Science and Nature

Mysteries of Mental Illness

Mysteries of Mental Illness explores the story of mental illness in science and society. The four-part series traces the evolution of this complex topic from its earliest days to present times. It explores dramatic attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness and gives voice to contemporary Americans across a spectrum of experiences.

Dr. Igda Martinez | Decolonizing Mental Health

3m 24s

Deconstructing stereotypes around homelessness lies at the core of Dr. Igda Martinez’s work at the Floating Hospital. For 150 years, the New York hospital has made psychiatric care available to unhoused populations who are among society’s most neglected. Shannette Champman, a mother of two, shares her experience of seeking care when she was in need of accessible mental health care.

Episodes

  • New Frontiers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    New Frontiers

    S2021 E4 - 54m

    Look at today’s most cutting-edge treatments for mental illness, and explore one of the most urgent fronts on the battle against mental illness: the fight for inclusion – a society more open to all kinds of minds and behavior, and free from stigma, based on the understanding that mental health exists on a spectrum.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Asylum: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

    S2021 E3 - 54m

    Until a few decades ago, the United States relied on mass confinement in mental asylums, for the mentally ill, as well as extreme treatments, from lobotomy to coma therapy. Today, at Cook County Jail in Chicago, more than one-third of inmates have a mental health diagnosis. Meet the detainees whose lives hang in the balance and discover the harsh realities of care both in and out of jail.

  • Who’s Normal?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Who’s Normal?

    S2021 E2 - 54m

    Learn how science and societal factors are deeply entwined with our ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness. Follow the stories of Ryan Mains, an Iraq veteran struggling with PTSD, Mia Yamamoto, California’s first openly transgender lawyer, and Michael, a Harlem based pastor and healer living with depression.

  • Evil or Illness: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Evil or Illness

    S2021 E1 - 54m

    Treatment of mental illness over history has been trial and error and, today, doctors still search for answers. Follow the story of Cecilia McGough, who struggles with persistent hallucinations and delusions. Learn about Lorina Gutierrez's mysterious condition, referred to as 'Brain on Fire', and Virginia Fuchs, an Olympics-bound boxer living with OCD.

Extras + Features

  • Experimental Treatments and the Rise of Eugenics: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Experimental Treatments and the Rise of Eugenics

    5m 47s

    By the early 20th century, mental asylums had become extremely overcrowded, and very little was known about how to treat these patients. Out of view from the public eye, desperate doctors experimented with new treatments. When treatments failed, patients were labeled biologically defective, fueling the Eugenics program, and the involuntary sterilization of thousands of patients.

  • Mysteries of Mental Illness | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mysteries of Mental Illness Preview

    32s

    Mysteries of Mental Illness, airing on PBS in June 2021, explores the story of mental illness in science and society. The four-part series traces the evolution of this complex topic from its earliest days to present times. It explores dramatic attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness and gives voice to contemporary Americans across a spectrum of experiences.

  • Michael Walrond and Depression: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Michael Walrond and Depression

    2m 34s

    Michael Walrond began to experience bouts of depression in his twenties. He didn't seek help because mental illness wasn't something people talked readily about in his community and, as a black man, he didn't want another label. After becoming a preacher he felt that admitting his illness would show a lack of trust in God, and so for years, Michael suffered in silence.

  • A Debilitating Condition: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Debilitating Condition

    2m 13s

    For 8 years, Matthew Rosenberg has dealt with a debilitating form of OCD. He hyperventilates throughout the day and is in near-constant pain. having tried numerous therapies and medicines with no results, his last hope is the high-tech surgery he’s waiting for, where electrodes will be transplanted into his brain.

  • Decolonizing Mental Health | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Decolonizing Mental Health Digital Series | Preview

    36s

    A preview of DECOLONIZING MENTAL HEALTH, an original digital series that dismantles the racism underscoring the mental healthcare industry. By focusing its gaze on the transformative work of therapists and individuals of color, it calls for redressal of the ways in which we define psychiatric illness and health.

  • Psychiatry and Homosexuality: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Psychiatry and Homosexuality

    4m 13s

    In the U.S., as recently as the early 1970's, homosexuals were considered mentally ill. Watch this clip, in which a board-certified psychiatrist, 'Dr. Anonymous', at a 1972 American Psychiatric Association conference, announces "I'm a homosexual, I am a psychiatrist." See how, over the decades, and as defined by the APA, the boundaries shifted between the so-called ill and the so-called healthy.

  • Psychedelics and Mental Illness: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Psychedelics and Mental Illness

    3m 18s

    As psychedelic drugs became synonymous with the counter-culture of the 1960s, they were labeled as more dangerous than they actually are, delaying research into them. Recently we've learned more about the chemical makeup of these substances and how they can be helpful in alleviating addiction, anxiety, and depression.

  • What's Your Normal?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What's Your Normal?

    2m 30s

    This video is a call to action to invite discussion, through social media platforms, on the topic of mental health. We hear from five people appearing in the series 'Mysteries of Mental Illness', who each give a brief description of the struggles they face. In an effort to de-stigmatize mental illness, we ask the question 'What is Your Normal?', understanding that it is different for everyone.

  • The Wrong Body: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Wrong Body

    2m 5s

    In 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it did not help those like Mia Yamamoto, who question their gender identity. Mia spent most of her life being made to feel like she was 'mentally ill', even by therapists. The delisting of homosexuality exposed the fluid, even arbitrary nature of a diagnosis.

  • The Kirkbride Asylum: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Kirkbride Asylum

    3m 8s

    Thomas Kirkbride's 'hospitals for the insane' were built for people who had nowhere else to go. They were intended to be a retreat from the world; a place to be cured. Kirkbride believed that the restorative atmosphere of his institutions would be therapeutic. The goal was to rehabilitate patients and send them back to society as productive citizens.

  • Decolonizing Mental Health | Overview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Decolonizing Mental Health | Overview

    2m 46s

    Like other healthcare industrial complexes, the mental health field operates around a centre defined by a whiteness of theory and practice. It’s a colonization that has rarely ever been questioned and the need to dismantle it has never been more urgent. Mental health practitioners serving racialized groups come together to shed light on the racism that undercuts their progressive practices.

  • A PTSD Diagnosis: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A PTSD Diagnosis

    3m 29s

    Until recently, very little was known about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). With new technologies, such as brain imaging, scientists have begun to search for trauma's biological fingerprints, and it's become clear that experience can produce physical changes in us. Advances in the biology of the disease, and in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, are helping many patients to cope with their PTSD.

Schedule

  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Tuesday
    Jul 5

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Wednesday
    Jul 6

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Wednesday
    Jul 6

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Saturday
    Jul 9

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Tuesday
    Jul 12

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Evil or Illness?

    Tuesday
    Jul 12

    1 Hour

    Ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry; modern-day stories of mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia and a boxer with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Tuesday
    Jul 12

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Wednesday
    Jul 13

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Wednesday
    Jul 13

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Saturday
    Jul 16

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Tuesday
    Jul 19

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.
  • Image
    Mysteries of Mental Illness: TVSS: Iconic

    Mysteries of Mental Illness

    Who's Normal?

    Tuesday
    Jul 19

    1 Hour

    The fight to develop mental illness standards rooted in empirical science rather than dogma; how science and societal factors mix with the ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness.

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