28 February 2019

28th February 1883 - Asylums better than alternative care


On Wednesday 28th February 1883 there was a report in the Fife Herald concerning Henry Wickham.

At Chester, Wickham was brought to court as a wandering vagrant. In apparent distress Wickham told the court how he knew George Washington and Christopher Columbus and was married to the handsomest woman in Philadelphia. On the judges instruction he was taken to the county asylum where he was recognised by staff, having already been an inmate there. The Chief Constable then looked into the matter further and found that Wickham had stayed in asylums more than forty times.

The newspaper called him a swindler and an extraordinary imposter. It appears that Wickham feigned delusions as he preferred the meat and puddings that he received at the asylum over the poor fare dished up in casual wards or county jails. A number of other newspapers and journals repeated the same story.

The St James Gazette went on to say that this incident speaks highly for the treatment of patients in public asylums.

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for this date.

27 February 2019

27th February 1859 - Bertha Pappenheim born


Bertha Pappenheim was born om 27th February 1859, in Vienna. She was apparently the first patient treated by psychoanalysis. She was a patient of Josef Breuer, and exhibited a variety of nervous symptoms some quite strange, such as being unable to talk in her native German but able to speak English. By describing events in the past Bertha apparently became cured of particular symptoms that were linked. Freud was influenced by her treatment and together with Breuer published her case history in "Studies in Hysteria" where they gave her the name Anna O.

Later on I gather that Bertha became a notable feminist, and was remarkable in other ways.

There is a fuller story of her in The Science Museum's bought to life series of biographies ... Bertha Pappenheim

Acknowledgements to Wikipedia for noting her birthday February 27 - Wikipedia .

26 February 2019

26th February 1968 - fire in mental hospital kills 21


On 26th February 1968 Twenty-one female patients died in a fire which swept through a wing of the Shelton Mental Hospital near Shrewsbury.

The following is a summary from what was said in Parliament on 26th February and 16th December 1968...

The Minister of Health, Kenneth Robinson, told parliament that the fire started at about midnight on the first floor of a two-storey building which accommodated women psychiatric patients. Forty-two patients were sleeping on this floor at the time - mainly elderly, and some bed-ridden. Twenty-one of these patients died and 14 were being treated in hospital. The ground floor ward was undamaged by the fire

An inquiry was set up and reported back that the cause of the fire was almost certainly a lighted cigarette end left in an easy chair in the day room. The hospital had a modern fire alarm system and procedures but they were not properly used: nurses had not received adequate training in hospital fire procedures - including the evacuation of patients. There was delay after smoke was first seen before the Fire Service was summoned. This was partly the failure of the night nurse to give the warning, and partly an order requiring authority from a hospital fire officer before calling the Fire Service.

Thankyou to BBC On This Day for the date

25 February 2019

25th February 1957 - BBC Panorama discussion on Rampton Mental Hospital


On 25th February 1957 BBC Panorama featured a discussion about Rampton Mental Hospital in Nottingham, hosted by Chris Chataway. The programme brought together the editor of a Sunday newspaper that published allegations about the hospital and representatives of the Ministry of Health.

Rampton was (and is) a special lock up hospital for patients considered to need holding in conditions of high security. That could be because they were considered violent or they would otherwise run away.

Earlier in the month there had been a lot of coverage about increasing security after 2 inmates escaped from Rampton having got hold of a passkey. So the Ministry was criticised then for lapses of security, now they were being criticised for keeping people at Rampton who should not have been there, particularly children and women.

The Panorama programme discussed allegations from Peter Whitehead who had been in Rampton against his will for over ten years. He had been finally discharged after a long letter writing campaign. His story was published in 1958 in David Roxan's book Sentenced Without Cause. The book described among other things physical violence by staff to patients and difficulties securing his and other people's freedom. The Ministry criticised the book as sensational and irresponsible because it made the difficult work of the staff even harder.

Thankyou to The British Newspaper Archive for this date and the details.

