Mysteries of Mental Illness

Episode 3 Preview: The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

Preview | 32s  | Video has closed captioning.

Mass confinement in mental asylums and extreme treatments – from lobotomy to coma therapy – were the standard for treating mental illness in the United States until a few decades ago. Today, one of the largest de-facto mental health facilities in the United States is Cook County Jail in Chicago, where more than one-third of inmates have a mental health diagnosis.

Aired: 06/23/21

Rating: NR

Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning

Funding for Mysteries of Mental Illness is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Johnson & Johnson, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, and Draper, and through the support of PBS viewers.

Join the Campaign


Join the Campaign

Share your story of dealing with mental illness through textual commentary, a still image, a short-form video — however you feel most comfortable — using the hashtag #MentalHealthPBS on social media.

Share Your Story