The latest episode of one of my favorite podcasts, BackStory, looked at the history of diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in the United States this week. I like this podcast because it looks at a theme over several centuries and takes pains to set the right context for each time period. The experts they interview for the show are fantastic as well. It was a great episode which touched on topics such as the DSM, the establishment of state mental institutions, and how society’s perception of mental illness has changed over the years. Take a listen!
This particular episode reminded me of the National Library of Medicine banner exhibit hosted by the museum this month on Charlotte Gilman Perkins and her story “The Yellow Wall-paper,” which examines the “rest cure” of the late 19th century.