24 February 2019

24th February 1409 - Inspiration for the first mental hospital in the Spanish world


On 24th February 1409, Father Juan Galiberto Jofré was walking through Valencia in Spain when he came upon a commotion. Approaching nearer he found a crowd of youths surrounding a man, attacking him and taunting him with the cry 'al loco! al loco!'. Father Jofré intervened and took the victim to a safe place where he could be looked after. The following Sunday Father Jofré preached about the incident and said that Valencia had nowhere for those poor innocents who sometimes lost their reason. Members of his congregation took up the challenge and an asylum was built. The result was the Hospital de Nuestra Doña Santa Maria de los Inocentes, said by people in the Spanish speaking world to be the first dedicated Mental Hospital in the World. The Hospital is still in operation.

This is just a short summary, in my own words, of a much longer history of the hospital to be found in the pdf article The founding of the first psychiatric hospital in the World in Valencia

 Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date

23 February 2019

23rd February 2011 - Adam Ant Mental Health Story


On 23th February 2011 there was media interest, including the BBC, in pop star Adam Ant battling mental health issues

In the 1980s Adam Ant was one of the most recognisable stars on the planet with his sense of style and music. The hits that kept coming.

Revisit Adam in 2011 and he had some run ins and been sectioned twice. Like other creative celebrities he had been labelled as bi-polar. However he found the effects of medication deadened his creativity, and in interviews said that music was the best medication. So he worked with his doctor to find a balance.

Since 2011 Adam Ant has been back in with his music.

In the 2011 BBC interview he said 'If I give you examples of some people with bipolar disorder, you'll find they're all creative and they're all magnificent in their own work.

Kurt Cobain, Edward Munch, Winston Churchill, Van Gogh, Stephen Fry....

You need the dark side and you need the light side to be creative.'


Thankyou to Google News for this date.

21 February 2019

22nd February 1930 - Walter Mischel was born



On 22nd February 1930, Walter Mischel was born

Mischel is the psychologist best remembered for the Marshmallow Experiment.

Imagine you are a four year old and have been shown into a room. You love marshmallows and are presented with a marshmallow. The adult tells you that you can eat the marshmallow and ring the bell at any time, or wait until the adult returns and then get two marshmallows. Do you eat the marshmallow, or try to control yourself and get the two marshmallows?

The experiment was about self control, and techniques children used in self control. Apparently Mischel found that children who had learned self control and did not eat the marshmallow did statistically better at school tests, and were less likely to get overweight.

This led to the Mischel advocating teaching techniques of self control in school, particularly for children who have not had the best start in life - from disadvantaged backgrounds. He also wrote a book called 'The Marshmallow Test. Mastering Self-Control' in 2014.

In the book he talks not only about marshmallows and self control but also about mental health and about having a positive self opinion.

Thankyou to On This Day in Psychology by David Webb (an Ebook from Amazon) for the date

20 February 2019

21st February 1892 - Harry Stack Sullivan was born



 On 21st February 1892 Harry Stack Sullivan was born

Sullivan is known as a founder of the interpersonal theory of psychiatry. He considered the important effect of interpersonal relationships, society and culture on the development of one's personality, and any psychological issues. He spent a lot of his time as a psychoanalyst investigating how his clients interacted with others as part of his psychoanalytic therapy. His clinical work included 'a social milieu therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia.'

There is a book 'Harry Stack Sullivan: Interpersonal Theory and Psychotherapy' by F. Barton Evans III that tries to get the modern reader interested in Harry. 'A complex and at times personally difficult man, Sullivan's very important contribution to psychoanalysis, psychology, and social science has not so far received the attention it deserves.'

Harry said 'It is easier to act yourself into a new way of feeling than to feel yourself into a new way of acting'.

Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date.

20th February 1901 - Land Prices Force Asylum out of town


There is an article in the Aberdeen Press and Journal on Wednesday 20th February 1901 that described the need for a new Asylum for Edingburgh as required by law. The local board said it was a huge undertaking as the rules stipulated that there should be a minimum of 1/2 an acre per patient, and that to allow growth they would look for 3/4 acre per patient which meant 750 acres for 1000 patients.

The prospect of getting land at a moderate price seemed very difficult until Bangour came on the market, 13 miles outside Edinburgh. They purchased 922 acres for £21,455. Some argued that land should have been bought nearer Edinburgh but the local board had decided that would have raised the cost enormously and would have come to several hundred pounds.

Edinburgh District Asylum was built as a series of villas each holding about 30 patients, and started taking patients in 1904.

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for the article. There is more about what then became known as Bangour Village Hospital in wikipedia.

19 February 2019

19th February 1868 - Advert asking for Votes for admission to Asylum

An interesting advert appeared on page 2 of The Brighton Guardian on 19th February 1868.

A number of notable gentlemen recommend that Charles Frederick Christian, aged eight years, be elected as a student at The Asylum, Earlswood, Redhill, Surrey. The Father, a Widower, has no other resources than that resulting from his occupation of Drapers Assistant.

From what I can gather from a detailed history of Earlswood found at Lost_Hospitals_of_London 'Admission was by the payment of fees or by election, whereby candidates supplied details of their condition and circumstances and were voted for by subscribers. Each subscriber had a number of votes commensurate with the amount of his subscription - one vote for each half guinea (52p).'

Earlswood was a forward looking institution where young people with learning disabilities were given an education or training in line with their abilities. They were treated as students rather than patients and charitable people sponsored places there. Charles Frederick Christian could have done much worse.

In days to come Queen Victoria would give the institution a Royal Charter and it would be renamed as The Royal Earlswood.

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for this date.

18 February 2019

18th February 2015 - Mind Museum Public Opening

On 18th February 2015 there was an interview on BBC Radio 4 about the public opening of the Museum of the Mind in the grounds of Bethlem Hospital. You can still listen here (about 10 minutes into programme).... BBC Programme

The Official Opening by Grayson Perry was in March, a little after the press and public opening. Grayson said "... The work the gallery and museum do is of vital importance and will create a legacy for the understanding of mental health for years to come. For me art is obsession, voyage of discovery and therapy all rolled into one...."

The museum has a history of mental healthcare and treatment brightened up by art exhibitions related to mental health. On display is a wooden alms box where visitors who came to look round Bedlam could donate money towards the hospital. The interviewer suggests this was gawping but the curator added that the hospital was a charity back then, and it was a way to raise money. There is a display showing the changing ways that patients have been diagnosed and labelled and treated and portrayed over time.

Then to brighten it up are art works from past and present. There are works for instance by Richard Dadd, a well known artist, who murdered his father and was at Bethlem before moving on to Broadmoor. The first temporary exhibition on opening was 'Bryan Charnley: The Art of Schizophrenia.' Bryan lived with Schizophrenia and sometimes stopped his medication to explore the unmedicated experience in his art. More about Bryan can be at Bryan Charnley

The museum went on to be one of five finalists for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2016. More about the museum is on their website Bethlem Museum of the Mind

Thanks go to Andrew Roberts' Mental Health History Timeline for the date.

17 February 2019

17th February 1864 - The Early Days of Broadmoor


On 17th February 1864, male criminals from Bethlehem Hospital in London were transferred to the newly built asylum at Broadmoor.

The Home Secretary was responsible for criminal and dangerous lunatics, and so a state institution was built at Broadmoor in 1863 - reporting directly to the Home Office. This was unlike other asylums that counties and boroughs were obliged by law to provide for their local population.

Broadmoor was built on a hill with views across the Berkshire heathland. It was quite isolated from local habitation, so local people should not be too worried about escapees.

It started off as a fine Victorian building, and conditions appear to have been superior at first to those at Bethlehem Hospital.

Thankyou to today in psychology history for the date.

16 February 2019

16th February 1922 - Ex servicemen in Asylums


Wikipedia says 'The Ministry of Pensions was created in 1916 to handle the payment of war pensions to former members of the Armed Forces and their dependants.'

On 16th February 1922 the matter of pensions to ex-service men with Mental Health problems was discussed in parliament.

The Minister of Pensions, Mr MacPherson said 'service patients' are received by special arrangement in asylums as private patients, and the average weekly cost of a 'service patient' is 36s. 9d.

He could not say by how much that differed from pauper patients but said money was there so 'he shall not feel that he is treated as a pauper patient but as a private patient.'

Asked about officers he said 'the average payment in respect of officers in asylums is 89s. 10d. a week.'

Elsewhere there was the notion of 'pensionitis.' A Dr Culpin considered this same matter in 1921 and concluded 'So far as a pension removes the need to work it will be harmful.'

That same year, 1922, The Southborough Report ( set up by the War Office Committee) concluded that regular units with high morale did not suffer shell-shock.

Thankyou to Hansard on 16th February for some information and Mental Health Timeline for the date.

Meanwhile, today. 16th Feb 2019 the BBC has a report 'Military charities say they are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support.... The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually since 2016.'

15 February 2019

15th February 1856 Emil Kraepelin was born


On 15th February 1856 Emil Kraepelin was born. Kraepelin is considered by some as the founder of modern psychiatry and psychopharmacology, although he remains relatively unknown to the general public. He devised an early classification for mental health issues, including new terms such as manic-depressive and dementia praecox (later to be reclassified as schizophrenia).

He spent his career teaching psychiatry and treating patients at universities and hospitals in Germany. Kraepelin rejected the theories of Sigmund Freud which he felt focused too much on early sexual experiences and too little on biology.

He was a founder of psychopharmacology, the study of the effects of psychiatric drugs on the nervous system - Kraepelin called it ‘pharmacopsychology.’ He also campaigned for the prohibition of alcohol and asylum reform.

Kraepelin developed a classification system for mental illness that influenced subsequent classifications. Throughout his career, he continued to refine his classification and was working on the ninth edition of his textbook when he died. Kraepelin’s most important innovation was examining and recording mental health issues in a large number of patients over many years, including collecting case histories from other experts.

More on Emil Kraepelin on wikipedia. Thanks to wiki_February_15 for the date.

14 February 2019

14th February 1903 - Valentine's Day - Jung Love


On 14th February 1903 - Valentine's Day - Carl Jung married Emma Rauschenbach.

Emma Rauschenbach, a wealthy young heiress, fell in love with Carl Jung, a penniless junior psychiatrist. They were married on 14th February 1903, and had five children. Emma took an interest in her husband's intellectual activities and participated in his research, and was a very supportive wife. Carl Jung rose to be one of the leading lights in the increasingly fashionable world of psychoanalysis. Carl was not always faithful and Emma confided to Sigmund Freud (a father figure to Jung in their early days) that it was difficult being the wife of a man with whom 'all women are naturally in love.'

Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date.

13 February 2019

13th February 1919 - Strike over asylum hours


On the 13th February 1919 there were reports in a number of newspapers when the male and female attendants at Limerick Asylum went on strike owing to a dispute about hours of labour. The Asylum Board Committee proposed a fifty-six hour week with time and half for overtime, but this was refused. Tradesmen working at the asylum also went on strike in support. Over 600 patients were looked after by head officials with whatever assistants they could secure.

There appear to be a number of labour disputes on this date. At about the same time reports say engineers had secured a 47 hour week. The Hull Daily commented "There are over 600 patients in the institution. These are wondering which are the mentally deficient."

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for this date and the details.

12 February 2019

12th February 1812 - First Patients enter a County Asylum


After the 1808 act for the better Care and Maintenance of Lunatics in England, the first county asylum to be built and opened was the General Lunatic Asylum at Nottingham. It was financed at a County level with contributions from local parishes.

The official opening was on 11th October 1811, and the first patients were admitted on 12th February 1812 - six paupers from St. Mary's parish.

Following the example of the York Retreat, opened by the Quakers in 1796, patients, in the new County regime, were supposed to be treated kindly, with minimal restraint and without corporal punishment. However, reading the account given by the The Thoroton Society of Nottingham, patients did undergo treatments such as the revolving chair where they where spun round until sick or unconscious. And worse.

Thankyou to The Thoroton Society of Nottingham for the date, and the details.

11 February 2019

11th February 1925 - Virginia Johnson born


Virginia Johnson, was born on 11th February 1925, and was the female half of the Masters and Johnson scientific research duo that in the 1960s became famous for their research into human sexuality, which they studied in the laboratory using direct observation of about 700 men and women.

Their findings, first published in 1966 in the best-selling book 'Human Sexual Response' and later explored in volumes such as 'Human Sexual Inadequacy' (1970), excited a generation in the throes of the sexual revolution.

Masters was a gynaecologist who risked his reputation in setting up the study. He needed a woman to help lead the study and chose Johnson, a former country singer and divorced mother, who grew up on a Missouri farm.

He had the scientific rigour, and she had a more warm open manner that worked well on TV and in the media.

Using what they had learned about the sexual response cycle, Masters and Johnson began offering therapy designed to help couples affected by sexual dysfunction. Instead of long-term psychoanalytical therapy, they provided a more practical course to help people know their own triggers, blocks and preferences, and so the field of sex therapy was born.

Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date.

10 February 2019

10th February, 1864 - A Blighted Life


Rosina Bulwer Lytton wrote a letter on 10th February, 1864 to the publisher Charles Reade in response to reading the madhouse scenes in the sensational novel  'Hard Cash' . They involve the hero being thrown into an asylum.

Rosina was dismissed for years as the mad wife of the novelist and politician Edward Bulwer Lytton, but was an author in her own right. She had 14 books published. However her book, A Blighted Life, was based on this long letter, and published by Reade - perhaps without permission.

Blighted Life tells of the conflict with her husband, her own experience of being locked up in a private asylum against her will, and fighting until she was released a few weeks later. She says that without her connections regaining her freedom would have been much more difficult.

She had become estranged from her husband and sought to get the allowance owing her and ended up publicly opposing him. To silence her, in 1858, her husband had her committed 'insane' under the supervision of Mr Robert Gardiner Hill, a British surgeon who specialised in the treatment of lunacy, and incarcerated in a private asylum.

Despite the fine surroundings of the place, to which some two constables took Rosina, she was enraged.

In the letter she says 'At H_____'s the rule of the house was about two inches of candle to go to bed with, for fear of some mad incendiary, and then the door double locked upon you outside, but as I was not either mad or an incendiary ... I could not do with the two inches, and so effectually resisted the candle rule, but could do nothing against the locked door, and therefore was greatly frightened ...'

Newspapers and the public took up her case and after a few weeks she was freed.

"'Pon my word," said H_____, "those abominable papers are too bad! More especially the Somersetshire ones; to read their abusive tirades, one would really suppose, Lady L_____, that instead of being surrounded with every comfort, you had been thrown into a dungeon."

"You forget, Mr. H_____,"  she said, "to the impartial public, who are not paid, and have no interest in thinking otherwise, the infringement upon the liberty of the subject in any way, much less in the brutal one of so unwarrantably kidnapping and seizing without judge or jury an inoffensive and defenseless woman, and incarcerating her in a lunatic asylum, is in itself quite sufficient deed of iniquity."

Thankyou to Wikipedia for the date and the details of  A_Blighted_Life. More details came from The Welcome Library.

09 February 2019

9th February 1923 - Mary Barnes was born


Mary Barnes, nurse, artist, poet, and mental health healer, was born on February 9th 1923.

The story of Mary Barnes got peoples attention because of her years at Kingsley Hall (1965-1970) a therapeutic community set up by R.D Laing, the well known alternative psychiatrist.

That story has been told - in Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness, which she wrote with Joseph Berke, her therapist; and in David Edgar’s 1979 play Mary Barnes,

Mary Barnes was a nurse who went into a Carmelite convent in Wales, had a breakdown and, after periods in mental hospitals, joined Kingsley Hall where, in the play (which I remember going to see at the Royal Court Theatre in 1979), she was allowed the freedom to go on her own unique journey of self discovery.

Mary regressed into an infantile state. She became uninhibited, needy and demanding. She would not eat sometimes, and she shocked the audience by painting faeces on walls and on her body.

This was the start of her art, and with the help of her therapist, she began to paint with paint and, as she got better, to offer her help to fellow residents.

Her art was exhibited widely.

Mary moved to Scotland where she continued to paint and write. A book of her work appeared under the title 'Something Sacred: conversations, writings, paintings.' It also described her involvement in other mental health oriented therapy groups, where she was the healer.

Late in life she was confined to a wheelchair, but continued to paint, and write until her death at the age of 78.

There is a Mary Barnes website that has lots more of her art, and writings and a series of national newspaper obituaries. Thanks to the Mary Barnes website for the date.

08 February 2019

8th February 1927 - Eric Schopler was born


On 8th February 1927 Eric Schopler was born. He, and his family, fled Nazi Germany and went to the US. He became an influential figure in the area of autism research.

Schopler spent his life working to determine the precise nature of autism and the most effective ways to treat it. His doctoral research on the sensory preferences of children with autism was among the first experimental studies that helped redefine the condition as a developmental disability, rather than being caused by poor parenting.

His subsequent research into educational treatments for autism, and his use of the parents of autistic children as co-therapists in this treatment, led to Schopler co-founding TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), a program that provides training and services geared to helping autistic children and their families cope with the condition.

Schopler wrote more than 200 books and articles on autism and related disorders.

More about Eric Schopler on wikipedia

Thankyou to On This Day in Psychology by David Webb (an Ebook from Amazon) for the date.

07 February 2019

7th February 1870 - Alfred Adler was born


 Alfred Adler was born in Rudolfsheim, Austria on 7th February 1870. Adler was an early associate of Sigmund Freud, but broke with Freud in 1911. He was a physician, psychotherapist, and the founder of Adlerian psychology, sometimes called individual psychology. He thought that in order to understand individuals, we have to take them as wholes rather than as parts.

A primary difference between Adler and Freud centered on Adler's contention that the social realm is as important to psychology as is the internal realm. He is considered the first community psychologist, because his work pioneered attention to community life, prevention, and population health.

He thought we have a desire to fulfill our potential, to realize our ideals (towards a 'perfection'). This motivation is a matter of moving toward the future, rather than a product of our past.

Another basic motivation was compensation. Since we all have issues and shortcomings as people, our personalities develop through the ways in which we do (or do not) compensate for or overcome these challenges.

He is also remembered for his concept of the inferiority complex, which he believed played a major part in the formation of personality. A feeling of general inferiority perhaps gained through failure in early life may lead to self doubt and the individual becoming shy timid and self-effacing. Whereas others can develop a superiority complex, as an act of overcompensation.

In Wikipedia it says "Much of Adler’s theories have been absorbed into modern psychology without attribution. Psychohistorian Henri F. Ellenberger writes, 'It would not be easy to find another author from which so much has been borrowed on all sides without acknowledgement than Alfred Adler.'"

For more read Alfred Adler - Wikipedia. Thankyou to Wikipedia_February 7 for the date.

06 February 2019

6th February 2014, Henry Rollin - a progressive psychiatrist - dies aged 102


Henry Rollin, born 17th November 1911, died 6th February 6th 2014 at the age of 102. He was a psychiatrist who helped transform old mental hospitals into more caring places.

 He worked at St Lawrences, Caterham (learning disabled), and Cane Hill Hospital, Coulsdon (psychiatry), and then Horton Hospital, Epsom (psychiatry), where he was deputy medical superintendent from 1948 to 1975. He helped transform Horton, one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the country, by directing the brightening up of the buildings, and patients' clothing, and introducing active therapies. He is mentioned as an advocate of music therapy.

 To find out more read either the Daily Telegraph or Munksroll Obituary.

 Thankyou to The Mental Health Timeline for the date.

05 February 2019

5th February 1963 - Start of the End of Large Mental Institutions.


