Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Education and Insanity?

The past few weeks, I've been busy blogging about Olaf reviews and appearances and not the odd and interesting medical topics that inspired the blog. Today, however, I'd like to share some food for thought in the form of a brief quote taken from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers:
In 1871 [coincidentally, the year in which "Neurasthenia: A Victorian Love Story" is set]...the U.S. commissioner of education published a report by Edward Jarvis on the "Relation of Education to Insanity." Jarvis had studied 1,741 cases of insanity and concluded that "over-study" was responsible for 205 of them. "Education lays the foundation of a large portion of the causes of mental disorder," Jarvis wrote.

Interesting.... According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jarvis (among other things) "had unsuccessful medical practices in Massachusetts and Kentucky. He returned to the Boston area in 1843 and began seeing, treating, and housing mentally ill patients in his home."

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