Tag: patients

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  • Using creativity to bridge the mental health divide


    For the seventh in our series on the Asylum and Beyond, Victoria Tischler considers creativity as a way to share experiences of mental illness. I’ve been thinking about the line between those living with mental health problems and without. As… Continue reading

  • Art in the asylum


    For the next in our series, the Asylum and Beyond, Julia Nurse explores our asylum archives to find some of the earliest examples of art therapy – and some fascinating artworks! As the first asylum to actively encourage and collect… Continue reading

  • The language of mental health


    For the next in our series about the Asylum and Beyond, Lalita Kaplish examines her reaction to reading a 19th century book about mental illness and disorders. George Shuttleworth was a psychiatrist and an asylum superintendent at the Royal Albert… Continue reading

  • Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane


    The travel writer Bill Bryson recorded that Virginia Water, the home to Holloway Sanatorium, had a charm about it because “it was full of wandering lunatics”. Bryson worked at the sanatorium in 1973 as a janitor on Tuke Ward. In… Continue reading

  • The joys and tribulations of Fanny Burney


    Frances Burney was a novelist, born in 1752 in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, to physician and highly regarded musician, scholar, and historian Dr Charles Burney and his first wife Esther Sleepe. Burney was a keen writer from a young age; a… Continue reading

  • Rosina Bulwer Lytton: a blighted life


    The life of Rosina Bulwer Lytton provides a fascinating insight into the attitudes towards women and mental health in the 19th century. Dismissed for years as the mad wife of the novelist and politician Edward Bulwer Lytton, Rosina was in… Continue reading

  • Setting the record straight: maniac or sick man?


    Researcher Jon Mitchell searched the Retreat archives in pursuit of John Summerland, an asylum patient whose story figures in histories of madness and mental health. What he found was a lost reputation. Like so many undergraduates, the first time I came… Continue reading

  • The Hip Experience!


    Artist Mary Rouncefield relates the story of her hip replacement operation in words and pictures. All of her compelling watercolour and ink drawings are available in Wellcome Images. At home indoors for a couple of weeks after the operation, I… Continue reading

  • The discovery of insulin


    Today marks the 90th anniversary of the first time insulin was used on a human patient. A brief summary of this event runs as follows: the insulin was injected into a 14-year old diabetic, Leonard Thompson, at Toronto General Hospital.… Continue reading

  • Stories of illness: biographies, pathographies and narratives


    Back in June 2011 I attended a seminar on the role of biography in the history of psychology and psychiatry. This interesting and informative day raised a lot of questions about the relationship between biography and history. Modern academic historians… Continue reading