We're All Mad Here

By We're All Mad Here

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The history of mental illness is insane.

Episode Date
152: The Author
CW: Child abuse, suicidal ideation, sexual assault JT Leroy became famous almost overnight for his novel SARAH, a fictionalized version of his upbringing with his sex worker mother who later forced him into sex work. But as he published more and his fame grew, people started to wonder who JT Leroy really was.
Jun 11, 2021
151: The Charlatan
Despite not having any qualifications in psychology, Bruno Bettelheim managed to do irreparable damage to the autistic community in his 40 years of practice. He promoted the theory that neglectful parenting, or “refrigerator mothers” caused autism and psychopathy, and while the director of a school for troubled children, exercised corporal punishment constantly. It wasn’t until […]
May 27, 2021
150: The Development of Autism
“Autism” first got its name in the early 1900s, when a doctor believed that certain children were so obsessed with themselves (the Greek word “auto” meaning “self”) that they chose to block out everything and everyone outside of their own mind. Over the next hundred-plus years, doctors and researchers, as well as celebrities, would throw […]
May 06, 2021
149: The People’s Princess
Princess Alice, the mother of recently deceased Prince Philip, is described as a princess who “refused to fit the royal mold.” Alice was born different, with congenital deafness. But starting as a toddler, she learned to speak and lip read German, English, French, and Greek. Once married to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, she […]
Apr 23, 2021
148: Lone Wolf
With two well-publicized mass shootings happening last month, America yet again set to blaming the criminals’ violence on mental illness. Former presidents have also claimed over the decades that mental illness is the cause for all shocking violent acts. But research shows that actually, the mentally ill make up only 4% of ALL gun violence. […]
Apr 08, 2021
147: The Lambs
Mary and Charles Lamb were a brother and sister team who spent decades both in and out of private psych hospitals AND making their mark on the 19th century British literary scene. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Mar 18, 2021
146: Colleen
When Colleen Adams disappeared on November 22, 1973, her husband Geoffrey told authorities that her violent post partum depression had inspired her to desert her husband and daughters. While Colleen’s family never believed this was true, her mental instability was backed up by a past boyfriend as well. Did Colleen choose to leave, or was […]
Mar 04, 2021
145: The Cellar
When America was born, founding father Patrick Henry was newly married to his much younger new wife. But what happened to his first wife, Sarah Shelton? Why did she spend the last four years of her life locked in the family cellar? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast SOURCES: Sarah Shelton Henry: The Wife Patrick Henry Kept in the Cellar […]
Feb 18, 2021
144: Gambit
Quite a few accomplished chess players ended up becoming mentally ill later in their careers- but is chess itself responsible for its players’ problems? www.patreon.com/allmadpod SOURCES https://members.tripod.com/HSK_Chess/steinitz.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-chess/2020/11/20/529fb63a-2a79-11eb-9b14-ad872157ebc9_story.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Steinitz https://www.chess.com/article/view/can-anyone-be-an-im-or-gm Chess and Mental Illness: 12 Chess Player Who Suffered From Severe Mental Problems http://tartajubow.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-tragic-story-of-brilliant-alvis.html https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-282X2020000300169 https://bleeckerstreetmedia.com/editorial/the-most-dangerous-game#:~:text=After%20he%20lost%20his%20championship,inmate%20up%20for%20a%20game.
Feb 03, 2021
It’s the first episode of Rachel’s new podcast HOOKED! On May 15 2001, one of the most beloved bloggers of the early internet died from a brain aneurysm after battling leukemia.  On May 19, 2001, the internet learned that Kaycee Nicole Swenson had not, in fact, died. She had never existed.   www.patreon.com/hookedthepod SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaycee_Nicole  […]
Jan 25, 2021
142: Cute Aggression
Why do we want to squeeze or nibble on things we find overwhelmingly adorable? It’s called “cute aggression!” www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast “Tears of Joy” May Help Us Maintain Emotional Balance https://www.brainfacts.org/thinking-sensing-and-behaving/emotions-stress-and-anxiety/2019/cute-aggression-why-you-want-to-squeeze-adorable-creatures–091019 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271503312_Dimorphous_Expressions_of_Positive_Emotion_Displays_of_Both_Care_and_Aggression_in_Response_to_Cute_Stimuli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cute_aggression https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/31/679832549/when-too-cute-is-too-much-the-brain-can-get-aggressive https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181204143857.htm
Jan 20, 2021
141: The Cornflakes Cure
Did you know that in addition to creating a cereal empire, John Harvey Kellogg was a doctor AND ran a sanitarium for most of his life? Obsessed with purity of mind and body, Kellogg created a home-away-from-home resort where people with all kinds of illness could relax, eat his food inventions, and get all the […]
Jan 07, 2021
Happy holidays and a merry New Year!
