Society

reasons for admission to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in 1864

What Made You Lunatic Asylum-Level Crazy in 1864?

I stumbled across this gem courtesy of Kate et al. of Colour of Madness. It lists reasons people were admitted to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia in its first 25 years of existence, from 1864 to 1889. The building is still around, but now it’s a museum/ghost tour operation. Trans-Allegheny “diagnoses” There …

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Suicide stigma; what the research shows about public attitudes

Suicide Stigma: What the Research Says

This post about public views on suicide was inspired by a conversation I’ve been having with Dear Walden¬†about research on suicide. In 2013, a group of Australian researchers developed and validated a scale to evaluate public views on suicide, which they named the Stigma of Suicide Scale. For each item on the scale, participants would …

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Tree diagram showing effects of social inquities

Why Social Determinants of Health Matter

Social determinants of health represent those factors that, whether we have control over them or not, can significantly influence both physical and mental health outcomes. Differences produced by social injustice can (and does) produce systemic health inequities between rich and poor, with a “social gradient” in between. The social determinants of health The Government of …

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Social Factors in Mental Illness

While there is debate over the roles of biological susceptibility and psychosocial factors in triggering the onset of mental illness, it’s also worth giving some thought to how the illness experience is shaped by social factors vs. biologically-based symptoms. Once we are ill, we experience symptoms that are influenced by neurophysiological processes, regardless of whether …

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Is Health Care a Right or a Privilege?

Is access to health care a right that should be shared by all people regardless of socioeconomic status? Or is it a privilege that belongs to those who can afford to pay? Views on that seems to depend a lot on where people live. Growing up in Canada, all I ever knew was a public …

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