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This List Of Reasons For Keeping People In Asylums Will Make You So Glad You Don't Live In The 1800s

Tag yourself: I'm "masturbation for 30 years."

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This is a list of "reasons for admission" to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia.

Uh, and this is the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

Haunting you in your nightmares, for sure.
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Haunting you in your nightmares, for sure.

The asylum was supposed to hold around 250 patients, but at times held as many as 2,400. It officially closed in 1994.

Its 666 acres contained a working farm, dairy, and cemetery.
Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

Its 666 acres contained a working farm, dairy, and cemetery.

According to the roster, people could be admitted for such delightful things as "female disease," "laziness," "menstrual derangement," or, you know, just being "bad company."

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To be clear, these weren't "official diagnoses" of mental illness, just a list of some of the underlying symptoms that asylum officials believed "exacerbated such an illness."

Yes, the list included "READING NOVELS."
Snopes.com / Via snopes.com

Yes, the list included "READING NOVELS."

According to author Maureen Dabbagh, who wrote Parental Kidnapping in America: An Historical and Cultural Analysis, which examined the patterns and reasoning behind people being committed in the 1800s, the majority of patients were treated for "acute mania," "chronic dementia," or "melancholia."

Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

But! The asylum was ALSO used as a means of escaping bad marriages, and in some cases, as a way for unhappy spouses to dump their husband or wife.

According to Dabbagh, "spouses used lunacy laws to rid themselves of their partners and in abducting their children," because people could be admitted against their will, by spouses or family members.
Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

According to Dabbagh, "spouses used lunacy laws to rid themselves of their partners and in abducting their children," because people could be admitted against their will, by spouses or family members.

Imagine being stuck in HERE.

Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

So, long story short: Be careful about who you "read novels" around.

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JK! (Not really.)

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