Dec 22, 2020
140: A Clean Bill of Poor Mental Health
James Taylor is one of the most successful American musicians alive today. Coming from a musical family, James wrote his first song on guitar at 14. By the time he was 22, he was being called “the new voice of rock.” But as he’d risen in his career, James’ family history of depression and addiction […]
Dec 17, 2020
139: On Being Ill
It’s been awhile since I gave voice to a piece of writing: this week, I read Virginia Woolf’s ON BEING ILL. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Dec 04, 2020
137: Between the Acts
CW/TW: Suicide/ suicidal ideation, childhood sexual abuse Virginia Woolf is as famous for her suicide as she is for her writing. Born into a family with a history of mental health and being a victim of sexual abuse, Virginia never stood a chance. Even so, she produced some of the most famous English literature in […]
Nov 26, 2020
136: The Contributing Factor
Many true crime podcasts have covered the death of Elisa Lam, a Canadian college student. But few have covered what was considered a large factor in her death: her bipolar disorder. This is a different look into the mysterious Elisa Lam case. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Nov 12, 2020
135: Fast Girl Part 2
TW: Eating disorders, suicide Happily retired from her running career, Suzy Favor Hamilton was looking forward to leading a more normal life. But soon, Suzy found quiet life in Wisconsin unbearable; she needed something exciting to fill the space running had left. Hoping to satisfy her insatiable sex drive, Suzy signed up to be a […]
Oct 22, 2020
134: Fast Girl, Part One
TW: Eating disorders, suicide, adult language Suzy Favor Hamilton went to the Olympics three times. She was one of the fastest runners in the world. But her undiagnosed bipolar disorder gave her performance anxiety that showed itself in panic attacks and depression. Suzy felt that, even as an Olympian, she was never good enough, and […]
Oct 14, 2020
133: Of Two Minds
We’re talking about bipolar disorder this week!   www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Oct 01, 2020
132: The Insanity of Mary Girard
Philadelphia, one of the oldest cities in the United States, prides itself on preserving and remembering its history. So why is it that the story of Mary Lum Girard, business assistant and wife to one of the richest men in American history, has been swept under the rug? Her husband, Stephen Girard, has several locations […]
Sep 16, 2020
131: Immoral But Not Illegal
CW: This episode contains discussion of suicide Mark Drybrough and Nadia Kajouji both completed suicide after being sent instructions on how by a friend on the internet. But who was this friend really, and why did they encourage dozens of people online to kill themselves? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast    
Sep 02, 2020
129: The Comedienne
Everyone knows Charlie Chaplin, but few people know about his mother Hannah. The daughter of a mentally ill mother, and who developed syphilis-related psychosis, Hannah still managed to impart her performing skills to her son Charlie. While Hannah never reached the level of fame that her husband or sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren did, her […]
Aug 06, 2020
128: Dr. Patrick
Dr. Teleka Patrick suspected she was schizophrenic. But she was worried that if she got an official diagnosis, she’d lose her psychiatry license, so she kept her suspicions quiet and tried to get on with her life. But her mental illness ended her marriage. It earned her a restraining order from her pastor. And eventually, […]
Jul 22, 2020
127: The Harts Part 2
What happened in the months and days leading up to the murder-suicide of the Hart family? What was the trigger? Mental illness? Marital problems? Or just the Hart mothers being unable to see a future for their kids?   www.patreon.com/allmadpod
Jul 08, 2020
126: The Harts Part 1
On March 25, 2018, Jennifer Hart killed her family of 8 in a shocking murder-suicide. No one who knew the Harts could believe that this perfect, happy blended family met such a tragic end. Jennifer had kept everyone at arm’s length while crafting the picture of perfect family online. Behind the scenes was abuse, neglect, […]
Jul 01, 2020
125: The Black Don Quixote
Clennon King Jr. was the first black man to run for president. But before blazing that trail, the professor at an all-black college tried to enroll in the University of Mississippi to earn his doctorate. The school, also known as Ole Miss, was whites only, and it was declared that any black man who pursued […]
Jun 17, 2020
124: The Empress
Empress Sissi of Austria is often compared to Princess Diana for her charitable work, her mental health issues, and her untimely end. This is the story of a reluctant empress. www.patreon.com/allmadpod
Jun 03, 2020
123: The Hollywood Pilot
Jimmy Stewart is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood history. He was also a pilot during World War 2. Returning with hearing loss, a hair-trigger temper, and PTSD, Jimmy wasn’t sure if it was worth it to return to Hollywood, or even continue with his life. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
May 20, 2020
122: Code 12
When Christine Collins’ nine year old son Walter went missing in 1928, she insisted the LAPD find him. When they introduced her to a boy who claimed he was Walter, Christine knew he wasn’t her son. Considering her too much trouble, the LAPD committed her to the Psychopathic Ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital. […]
May 06, 2020
121: Churchill’s Black Dog
Winston Churchill is one of history’s most famous depressives. But as one of the most noted Churchill biographer was working on his own book about the man, he realized that there was almost no evidence to support the claim that Churchill had a diagnosis of depression. How did someone with no depression diagnosis become famous […]
Apr 22, 2020
120: Goth Girl
If Mary Wollstonecraft was the first feminist, her daughter, Mary Shelley, was the first “goth girl.” The author of Frankenstein, Mary battled with depression for most of her life. She doubted her writing talent, her husband had a wandering eye, and all but one of her children died. Still, she managed to created a completely […]
Apr 08, 2020
119: A New Genus
Mary Wollstonecraft is considered by some to be the first feminist. Brave though she was, she still suffered from depression, attempting suicide several times. In her short life, she had an impressive amount of adventures and produced an amazing amount of writing. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Mar 25, 2020
118: The Fever
Why are we furiously washing our hands to try and prevent getting the Corona Virus? Because of this week’s subject! www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Mar 14, 2020
117: All These Delicate Things
Francesca Woodman, with her dark, Gothic photographs and a life ended in suicide, was the quintessential “depressed artist.” Or was she? patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 27, 2020
116: Deprimere
Rachel talks about depression, something she is very familiar with. Artwork by Suhana patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 14, 2020
115: Affluenza
16 year old Ethan Couch took a drunken joyride in 2013 that led to 4 deaths and 9 injuries- yet was only sentenced to rehabilitation. Why? Because a psychologist testified that Ethan suffered from affluenza- meaning, he was too rich to understand that actions had consequences. Is affluenza real? How will this ruling affect similar […]
Jan 29, 2020
114: The Reformer
Dorothea Dix suffered an abusive childhood, but escaped through school and, eventually teaching. After a nervous breakdown, Dorothea went abroad for a vacation, but ended up falling in with a group of healthcare reformers. She adopted their method of investigating hospitals and reporting her findings to the government and took it home to America. She […]
Jan 10, 2020
113: NPD with IWB
ADULT LANGUAGE is featured in this episode! This week’s episode was a collaboration with Kate from Ignorance Was Bliss. We talk about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how it affects relationships, and what someone has to display to be diagnosed with it. Listen to Ignorance Was Bliss: https://iwbpodcast.podbean.com/ www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Dec 25, 2019
112: The Girl Orator
A teenager makes a splash in the Civil War scene with her incredible speeches. Backed by anti-slavery sponsors like Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson took the world by storm. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Dec 11, 2019
111: A Place That Didn’t Suck
What, a facility that didnt torture its patients?! That’s right, we’re taking it easy this holiday week and talking about the State Hospital for the Insane at Danville! www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Nov 27, 2019
110: ~*~tRiGgErED SnOwFlAkE~*~
“Triggered snowflake” has been a favorite taunt in comment sections online. But what IS triggering, actually, and are trigger warnings really helpful for people with trauma? patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Nov 13, 2019
109: The Smartest Boy Who Ever Lived
Prodigy William Sidis had everything he needed to succeed in life- but being a prodigy kind of ruined his life. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Oct 30, 2019
108: Rage to Master
A child prodigy has an air of mystery and magic around them. But as it turns out, their existence isn’t so easy. patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Oct 17, 2019
107: Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a common tactic used by sociopaths, narcissists, dictators, and cult leaders. Often times, it’s applied so slowly and meticulously that it’s hard to detect. Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Oct 04, 2019
106: Mommy’s Little Helper 2.0
Rachel examines the new-ish trend of the Wine Mommy and how it’s affecting our culture. patreon.com/allmadpod
Sep 18, 2019
105: Her Fatal Flaw Pt 2
Rachel continues telling the story of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III. patreon.com/allmadpod Special thanks to my boyfriend Cameron for playing Conrad in this episode!
Sep 04, 2019
104: Her Fatal Flaw Pt. 1
The case of Michelle Carter made the nation ask, “can someone force someone else to kill themselves?” According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, yes, and that’s exactly what Michelle did to her boyfriend Conrad Roy. In part 1 of 2, we look at the two teens, their respective mental illnesses, and the work up to […]
Aug 28, 2019
103: The Nightmare Chamber
Opening in 1911 to serve the black community of Maryland, the Crownsville Hospital wasn’t the godsend it was supposed to be. Treating exclusively black patients for decades, the hospital bylaws forbade the hiring of African-American staff, prolonging medical racism and making Crownsville merely a dumping ground for the wayward members of the black community… and […]
Aug 14, 2019
102: Primitive and Barbaric
Waterbury Asylum was opened to house the criminally insane another Vermont asylum didn’t want. Run by superintendents who enthusiastically supported eugenics, to be a patient at Waterbury was to lead a difficult existence. patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jul 31, 2019
101: Section 7
After unofficial diagnoses caused Barry Goldwater to lose the 1964 presidential election, the American Psychiatric Association established a new section of their Code of Ethics: Section 7. This prohibits any psychiatrist from diagnosing a public individual whom they have not personally examined. Section 7, otherwise known as the Goldwater Rule, made the news again during […]
Jul 17, 2019
100: 3 Impossible Episodes
Something a little different this week: Rachel covers 3 topics that can’t fill a whole episode, but are fascinating anyway. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jul 03, 2019
099: The Glory and the Shame
Camille Claudel was a French sculptor who struggled for recognition in the 19th and 20th century. Known more for her affair with artist Auguste Rodin, she was labelled a crazy and tragic case. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jun 26, 2019
098: The Halo Effect
What is it about certain people that make you instantly like or dislike them? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jun 19, 2019
097: The Engram
When Jeremy Perkins started hearing voices, his Scientologist parents did everything they could to treat him in only methods approved by the Church. But those actions would have deadly consequences. patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jun 12, 2019
096: Psyentology
Scientology has been made famous by celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta. But how did the religion become so anti-psychiatry?   The three podcasts I mentioned: Last Podcast on the Left Behind the Bastards Citation Needed   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Jun 07, 2019
095: M
CW: rape When a Polish tourist dies after jumping out of a hospital window in Egypt, officials write her off as a depressive who didn’t want to live anymore. But Magdalena Zuk had no history of mental illness- so why did she apparently have some kind of mental breakdown three days before her death? What […]
May 29, 2019
094: Tragically Becalmed
The plays of Tennessee Williams often feature young women with disabilities, physical or intellectual, as well as mental illness. But Williams didn’t just use these for dramatic effect; he was inspired by his older sister Rose, who struggled with mental illness all her life. patreon.com/allmadpodcast
May 29, 2019
093: The King in Yellow Part 4
By Robert William Chambers   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
May 15, 2019
092: The King in Yellow Part 3
By Robert William Chambers   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
May 08, 2019
091: The King in Yellow Part 2
By Robert William Chambers   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
May 01, 2019
090: The King in Yellow Part 1
By Robert William Chambers   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Apr 25, 2019
090: Wild Child
Stories of feral children have been around since the 1300s. But are any of them real?   patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Apr 20, 2019
089: The Scapegoat
When an entire family is massacred, everyone from the one remaining family member to the police are sure they know who did it: the schizophrenic daughter. But is it really that simple? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast   Art by Lisa Russo
Apr 10, 2019
088: The Four Humors Comedy Club
We’re getting back to basics this week and talking about the four humors!   www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Apr 03, 2019
087: The Minnesota Starvation Experiment
In 1944, with World War II dominating the headlines, two doctors at the University of Minnesota were determined to discover how to rehabilitate the starving victims of war before the war ended. They recruited 36 men to take part in what would become known as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, and the study still affects the […]
Mar 27, 2019
086: The Diana Effect
Diana Spencer became the newest member of the British royal family in 1981, marrying Prince Charles, heir to the throne. The public loved her, and she was dubbed The People’s Princess. But Diana’s marriage was less than perfect; the Prince constantly commented on her weight, causing Diana to become bulimic and suicidal. The Prince didn’t […]
Mar 21, 2019
085: Eating Disorders: It Gets Better
In (late) honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Rachel does an overview of eating disorders, including interviews with fellow podcaster Tawny Platis and actor/personal trainer Ashley Kelley. Both women are in recovery from an eating disorder and graciously tell their stories. If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, please […]
Mar 06, 2019
084: The Double Part 4
The conclusion of Dostoevsky’s tale www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 27, 2019
083: The Double Part 3
The third installment of Dostoevsky’s tale. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 21, 2019
082: The Double Part 2
Dostoevsky’s story continues. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 13, 2019
081: The Double Part 1
Rachel does a dramatic reading of Dostoevsky’s THE DOUBLE. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Feb 06, 2019
080: Toxic Masculinity and the APA
In August 2018, the American Psychological Association released The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys, which officially declared traditional masculinity as psychologically harmful to males. Detractors were sure the study was coerced by the #MeToo movement and shouted that men were going to be forced to be feminine. But the document itself says […]
Jan 30, 2019
079: The Upp Identity Part 2
Just before she started a new teaching job in Kensington, Maryland, Hannah Upp disappeared for a second time. The first time was 4 years earlier, days before her second year of teaching in New York City began. Somehow, Hannah emerged from both incidents virtually unscathed. She moved to St Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, to […]
Jan 23, 2019
078: The Upp Identity Part 1
In 2008, middle school teacher Hannah Upp vanished in New York City. When she was finally found, she had no memory of her time missing, and no idea what caused it. Doctors couldn’t figure it out either. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast Photo by Nicole Bengiveno, The New York Times
Jan 16, 2019
077: Mad as a Hatter
You’ve probably heard the phrase “mad as a hatter.” But what about hatting made people so mad? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast Episode artwork by Brandie Titus
Jan 09, 2019
076: Six Hours in a Madhouse
Rachel details her recent experience in an NYC psych ER. Spoiler: it really sucked.
Jan 02, 2019
075: Her Time-Bomb Mind
Veronica Lake was one of the most famous actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age, despite the fact that her career only lasted about 11 years. Battling what was probably untreated schizophrenia through bad marriages and other tragedies, Veronica never felt like she belonged in Hollywood.
Dec 19, 2018
074: The Fall of the House of Usher
Rachel does a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. Acquired from Project Gutenberg. www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Dec 12, 2018
073: The Mad Millionaire
Stanley McCormick lived a charmed life as a member of a prominent Chicago family until his early thirties. After years of showing signs of mental illness, he was diagnosed with dementia praecox at the age of 32. His wife Katharine, the first woman in America to earn a biology degree, tried to convince his doctors […]
Dec 05, 2018
072: Watching Dying Stars
26 year old Emma Fillipoff disappeared on November 28, 2012. A talented writer and photographer, Emma moved across the country from her friends and family at the age of 25. While initially having a great time, she started to exhibit strange behavior: obsessively rearranging objects, claiming to hear furniture talk, and paranoia that she was […]
Nov 28, 2018
071: Disordered Thinking
Schizophrenia is described by the DSM 5 as a “severe and chronic” mental illness, characterized by disorder thinking and auditory hallucinations. But there’s more to schizophrenia than just hearing voices. Happy Thanksgiving, listeners! www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Nov 23, 2018
070: Little Albert
Medical science has a dark history with human experimentation. In 1920, a behavioralist and his graduate assistant wanted to see if Pavlov’s theory of conditioning in animals could be applied to humans, too. For the cleanest of slates, they decided to use a 9 month-old baby who became known as Little Albert. Over three months, […]
Nov 15, 2018
069: The Chairwoman
Mildred Mitchell-Bateman was a woman ahead of her time. A female, black hospital supervisor by the time she was 33, Mitchell-Bateman served not only as the director of West Virginia’s mental health department, but was also chosen by President Jimmy Carter himself to serve on his mental health commission. Working in the field until the […]
Nov 07, 2018
068: ECT with Kate from Ignorance Was Bliss
Many thanks to Kate for inviting me to cover this topic with her! Check out her pod here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ignorance-was-bliss/id1341566170?mt=2 www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast
Nov 01, 2018
067: Hatred of Sound
Imagine the crunching of an apple causing you intense rage, or sending you into a panic attack. People with misophonia- literally “hatred of sound”- deal with this on a daily basis. As yet unrecognized by the WHO and APA, misophonia is a little-known disorder that nevertheless affects perhaps 20% of the population. Petition
Oct 26, 2018
066: A Star of the First Magnitude
Nikola Tesla, born in present-day Croatia, is known as one of the founding fathers of electricity. He started to invent things as a young child, while also dealing with possible Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and hallucinations. After moving to America and getting into a lifelong tiff with Thomas Edison, Tesla filed for over 700 patents and lent […]
Oct 17, 2018
065: Dangerous Credulity
I got a call a few weeks ago from a friend informing me he’d just inadvertently attended a cult meeting. The Landmark Forum (formerly The Forum, and EST) is marketed as a collection of seminars about leadership, public speech, and relationship skills. Sounds pretty innocent, and even helpful… but according to records, Landmark seminars, which […]
Oct 03, 2018
064: The Seventh Ward
In the 1600s, two hospitals opened in the southeast of France to house and treat the destitute of the area. As with most of our facilities, they failed at this for a few hundred years before they started to make any headway. But by the mid-1800s, l’Hopital Bicetre and Hopital universitaire Pitie-Salpetriere, operated by the […]
Sep 26, 2018
063: Animal Magnetism
Dr Franz Mesmer, the namesake of “mesmerisation”, believed that ill health was caused by a buildup of fluid in the human body. He also believed that some people (himself included) had the power to move that fluid out of the way with their mere concentration. Mesmer became incredibly popular in Europe in the late 18th […]
Sep 19, 2018
062: The Air Loom
In 1795, James Tilly Matthews was thrown into Bethlem Hospital for accusing the Prime Minister of treason. While there, he started to believe that a terrorist gang was playing with his brain using magnetic waves, which they used to affect his physical and emotional health. Over 10 years, he explained this device, called an Air […]
Sep 12, 2018
061: Watch Out for Esther
In 2004, the family of missing woman Brooke Henson were notified that Brooke’s social security number had shown up on a job application in New York City. Brooke’s family was cautiously optimistic- though they wanted their family member to be alive, none of the other information matched their Brooke. And they were right to doubt, […]
Sep 05, 2018
060: Catch Her if You Can
Esther Reed was 30 years old when the law finally caught up with her. After over a decade of petty crime that escalated into multiple identity thefts, the Secret Service was after her for possible espionage and a murder. What began as Esther’s effort to escape her crippling social anxiety disorder spun out of control, […]
Aug 29, 2018
059: Clinically Shy
Social Anxiety Disorder, when it first appeared in the DSM III in 1980, wasn’t thought to have much of a negative effect on the people who had it. But as more research was done, it was discovered that social anxiety disorder could actually wreak havoc on someone’s life. From shying away from higher education to […]
Aug 22, 2018
058: The Axe Forgets But the Tree Remembers
“I was spanked as a child, and I turned out fine,” goes the usual response to one speaking out against spanking. But is anyone who was spanked ACTUALLY fine, or are the effects of the punishment showing themselves in insidious ways? Some escape the effects, but most don’t.
Aug 15, 2018
057: Syndrome de Paris
A strange affliction befalls a number of Japanese tourists who visit Paris, France: Paris Syndrome. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, derealization, hallucinations, and paranoia. Some experts don’t believe it is a thing, but it’s not just restricted to the Japanese in Paris. Jerusalem Syndrome, the more extreme version of Paris Syndrome, affects all types of people […]
Aug 09, 2018
056: The Lost Lady
Athens Lunatic Asylum opened in 1874. Initially reknowned for its top-notch PTSD treatment for Civil War veterans, it took the normal turn of over population and abuse. In 1978, patient Margaret Schilling went missing. A month later, her body was found in the attic of one of the unrenovated buildings. When the body was removed, […]
Aug 01, 2018
055: Swear Not By the Moon
Not so way back when, it was considered fact that the moon’s phases controlled human behavior. Even today, people consider the full moon the catalyst for increased crime and mental illness. In the 1800s, a criminal could be granted a lighter sentence if their crime occurred during the full moon, as they were considered less […]
Jul 25, 2018
054: Planes, Trains, and Americanitis
In 1826, a new diagnosis of neurasthenia appeared on the medical scene. Covering everything from anxiety to headaches to fatigue, it soon gained the nickname of “Americanitis”, as Americans loved to be diagnosed with it to prove how very American they were. To be pronounced neurasthenic was exclusive to the upper classes and very much […]
Jul 18, 2018
053: Virgin’s Disease
The first episode in a series about ye olde diagnoses. The day a young woman got her period way back when was considered to be the day she essentially went crazy. A girl or woman who menstruated but hadn’t yet had sex was almost guaranteed to come down with the Virgin’s Disease, also known as […]
