regarding the approaching of mental health and treatment.

May be an image of road
(Citation: ░W░H░I░T░E░ ░E░N░A░M░E░L░ ░U░P░D░A░T░E░. September 15, 2020. Facebook .

Image Credit: ░W░H░I░T░E░ ░E░N░A░M░E░L░ ░U░P░D░A░T░E░. September 15, 2020. Facebook .

Website Credit: “White Enamel.” White Enamel. Accessed September 2, 2021.

Week#2: Friends Asylum for the Insane near Frankford.

Depicted above is a lithograph of the Friends’ Asylum for the Insane. Founded by the Society of Friends, Quakers, as The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the use of Their Reasons in 1813. Located outside of Philadelphia, PA, Friends’ Asylum was the first private psychiatric institution in the United States. The institution is still operating today, having changed its name to Friends Hospital.

Mental Health America

This is a timeline of events regarding the organization of Mental Health America that was founded by Clifford Beers with the goal of better understanding mental health and mental illnesses. This timeline focuses mainly in the 20th century but is still very helpful in providing a general background of events regarding mental health in America.

Nellie Bly and Blackwell’s Island

This article from the Washington Post brings to light the work of Nellie Bly, a journalist in the late 1800s. In 1887, Bly committed herself to the asylum on Blackwell’s Island and discovered the atrocities and mistreatment of patients there. Her investigation is one of the leading causes of the reforms that Grob talked about in the chapters that we read.

Mental Health in Colonial America

Over the course of the past week we have been discussing the first few chapters of Gerald N. Grob’s The Mad Among Us, as well as several other documents from varying disciplines that address the beginnings of the history of mental health in Colonial America. It just so happens that I stumbled across an article in JSTOR that focuses on similar topics called “”Crazy Brained”: Mental Illness in Colonial America” by Larry D. Eldridge. One of the issues we identified with Grob’s work is that it lacked the individual perspective, seeming to fall more into the institutional perspective as well as keeping to “key figures” rather than focusing on examples and case studies. While Eldridge’s article focuses on many of the same concepts, he appears to give more attention to that individual perspective.

I will not post the article here, since it is located in JSTOR’s database and therefore would be a violation of their Terms and Conditions for me to do so. I thought about password protecting this post with the same password for this course’s readings, but didn’t to avoid confusion. Instead, I have provided the citation with the appropriate JSTOR stable URL.

Eldridge, Larry D. “”Crazy Brained”: Mental Illness in Colonial America.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 70, no. 3 (1996): 361-86. Accessed September 1, 2021.

Virginia Asylum’s Racist Records

This is a short and informative article that highlights the importance of studying the history of mental institutions as a way of informing the public to deeply engrained racist practices that continue to effect society today.  Professor King Davis has been working since 2007 to preserve the archives of the Central Lunatic Asylum located twenty-five miles south of Richmond, Virginia.  Central Lunatic Asylum was established in 1868 as the first exclusively African American institution.  The records being examined are in a fragile state and offer little in context of the patient’s individual experiences, however, they do shine light on the horrible conditions and ideologies they endured.  African American men were especially vulnerable to inhumane “treatments” due to the racist notion that these men were dangerous and aggressive if not under white control i.e., enslaved. It’s an important piece because racist histories such as those of asylums can point to larger issues within society, many of which have remained unresolved such as in the case of racially motivated police brutality and inequitable medical care.

Wiki for 8/31/2021- Grob

My questions for the Grob Reading:

  1. Could the negative concept of mental health; which entailed that mental illnesses were a personal problem rather than a societal problem; correlate with how we treat and recognize mental illnesses today?
  2. Based on how mental health has been approached throughout centuries, was mental health ever approached in a respectful/ helping manner?
  3. What was “insanity” considered back then?
  4. What factors would people look for to diagnose a mental illness?

~I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized help with this work.~


The link below is a source I found that is a 1890 biennial report of the Illness State Hospital of the insane in Jacksonville. This text offers a in-depth view of a mental institution of the late 1800s from an administrative perspective. With this class covering the rise of asylums and their methods of treatment and eventual abandonment. This text can show us how even by the 1890s that the various stereotypes that one thinks of when they hear asylum were already falling into place.

Benjamin Franklin as a pioneer for mental health.

Tag: histmental 2021 – Week #2

The Grob text mentions Ben Franklin’s colony-wide fund raising effort for a Philadelphia mental hospital ( pg. 19). Franklin was convinced that proper treatment could restore the mentally ill to proper health. Franklin was a student of the Enlightenment who would be called a “social justice warrior” in today’s society. Here’s a link to the PBS website that provides some solid and easy to comprehend facts about one of our most interesting founding fathers: