How do you prevent mental illness? For the first decades after the Second World War, many psychiatrists and politicians turned to the social environment. Why was this the case? And should we consider the lessons of social psychiatry today?
The long nineteenth century can be seen as the period in which the psychiatric asylum became the predominant place where the mentally ill were treated. Why was this the case and what impact did the First World War have on asylums and how we perceive mental illness?
For much of history, madness was thought to be caused by the supernatural. Although most people don't believe this today, could it be that our lack of faith, particularly our concern about what happens to us when we die, has contributed to disorders like depression?
A number of high profile cases have suggested that mental illness is increasing in professional athletes. Is this the case? And if so, why would so many people living what many believe to be the perfect life struggle with such issues? The answers suggest that mental illness is just as complicated for athletes as it is for the rest of us. Only a little more so.
Sixty years ago, the era of deinstitutionalization began. What have we learned since the closure of the psychiatric asylums that used to house the mad among us? As a recent conference indicates, not nearly enough.
Is it possible to approach controversial issues in mental health with an open mind? Is it even advisable? One historian's other-worldly experience with a very large tub of jelly baby candies makes him think twice about the relationship between food additives and behavioral problems, and his take on the Feingold diet for ADHD.