Jul 11, 2018
052: Dreams of a Life
In 2006, the body of Joyce Carol Vincent, a British woman, was found abandoned in her London flat. Tragic enough, but then it was discovered that Joyce had died in 2003. Two years before, Joyce had suddenly quit her job and cut off contact with everyone she knew. No one heard from her again until […]
Jul 04, 2018
051: Silver Water
In a single year, Rose went from a happy teenager to an emotionally broken one. Her sister Violet watched in horror as even their psychiatrist father was at a loss for what to do, and wonders if she’ll go crazy too. “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom is read and performed with permission from Bloom’s literary […]
Jun 27, 2018
050: The Lion by Its Claws
Sir Isaac Newton is considered one of the founding fathers of mathematics, but while he was making his amazing discoveries, he was also dealing with mental illness and had two mental breakdowns in his lifetime, No one really knows what he had- bipolar? Schizophrenia?- but back when Newton was alive, it was actually considered a […]
Jun 21, 2018
049: A Shower of Sparkles: ASMR
Ever get weird tingles when you hear a certain sound or feel a certain object? There’s a term for it: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR. The newest internet fad, people have been gleefully giving themselves “brain orgasms” to YouTube videos since about 2011. But where does it come from? Can everyone experience it? www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast […]
Jun 14, 2018
048: THE DIARIST Interview with Donna and Beth
First released as a bonus episode, this is an interview I was invited to do with creators of the audiodrama THE DIARIST, Donna and Beth. We talk mental health treatment in the 50s, women’s rights, and Beth’s dog pops in for a visit. If you haven’t listened to THE DIARIST yet, do it! It’s well-written, […]
Jun 06, 2018
047: She Buried the Pistol (with Lydia Blaisdell)
Rachel interviews playwright Lydia Blaisdell, who wrote her play She Buried the Pistol about her great-grandmother, Cora Blaisdell, who was committed to a California asylum when she was 36. Cora was institutionalized until her death over 30 years later. Lydia discusses the process of finding medical records, what an asylum was like in the 30s […]
May 31, 2018
046: Ghoster
In 1988, a woman tried on a new identity as Becky Sue Turner. A few months later, she changed her identity again, to Lori Erica Kennedy. Under this name, she married and had a child, only to kill herself a few years later. Upon going through her things, her former in-laws discovered that she was […]
May 24, 2018
045: Children of Sin
From 1944-1959, Maurice Duplessis was Premier of Quebec, Canada. He had built a reputation for disregarding the civil liberties of Canadians, and one of his biggest moves was having 20,000 orphans (some of whom weren’t actually orphans) declared mentally deficient. Why? To make money off of them, of course! In the process, the lives of […]
May 16, 2018
044: Head Games
Chris Nowinski’s WWE career, from debut to retirement, lasted almost exactly two years. In 2003, he received a kick to the jaw so severe that he couldn’t remember who he was directly afterward. So he dropped out of the WWE, added a PhD to the Harvard degree he already had, and tried to solve sports’ […]
May 10, 2018
043: Jughead
Justin Strzelczyk was drafted into the NFL right out of college, where he was a standout player. Coaches loved him because he was obsessed with the game and gave his all. But giving his all may have done him in; four years after he was released, Justin got in his car took a 411 mile […]
May 03, 2018
042: Impact
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), under other names, has been being researched since the 1920s. In the ’50s, it was called “punch drunk syndrome” and was thought to only affect boxers. But recent research has proven that not only can CTE occur in people who have ANY extensive exposure to head trauma, whether it be sports […]
Apr 26, 2018
041: The Voyeur
Diane Arbus took after her mother’s depression, but her photography talent was all her own. After starting a successful fashion photography business with her husband, Diane struck off on her own to take the pictures she really wanted: those of “freaks.” Circus performers, multiples, the intellectually disabled- she saw beauty and bravery in them and […]
Apr 20, 2018
040: Body Integrity Identity Disorder
For a fraction of the population, their greatest wish is to remove a body part. It’s not quite known what causes the phenomenon known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder, but one theory is that it’s caused by the same part of the brain that is responsible for phantom limbs. But people with BIID are seen […]
Apr 12, 2018
039: The Hemingway Curse Pt 2
Ernest Hemingway took his own life in 1961, only the second of five Hemingways to do so. Two of his siblings and his supermodel granddaughter followed his lead. Does suicide run in families? Is it learned behavior? In either case, can anything be done about it?
Apr 04, 2018
038: The Hemingway Curse, Pt 1
Ernest Hemingway ended his own life in 1961 after a lifetime of brain injuries and battling mental illness, but he was far from the only member of his family to do so. 5 people over 4 generations of Hemingways have died by suicide- and that doesn’t include all of the attempts and wives and husbands […]
Mar 28, 2018
037: The Anxious Female
Too often, if a man and a woman present in the ER with identical symptoms, the woman will be written off as simply “anxious” and sent home without treatment- or sometimes, being told she had been treated but was actually given a placebo. It’s not always based on gender, though- doctors are hesitant to give […]
Mar 21, 2018
036: Susan Lindauer and the Martha Mitchell Effect
The Martha Mitchell Effect: a clinical term for when someone (usually female) is labelled mentally ill for reporting truth stranger than fiction, with or without a history of insanity. Named for Martha Mitchell, of course, the woman notorious for drinking, gossiping… oh, and blowing the whistle on Watergate. Her life was ruined by the defamation […]
Mar 14, 2018
035: An Inspired Patriot
Failure can be frustrating. A lot of failure can be REALLY frustrating. And Charles Guiteau failed a lot. Was it that that led him to assassinate a president? Was it a lifetime of syphilis? Or was it insanity?