On February 5, 1963 , President Kennedy announced a "bold new approach" to intellectual disability in a special Congressional address on mental illness and mental retardation. He outlined recommendations, including initiatives to move away from "care institutions" to community-focused care.

The Kennedy family had a personal relationship with this issue; President  Kennedy's sister, sixteen months younger, was born with intellectual disabilities.

The rate of institutionalisation had exploded over the last half-century. President Kennedy said: "There are currently around 800,000 such patients in this country - 600,000 in the case of mental illness and over 200,000 in the case of mental retardation."

The legislation regarding maternal and infant health and mental retardation and the act on the community mental health centre was passed during the year.

The act was a significant change in federal policy. It began the closure of large institutions that gained momentum during the Reagan presidency.
Thankyou to Today in Psychology History for the date.

04 February 2019

4th february 2004 - Facebook Founded


On 4th February 2004 Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Studies have found that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can damage the emotional wellbeing of heavy users, particularly younger people. And that a break from Social Media can boost well being.

 Google did try to emulate Facebook with Google+ but they have recently announced they are closing down that service because of lack of use. Facebook appears to have a Monopoly for good and for bad.

Thankyou to Wikipedia February 4 for the date.

03 February 2019

3rd February 1922 - Shell Shock victim in wrong coffin


On 3rd February 1922 it was reported, in the Leamington Spa Courier, and the Coventry Herald, that a mistake had been made at Hatton Asylum, whereby a widow mourned over a complete stranger in her cottage in Cubbington village.

After Mr Albert Garrett, her husband,  died at the Asylum, the undertaker took the body and conveyed it in the coffin to her cottage. However her husband, and a more elderly gentleman from Nuneaton had been put in the wrong coffins. The mistake was discovered and there was the embarrassment of the correct body being brought to the cottage and transferred. Mrs Garrett accepted their apology.

Mrs Garrett was entirely of the opinion that her husband's mental condition was due to the horrors of his war service. Her husband received no war pension, and she is now forced to apply for relief for the support of her home and five children.

The Cubbington Soldier was one in the first rush of volunteers to join the army. During the years he was involved in many earnest engagements, and often related grim stories of great hardship and suffering when on leave. However during his last leave there was a change in his demeanour. He seemed absent minded and unable to concentrate. After being demobilised in September 1919 the strangeness was still apparent. He got work in the village but his mental condition grew worse, and his work suffered. His delusions grew worse, and three weeks before his death he was admitted to Hatton Asylum where his physical condition deteriorated and he died.

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for this date and the details

02 February 2019

2nd Feb 1859 - New York State Lunatic Asylum for Convicts opens


On 2nd February 1859 the New York State Asylum for Convicts opened in Auburn, New York. It was the world's first mental hospital for criminal patients, separate from a prison or general hospital.  It was constructed due to a growing reform movement to house mentally ill inmates separately from other inmates, and was built next to the Auburn State Prison, but surrounded by a 12 foot high wall.

New Yorks' s Utica State Mental Hospital pressed for authority to transfer other persons ,considered dangerous, to the Auburn Asylum - not just convicts, and soon it became overcrowded. The hospital moved to a new building in Matteawan in 1892, but these facilities were soon also overcrowded and a second institution, Dannemora State Hospital, opened in 1900.

Thankyou to Today in Psychology History for the date.

01 February 2019

1st February 1800 - James Norris Admitted to Bethlem


On 1st February 1800 — James Norris, an American Marine, was admitted to Bethlem Hospital. Norris's violent behavior resulted in his being restrained in 1804 in an iron apparatus that prevented him from moving farther than a standing posture next to his bed. Ten years later, Norris was discovered by a visitor Edward Wakefield in deteriorating health in 1814. Wakefield requested an etching of Norris by George Cruickshank which went on sale and became one of the most influential pictures in the history of mental health.

Public outcry on hearing this story and seeing the picture led to a government inquiry. Six members of parliament visited Norris during 1814, each maintaining that he was rational and quiet. This then led to the passing of England’s Mad House Act of 1828 for licensing and regulating such houses, and improving treatment.

Thankyou to Today in Psychology History for the date.