Mysteries of Mental Illness


Explore the dramatic attempts generations have made to unravel the difficult questions surrounding mental illness.


Tuesday, June 22, from 9pm to 10pm on ThinkTV16
Wednesday, June 23, from 9pm to 10pm on ThinkTV16

Episode 1: Evil or Illness?

Tuesday, June 22, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

Examine ancient conceptions of mental illness and the establishment of psychiatry. Hear contemporary stories of people living with mental illness, including an aspiring astrophysicist with schizophrenia, and an Olympics-bound boxer with OCD.

Episode 2: Who’s Normal?

Tuesday, June 22, at 10pm on ThinkTV16

Trace efforts to develop guidelines for diagnosing mental illness rooted in empirical science rather than dogma. Explore how science and societal factors are deeply entwined with ever-shifting definitions of mental health and mental illness.

Episode 3: The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

Wednesday, June 23, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

Follow the origin and downfall of mental asylums in the United States. Glimpse inside Cook County prison, the nation’s largest unintended mental health facility, meet the detainees in their care, and the challenges they face both inside and out.

Episode 4: The New Frontiers

Wednesday, June 23, at 10pm on ThinkTV16

Explore today’s most cutting-edge treatments, based on the latest understanding of mental illness, through profiles of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery, infusions of ketamine and modern electro-convulsive therapy.