Mar 07, 2018
034: D’Arc Matter
Was Joan of Arc crazy? No one can seem to agree whether the teenager who saved France in 1429 was truly speaking to God or if she had epilepsy. Or migraines. Or tuberculosis (EVERY TIME, GUYS!) But whether she was schizophrenic, was truly speaking to God, or was just a really clever teenage girl, Joan […]
Feb 21, 2018
033: The Shadow Side of Faith
In the 1860s, 8% of asylum patients were admitted due to “religious excitement.” While that’s no longer a diagnosis, 24% of schizophrenic patients in psych wards today report having some form of religious delusion. But religious delusions exist outside the psych ward, too. Religious fanatics are willing to blow up buildings and murder to please […]
Feb 15, 2018
032: “Hey You Kids! Get Off My Meds!”
When it comes to seniors and mental health treatment, society generally accepts that the older crowd are against it. They think it’s shameful or it’s witchcraft, right? WRONG! But, if people of a certain age are open to treatment, why aren’t they getting it?
Feb 07, 2018
031: Within the Devil’s Reach
In the early 1990s, Edward Gingerich was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and as an Amish man, was not allowed to treat it with medication. But after toe massages and thrice-daily molasses drinks didn’t work, he was finally allowed to take some. It worked like a charm, but the second he told his bishop he didn’t […]
Jan 31, 2018
030: My Meds Story
Rachel talks about how she made the decision to go on medication for her anxiety and depression. She also rips SSRI Stories (dot) com a new one.   Love the show? Visit us at https://www.patreon.com/allmadpodcast We’re on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!
Jan 24, 2018
029: Miss Unknown
The Urban Asylum at Dalldorf was built in 1880s Berlin and was a comparatively good facility to be at. In 1920, a young woman was admitted who refused to reveal her identity for two whole years. The staff called her Miss Unknown. When she finally started talking, a rumor spread that Miss Unknown was actually […]
Jan 17, 2018
028: Sane in Insane Places
In 1973, Dr David Rosehan gathered a group of colleagues and friends to pull a Nellie Bly. They got themselves admitted to 12 different psych wards in 5 different cities to observe what life was like there. It wasn’t pretty. Hospital personnel were miffed after Dr Rosenhan published his study two years later and challenged […]
Jan 10, 2018
027: Nellie Bly: OG SJW
Elizabeth Cochran was one of the first “stunt journalists,” going where no woman had gone before. Too poor to afford much of an education, she dreamed of becoming a writer. After writing an anonymous letter to a newpaper editor, Elizabeth was hired as a freelancer for the paper, writing under the pen name “Nellie Bly.” […]
Jan 03, 2018
026: Not Evil, Just Sick Part 2
Dr Shirley Turner did not appreciate being broken up with by fellow doctor, Andrew Bagby… so she shot and killed him in November of 2001. It didn’t take long for the police to figure out who did it, but somehow, Shirley, who ran back to Canada, managed to avoid conviction. And then she discovered she […]
Dec 13, 2017
025: Not Evil, Just Sick Part 1
Shirley Turner made it clear that she wanted to be a psychiatrist to make money, not to help people. Usually that just makes someone seem selfish or shallow, but Dr Turner was labelled a psychopath by her coworkers, Her career wasn’t like she had pictured it, and neither was her personal life. Before she received […]
Dec 06, 2017
024: The Yellow Wallpaper
In 1892, early-day feminist Charlotte Perkins-Gilman published The Yellow Wallpaper in a literary journal. At first regarded as a piece of gothic fiction, the piece was soon corroborated by mental health professionals and eventually changed the way post-partum depression, among other ailments, was treated. Enjoy Rachel’s dramatization of Gilman’s piece.
Nov 29, 2017
023: The Day Medicine Changed Forever: c/o episode with Conspiring to Argue!
The reason the Libby Zion Law was created is discussed with JJ and Ted from Conspiring to Argue. 18 year old Libby should never have died on that evening in 1984- but was it murder, or simply a flawed system?
Nov 20, 2017
022: The Prince of Pennsylvania: Execution
After his mother’s death in 1988, John duPont threw himself into sports. He built a training facility he called Foxcatcher Farms and opened it to athletes. His money turned the world of USA Wrestling around, and soon Foxcatcher Farms was hosting world-class wrestlers, training for the Olympics. John was on top of the world… sometimes. […]
Nov 15, 2017
021: The Prince of Pennsylvania: Creation
John DuPont became a murderer in 1996. But before that, he was a boy desperate to belong. Ignored by his parents and unable to excel at his favorite thing, sports, John was a sad kid. As he grew up, his eccentricities were ignored because people loved what his money did for them, and that willful […]
Nov 08, 2017
020: The Silent Twins
June and Jennifer were the only black kids in their 1960s Welsh school, and people assumed that that was why they never grew out of their special twin language. But by eleven, they refused to even speak to their family, and when people tried to separate them, each girl grew catatonic. After dropping out at […]
Nov 01, 2017
019: Synonyms for Psycho
Why are so many Halloween costumes labelled with the word “psycho”, so many haunting stories start with suicide, so many haunted houses given an asylum theme? What is it about mental illness that scares people so much that even after All Hallow’s Eve, we both relish and fear stories about a deranged psych ward escapee? […]
Oct 29, 2017
018: Enigma
Alan Turing has been called one of the most important people of the 20th century. The inventor of what would become stored-memory computers, Turing worked as a cryptanalyst during WW2. His work with his colleagues is believed to have shortened the war by years and saved millions of lives. And yet, when it was discovered […]
Oct 18, 2017
017: Sissy Boy
Penis shocking, porn watching, Gatorade drinking- just a few of the suggested treatments to banish homosexuality from your mind and body. While being gay was once considered breaking the law, it eventually became regarded as a mental illness. Often blamed on a child’s parenting, conversion therapy became a popular way to make your kid “normal” […]
Oct 11, 2017
016: A Rather Small Cautiousness Organ
In the late 1800s, Dr. Franz Gall published his ideas on the physical human mind. He believed that the brain was divided into seven different “personality” organs, and that the size of each organ dictated the strength of the trait. He called it “phrenology.” These “findings” catapulted the Western world into a frenzy, with phrenology […]
Oct 04, 2017
015: Come See the Crazy Indians!
