Archive for the 'Historical Documents' Category

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1886

sm156522 on Dec 11th 2015

Historical Document

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde display a split personality disorder in the novella. While Dr. Jekyll creates a potion that turns himself in Mr. Hyde so he can both remain a respected doctor and fulfill his vices without being identified, he loses the ability to control the transformation between the two. Ultimately Hydes personality sticks and Jekyll can no longer transform himself back, in which case he decides to commit suicide. It has been reported that the author of this novella, Robert Stevenson, was suffering from an intense fever while writing this novella, fevers can often illicit hallucinations. Also while writing this, Stevenson kept in contact with a woman in a mental institution who was suffering from split personality disorder. Many people believe it was not a fever induced story but that Stevenson was on drugs while writing the novella, however his wife and son claim it was fever and nightmare which gave the inspiration.

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The Little Prince- 1943

g.arrieta on Dec 10th 2015

Historical Document

The little prince was created by Antione de Saint Exupery and was published in America in 1943. The book was inspired by an event that the author had in 1935. In this year got into a plane crash, and landed in the middle of the Arabian. desert a long with his pilot. They were stranded for about a week, and began to experience hallucinations because of the heat. This experience led him to create the story of a man who was flying a plane and gets stranded in a desert where he meets a little boy who calls himself the little prince. The author uses this story to teach kids not just about his experience in the desert, but how he felt in his in transition from living in France to North America, such as loneliness and sadness. This story presents psychosis to children using emotions other than common fear.

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Dracula 1899

g.arrieta on Dec 10th 2015

Historical Document

Dracula was Published in the United States in 1899. Here’s a brief summary of the story: it is about a man named Jonathan Harker who goes to visit Count Dracula to give him legal help with a real estate transaction. When he visits the castle, he slowly begins to realize that the count isn’t a regular person and tries to escape. This article speaks about the psychological background of the story. The author of this writing claims that Jonathan Harker was going through a development of paranoia. He compares this character to a case study  that happened around the same time Dracula came out, of a man who is referenced to as Judge Schreber. In the case study, Schreber goes through different stages all dealing with delusions and hallucinations.  These stages included: having hypochondriac thoughts, having sensory hallucinations and delusions of being chased, and mystic/religious mania which included being harrassed by demons.

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Brief Reactive Psychosis 1868

g.arrieta on Dec 9th 2015

Brief Reactive Psychosis 1868

Historical Document

This document references to different case studies  in the past 2 centuries of people that suffered from Brief Reactive Psychosis. This form of psychosis was originally called Hysterical Psychosis, which according to text, occurs after someone has experience some form of traumatic event in their life. One of the cases that it references to is a case study that was published in 1868 about a woman named Van der Hart. Before experiencing symptoms of Psychosis, this woman suffered from repeated abuse, rape, drowning, and her finance committing suicide. After going through all this, she began to experience the following symptoms: periods of continuous talking, some amnesia, hallucinations of reenactments of the traumatic event, delusions, seizures, depression, and suicidal urges. What helped her to be cured was going through hypnotic therapy.

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A Möbius Strip

sm156522 on Dec 7th 2015

Historical Document 4

This document lays out the influences of Paul Möbius on the progression of psychosis and the way the world understands it. He believed that psychosis covered the spectrum of hysteria melancholy mania and paranoia, and in this text is described as the reason for the breakthrough of the understanding of hysteria as a psychogenic condition rather than a condition of the nervous system. He also is credited, in this document, as the first to establish private institutions for work therapy. These ideas and implements are pivotal in the worlds understanding of psychosis because it helps us understand the shift from problems stemming just physical issues of the nervous system to the problem actually being from the brain.

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Mental Health America 1909

g.arrieta on Dec 7th 2015

Mental Health America 1909

Historical Document

Mental Health America is the United States’ leading Mental Health Organization. It is a Non-profit organization that was establish in 1909 as a Country-wide benefactor to people with metal Health issues. This organization is an example of the shift of the view of insanity in the world to a medical centered issue. It’s goal is to identify mental illness in patients at the earliest stage possible. Some of its commendable contributions to Mental Health as a whole in America are the creation of over 100 Child guidance clinics around the country, the creation of various ethical laws and statutes that are now incorporated in several states, and conduction of surveys and case studies of common mental illnesses such as bi-polar disorder.


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The first use of the Word Psychosis (1845)

g.arrieta on Dec 2nd 2015

Historical Document 2

The term “Psychosis” was first introduced by E. Von Feuchtersleben, in his textbook “Principles of Medical Psychiatry” in 1845. The original text is currently very rare and expensive to find. In this document, M. Dominic Beer speaks on the history of the word Psychosis, and references to Feuchtersleben and his textbook when speaking about the original use of the word. He sums up Feuchtersleben definition of the word by stating that Psychosis has four categories: melancholia, mania, dementia, and idiocy. He then goes and describes what each of these terms individual referred to. Melancholia referring to depression, Mania to anxiety and delusions, Dementia to memory lost, and idiocy to abnormal motor behavior. Dominic afterwards speaks on different uses of the word from then to the present

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Mad House Act 1774- Insanity

g.arrieta on Nov 30th 2015

Historical Document 1

In 1774,  the Madhouse Act was implemented in the British parliament. The set standard for determining who was mentally ill and in need of involuntarily confinement was changed from the justices of the peace to the medical community.  In other words the people in charge of defining who was mentally ill switched from Court to the Hospital. This Act created a Group from the Royal College of Physicians to license and inspect private madhouses in London. The bill specifically required an order in writing from a physician, surgeon, or apothecary stating that such person needs this form of medical attention.  Allowing Medical Professionals to certify lunatics created a change in society’s view of lunacy shifting the view of madness from a spiritual disorder to one in need of medicalization.


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Historical Document: Que Viene El Coco (1797)

g.arrieta on Oct 26th 2015


This Portrait was painted by 18th Century Spanish artist Francisco De Goya. It’s titled Que Viene El Coco, which means “Here comes the boogey man” in spanish. The painting shows two kids  that are in the arms of their mother, and are frightened by a creature covered in blankets. This creature represents the folk tale story of the Boogey man (a.k.a the monster under the bed). This folk tale has been past down from century to century, a long with many variations around the world. The variation demonstrated in the painting shows the custom that Hispanic Cultures have, which is telling their kids to sleep or the Boogey Man will get them. This Document represents the binary Sane vs. Insane being presented to children in the late 1700s. The document does this by having the parent preach an insane idea to kids, to keep them well behaved during bed time. The insane idea show here is that there are monsters that live under the bed that are out there to get kids who don’t want to go to sleep. Our Wonderland will depict insane lessons/stories that kids have been thought by adults has the protagonist moves through the wonderland, from cart to cart.

For Our wonderland: We would like to communicate our binary using different photos, songs, and advertisements throughout history that represent insane ideas that kids learned throughout history from adults. These documents will be seen and heard by the protagonist as he/she goes through the wonderland

Work Cited: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Que viene el Coco” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1797 – 1798.

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