It’s hard to keep up with the ever-growing body of literature on the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly as many Americans in the last two decades as the Civil War and is still getting worse. We are inundated with new books and articles to read, podcasts to listen to, and documentaries and miniseries to… Read more →
The Empire of Depression: A Conversation with Jonathan Sadowsky
Professor Jonathan Sadowsky, Theodore J. Castele Professor at Case Western Reserve University, is the author of two important works on the history of psychiatry: Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness in Colonial Southwest Nigeria and Electroconvulsive Therapy in America: The Anatomy of a Medical Controversy. Sadowsky is well known in the field for his nuanced and… Read more →
Psychiatry and Homosexuality Draft Exemptions during the Vietnam War
When Bob McIvery reported for his mandatory physical exam to determine if he could be drafted into the Army, the doctor didn’t believe he was gay. Although McIvery, a member of the Gay Liberation Front, had checked the “homosexual tendencies” box on his pre-induction medical form and stated verbally that he was gay, he was… Read more →
Uncovering the History of Child Psychiatry: A Conversation with Deborah Blythe Doroshow
I recently had the pleasure of talking to Deborah Doroshow about her new book, Emotionally Disturbed: A History of Caring for America’s Troubled Children, which explores the development of Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) for “emotionally disturbed” children. The book does a masterful job of explaining how this new category of mental illness came into being… Read more →
Neuro-Psychiatry and Patient Protest in First World War American Hospitals
November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. As historian and Nursing Clio writer Evan Sullivan tweeted earlier this week, “We’ve always benefitted from the proximity of living within a century’s distance from WWI, but after this Sunday, it will begin to drift further into history. It will be… Read more →
Miscarriage and Memory-Making: An Uneasy Relationship
When the Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman wrote about her miscarriage in early 2017, many readers praised the fact that this common, yet woefully misunderstood experience had been so candidly aired. Miscarriages do not elicit the type of kindly curiosity that ‘successful’ reproductive experiences often do, such as the pregnancy revelation, the swelling bump, or the… Read more →
The Discovery of the Mental Institution – With Apologies to David J. Rothman
On February 15, 2018, President Donald Trump spoke about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people. While Trump did mention “a shooter,” who “opened fire on defenseless students and teachers,” when it came to solutions, he focused on mental illness rather than the tools… Read more →
Gender, Medicine, and Horror, Oh My!
By Carrie Adkins
First of all, a disclaimer: in many ways, American Horror Story is not Nursing Clio material. For starters, the show features haunted houses, alien abduction, demonic possession, and an angel of death; it does not, in short, aim for realism or historical accuracy. The first season offered very little content related to Nursing Clio’s focus on gender and medicine in a historical context, and after just a few episodes, I found it uneven and disappointing. There were, at least, some interesting (and purposefully horrifying) highlights – part of the back story involved an unscrupulous 1920s abortionist, and Jessica Lange did an amazing job playing a very, very, very bad mother – but in general, that season quickly lost its scariness and became ridiculous and repetitive. But oh, the second season!