How The US Military Tried To Root Out Psychopaths During World War II

How many potential American soldiers, going off to fight in World War II, were rejected because they were thought to be psychopaths? In some places, forty percent. Here's what the military did about that. » 3/20/15 12:28pm 3/20/15 12:28pm

This Guy Is The Reason Why Mental Asylums Aren't Torture Chambers

Mental asylums will probably never have a good reputation. Bad as they are now, in the 1700s they were worse — deliberately worse. The person to really change the theory governing mental asylums was Philippe Pinel. » 3/17/15 6:30am 3/17/15 6:30am

The "Glass Delusion" Was The Most Popular Madness Of The Middle Ages

Do mental illnesses have certain eras? When we look at history, it seems like they do. There was the famous dancing sickness that struck medieval Europe. And then there was a strange delusion, first experienced by a king, in which the sufferer thought they were made of glass. » 9/18/14 6:20am 9/18/14 6:20am

How Do You Treat Mental Illness in a Bonobo?

Brian is a male bonobo who was born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, but spent most of his life at the Milwaukee County Zoo. His childhood was rough, thanks to an abusive father, and as he transitioned into early adulthood, his prospects seemed grim. » 6/13/14 12:56am 6/13/14 12:56am

The crazy psychiatric treatment developed by Charles Darwin's father

Doctor Joseph Mason Cox was a man to avoid. Unfortunately, those who went to the Fishponds Private Lunatic asylum didn't have the option to avoid him. To be fair, Cox just wanted people to have long, healthful periods of sleep. At the dawn of the age of opiates, he turned his back on pharmacology and practiced… » 7/15/13 6:20am 7/15/13 6:20am

How an early psychiatric treatment lead to widespread mutilation

Henry Cotton got into psychiatry with noble goals, and ended up as one of the historical horrors of the medical profession. How did he transform from visionary to monster? It had to do with his habit of curing psychiatric disorders by chopping things off his patients. » 7/10/13 10:40am 7/10/13 10:40am

Six Abandoned Asylums with Genuinely Chilling Backstories

We love looking at creepy photographs of former mental institutions that have fallen into disrepair, but sometimes the true stories behind these hospitals is far more horrifying. Here are a few abandoned and partially abandoned institutions will tales more chilling than their photographs. » 6/09/13 7:00am 6/09/13 7:00am

It's time we did away with the stigma surrounding mental health

Earlier today, President Barack Obama kicked off the White House's National Conference on Mental Health by calling for more honest, open and understanding discussions about mental health and its far-reaching effects. » 6/03/13 3:30pm 6/03/13 3:30pm

Traditional psychological diagnoses are going out of style

In a major milestone, a powerful organization of mental health researchers has said it will not be using the new, fifth edition of the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), a handbook that has virtually defined the field of psychiatry in the United States for decades. Here's what this means. » 5/07/13 4:37pm 5/07/13 4:37pm

How can you tell if you are suffering from Future Shock?

It's been four decades since futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler predicted a wave of "future shock," the sensation of panic and unease that happens when people are "overwhelmed by change." And, depending on who you talk to you, we're either in the middle of a huge epidemic of future shock, with people struggling to… » 2/04/13 2:00pm 2/04/13 2:00pm

Everything You Need to Know About the American Psychiatric…

On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association officially approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The new ‘psychiatric bible' features a number of important changes to the existing canon, including the elimination… » 12/06/12 12:04pm 12/06/12 12:04pm

Did you know that "running amok" originated as a medical term?

Chances are, you've at least seen the term. It refers to someone in an altered mental state creating havoc. Anything from a bunch of kids getting too crazy at a birthday party to a mass murder can "run amok." Except it can't, because the term refers to an actual psychiatric condition, albeit one that was… » 11/02/12 7:44am 11/02/12 7:44am

How the Soviets used their own twisted version of psychiatry to…

Over the course of its 69-year history, the Soviet Union was notorious for its heavy-handed suppression of political dissent — most infamously through its use of the Siberian GULAGs. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the Communist Party took their intolerance for ideological deviance to extremes by… » 9/04/12 7:00am 9/04/12 7:00am

Could psychedelic drugs save your life some day?

Mention psychedelics to almost anyone and inevitably you get the usual associations to spaced-out hippies and back-alley junkies. There's little question that the current impression of psychedelics is a very negative one, and for those who choose to use them, it can often carry a fairly heavy social stigma. But as… » 4/30/12 11:04am 4/30/12 11:04am

Is it time to rethink the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder?

The New York Times has published two thought-provoking opinion pieces relating to Attention Deficit Disorder and the medications used to treat it. » 1/31/12 8:40am 1/31/12 8:40am

Forget therapy - you improve your mental health just by sitting at a…

A new therapy, called cognitive-bias modification, has allowed people to relieve anxiety and the strain of certain addictions. It doesn't involve a doctor or medications, just a few minutes a day on a computer performing some simple tasks. » 3/14/11 7:00am 3/14/11 7:00am

The strange story of a man who got turned on by women running him over

Human sexuality can present itself in an almost infinite variety of ways, but outside the occasional David Cronenberg movie, most people don't think of car crashes as particularly sexy. But one fifty-year-old scientific paper just might change your mind forever. » 12/30/10 9:00am 12/30/10 9:00am

Two new scientific studies reveal hallucinogens are good for your…

LSD and ketamine, two powerful hallucinogens, are also potential cures for depression, OCD, and anxiety. Two studies published this week, in Science and Nature, confirm that hallucinogenic drugs stimulate healthy brain activity, even promoting the growth of neurons. » 8/19/10 3:39pm 8/19/10 3:39pm