Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Causes of Insanity 1862
Whilst conducting research for my PhD on the Cumbrian Victorian Lunatic Asylum - Garlands (Carlisle) - I found the causes of insanity recorded for the patients admitted in its first year of operation, 1862, rather interesting, and some rather amusing.
They begin with the relatively common causes: epilepsy; drunkenness; childbirth; melancholia (today would be depression); dementia, and a hereditary predisposition passed on by parents.
The more outlandish causes I came across were:
Sunstroke in Bombay
Fright from being thrown in the sea
Taunting about men by neighbours
Pride & haughty temper
Fright by being bitten by dog
Quarrel with Wife
Change of menstrual period
This blog is a small part of my ongoing PhD research into the Garlands Hospital. I am attempting to write the asylum's history as it is one currently unwritten. Any stories you may have about the history of the Garlands Hospital, Carlisle, please use the comment box to share them. I would love to learn as much as possible about this undiscovered institution.