Tag Archives: schizophrenia

Intersection of mental illness, the supernatural, and gender in Pakistan

Sualeha Siddiq Shekhani Karachi, Pakistan   Man with the spirit of his deceased second wife. William Hope. c. 1920 Credit: National Science and Media Museum. No known copyright restrictions. Maria sits across from me in a pristine clinic room in a private hospital in Pakistan. At first reluctant to speak about her husband’s illness, her […]

Dr. Sabina Spielrein: consequences of feminism and love

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Sabina Spielrein (1885-1942) as a young woman. She had a hectic existence and can be considered an early contributor to the psychoanalytic literature. Image via Wikimedia  While all our lives are eventful, some people tend to experience situations that set them apart. Born in 1855 in Rostov, Czarist Russia, […]

Schizophrenia in Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary

Janet Ming Guo Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Photograph of Lu Xun on 8 October 1936, 11 days before his death, attending the Second Woodcarving Exhibition in Baxianqiao, Shanghai. Photograph taken by Sha Fei. Circa 8 October 1936. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Lu Xun’s 狂人日記 (A Madman’s Diary; 1918)1 was inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Записки […]

Hölderlin’s madness

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   The only representation on which Hölderlin looks people directly in the face – a pastel picture by Franz Karl Hiemerthat that the poet gave to his sister Rieke in 1792. According to his mother and sister, it does not resemble him. German Literature Archive, Marbach, Germany. Accessed via Wikimedia.  […]

Richard Dadd: art and madness

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Portrait of British painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886) showing painting Contradiction: Oberon and Titania. Henry Hering. circa 1856. Source Unknown. Public Domain due to age. Is there anything so extravagant as the imaginations of men’s brains? Where is the head that has no chimeras in it? . . . Our knowledge, […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

The Montreal Experiments: brainwashing and the ethics of psychiatric experimentation

Shaan Bhambra Montreal, Canada   The Allan Memorial Institute (pictured here), where the Montreal Experiments were conducted as a part of the CIA’s MKUltra project on brainwashing, continues to serve patients of the Psychiatry Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Photo by Flickr user chrisinphilly5448. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” […]

Nikolai Gogol’s The Diary of a Madman

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, USA Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809–1852) was a member of the first wave of great Russian authors of the nineteenth century. Born in a Ukrainian Cossack village then part of the Russian Empire, he made his way to Saint Petersburg where he found his métier in the short story; a […]

A man with a psychotic disorder by Diego Velazquez

Fernando Espí Forcén Chicago, Illinois, USA   Jester named Don Juan de Austria by Diego Velazquez El Prado Museum, Madrid Source: wikimedia commons During the modern era, kings employed jesters for the entertainment of monarchs and their guests. These jesters were often people with mental illnesses or congenital metabolic diseases. They were payed for their […]

Haunted by a living spirit

Bernardo Ng San Diego, California, USA   Witchcraft has been present in the Mexican culture for centuries, both in and out of the context of disease, with witches practicing either white or black magic. The most nationally recognized site for witchcraft is the city of Catemaco, Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. The white magic […]