Alcoholics, horse thieves, non-conformists, and yes, those with mental illnesses were all people who were committed to the Hiawatha Insane Asylum, otherwise known as the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians. Run first by a clueless superintendent and then a cruel one, Canton Asylum was a mess from the start. Patients were chained to radiators and […]
Sep 27, 2017
014: Packard v Packard
In the mid 1800s, a strong-willed Elizabeth Ware married Theophilus Packard, a Calvinist minister. After moving several times due to Elizabeth expressing “outlandish” religious ideas, Theophilus conspired with two local doctors to have his wife institutionalized. Even after she was released, Elizabeth was forced to take her husband to court to keep her money, possessions, […]
Sep 20, 2017
013: The Last Great Disgrace
In 1972, Geraldo Rivera investigated Willowbrook State School. What his cameras and microphones picked up distressed not only the Staten Island community, but people all over the country. It was discovered that for 14 years, the “students” at Willowbrook were experimented on by doctors from Yale and NYU, who gave the children hepatitis in order […]
Sep 13, 2017
012: Suppress Everything Suppressible
Vivienne Haigh-Wood and Tom Eliot met in England when Eliot was studying at Oxford. Just three months after meeting, the two married, and so began one of the most tempestuous marriages in history. Vivienne is described in one of two lights:  the femme fatale who led Tom down a depressive path, and the muse without […]
Sep 06, 2017
011: Inconvenient Relatives
Way back when, if a relative was annoying you, you could just toss them into an asylum, no diagnosis needed- especially if they were women. Dullness of the mind; overexcitement. Menstruation; menopause. Religious fanaticism; atheism. Suppressed masturbation; too much masturbation… it was almost impossible NOT to be insane. And things didn’t get much better as […]
Aug 30, 2017
010: The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data
“It’s so great that President Smith is finally bombing that country!” “But when President Johnson did the same thing, you thought it was a terrible idea.” “Well, this is different.”   Why do humans constantly revert to what-aboutism, where, no matter their views on a subject, if someone or something they like is part of […]
Aug 22, 2017
009: Rosemary Made All the Difference
  The Kennedy family is internationally famous for their high-achieving, beautiful, and influential members. But America took a stand to help the intellectually disabled because of the daughter they hid away: Rosemary. While surpassing her siblings in beauty and personality, Rosemary was born intellectually disabled and soon lagged behind her fast-moving family. Her parents believed […]
Aug 15, 2017
008: All Aboard the Lobotomobile!
  Humans have been trying to break into their skulls since there were humans and skulls, and we were still at it in the 1930s. After studying under an Italian doctor, Dr Walter Freeman returned to the States to perfect what he had learned overseas: the lobotomy. Armed with an ice pick and a hammer, […]
Aug 09, 2017
007: “Go Ballistic! Go Crazy!” (The Slenderman Stabbings)
On May 30, 2014, Morgan Geyser invited her two best friends, Anissa Weier and Bella Leutner, to a sleepover for her 12th birthday. The next morning, the girls went to a nearby park to play hide and seek. But unbeknownst to Bella, her two friends had been planning to kill her for months, as a […]
Aug 04, 2017
006: Student Stress = Historical Insanity? (minisode)
A meme has been making the rounds, claiming that today’s students’ stress levels match that of psych ward patients in the 50s. But is this really true? Are students today dealing with more mental illness in a less helpful environment?
Jul 25, 2017
005: The Lafargue Mental Hygiene Clinic
In 1940s Harlem, Dr Frederic Wertham was worried about the youth in Harlem. So was Reverend Bishop, who ran Harlem’s Episcopalian church. Together, with a diverse staff of volunteers, they opened a clinic in the basement of Bishop’s church. Charging only 25 cents- and nothing if someone couldn’t spare that- they treated children, veterans, and […]
Jul 25, 2017
004: Modern Mental Illness in Black Culture
This week we’re talking about how mental health is treated today in the black community- and so it’s not just a white girl telling you facts, we have a guest! My friend Cameron of the Halfway Sober podcast talks about his experience living with a mental illness as a black man.
Jul 25, 2017
003: The History of Mental Illness in Black Culture
The presence of African Americans in North America was first documented in the 1600s, and since then, blacks have been “other”ed, physically and emotionally. Believed to feel no pain, black were ignored and experimented on while their psychological needs were cast aside. Eventually hospitals for the black mentally ill were constructed, but help wasn’t always […]
Jul 25, 2017
002: Nobody’s Child
Given up by her alcoholic mother at age 4, Marie Balter was adopted the next year. Abused by her adoptive family, she tried to strike out on her own, but after a suicide attempt, found herself at Danvers State Hospital. After 20 years on the ward, Marie achieved miraculous things, all while giving back to […]
Jul 25, 2017
001: The Echoes They Left Behind
Danvers State Lunatic Hospital, built in rural Boston in the 1800s, was created with humane treatment in mind. But an overflow in patients resulted in botched lobotomies and missing charges, landing Danvers on every list of horrific hospitals.
Jul 25, 2017