Reasons for Admission to Insane Asylum

I came across this poster today. The list was compiled from the admissions log from a

list of insane asylum

WestVirginia for the Insane. In Ranter’s Wharf, I touch on one reason, Novel Reading but some of the others are fascinating. Presumably, the relatives described what they thought had sent their relative insane, or could the reason just have been an excuse to get rid os someone inconvenient.

Some you can understand, such as shooting of daughter or exposure in army (assuming that might mean shell shock or PTSD).

Some I don’t understand such as Gathering in the Head or Hard Study.

I am going to imagine these admissions below were for women/

Consider Medicine to Prevent Conception – what was the story there? Was she terrified of childbirth or already thought she had enough children. How about laziness? Did she not clean to her husband’s satisfaction? Political Excitement – did she campaign for the vote? Each of these, are worthy of a novel in themselves.


About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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