Uh, and this is the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
The asylum was supposed to hold around 250 patients, but at times held as many as 2,400. It officially closed in 1994.
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."
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."
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."
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.
Imagine being stuck in HERE.
So, long story short: Be careful about who you "read novels" around.
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