Haunted Asylums

You know… It just occurred to me that before I was diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety and Depression, my impression of the mentally ill have been colored by what I’ve been exposed to in the media.

The reason I even bring this up is because I saw in a “haunted house” attraction site that one of their attractions is a “insane asylum” with deranged killers and scary “crazy people”. I used to have the impression that those who are mentally ill must be scary and violent. Images of horror movies about “insane asylums” have stuck with me for years.I can’t even tell you the number of nightmares I’ve gotten from movies like House on Haunted Hill and others that I can’t even remember of which feature “haunted asylums”.

And now that I’m on the other side, I realize just how terrible the portrayal is. I just wanted to share a thought here. I don’t think it ever occurred to me until now just how powerful media portrayal of people can really be.

In some ways, I feel almost ashamed to say that I was once one of those who stigmatized the mentally ill.


9 thoughts on “Haunted Asylums

  1. To me, asylums are good locations that work for spooky stories or haunted houses not because of the patients being ill, but because of the way they were treated before and now wanting vengeance. Being mentally ill, I have never seen them as adding to stigma. The abuses were (and in many cases, are) very real, and any type of building that housed a lot of people (schools, orphanages, prisons, other hospitals) makes for good haunting stories. Just my opinion though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see your point. And yes, the abuse and torture were really brutal and horrifying… Still, people don’t often think of the doctors are being the scary ones but rather the patients.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jules 🙂 Personally, I think we’re all guilty of contributing to the stigma that’s out there in one way or another. I mean before my diagnoses, I was convinced medication for mental illness was the devil designed to keep you “crazy”…I had all kinds of misconceptions and even after educating myself on the issue, I still find myself learning new things every day. I think when it comes to things like haunted insane asylums or people using terms like “crazy” to describe a person or situation …I like to believe it’s not meant to truly hurt others (yet it does). I think a lot of people try turn heavy subjects like mental illness into something that will make them feel more at ease…I’m not saying it’s “right” but I can understand why people try to deflect it with humor and things like haunted asylums…I feel kind of bad for those people actually…to be that uncomfortable about something so real you have to make light of it or connect it with fantasy…to each their own I guess! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I think you’re right there. I think every day is a learning experience and I find new things to blow my mind.

      And yes, I don’t think it’s really to hurt others (though some do that to hurt) but I think it’s time for everyone to open their minds up to the possibility that there are people out there that might make them uncomfortable and to learn how to deal with that… But, hey, it’s hard to do when society’s been the way it is for centuries…


  3. I agree that there is a real problem with people thinking that inpatient psychiatric hospitals are for “crazy” scary killers and such. That idea can keep people from seeking help, because they are afraid of being admitted to an inpatient hospital/mental institution. That happened with my mom during one of my suicidal episodes. I was in the ER for a panic attack and told the social worker that I was depressed and had plan to kill myself. They forced me to the psychiatric hospital and my mom was mad at me for telling them how I felt. She said, “Alex, there are CRAZY people in there.” Yeah, me. I’m sure that she’s glad I ended up in there, instead of dead. Those hospitals can sometimes be really helpful, although they also can have their own problems with abuse of consumers. This is an insightful and thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree with you. One of my fears is getting admitted to the psych ward too. Not because of what the hospitals do but what my own impressions are of psych wards. It’s terrible I know….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean, from experience being in one, I wouldn’t say that fear of psych wards is unfounded. I saw some messed up things happen that I would categorize as oppression of mentally ill people. And I was also helped in a lot of ways. It is a complicated experience, but certainly not what is portrayed in the media.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I’ve heard some nasty things about some of the staff too. Like they kind of treatment you get because “you’re seeking attention”. But I see what you mean about how it’s complicated that way.

        Liked by 1 person

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