->''"Madness is the emergency exit. You can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away forever."''
-->-- '''ComicBook/TheJoker''', ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke''

A sister trope to GoMadFromTheRevelation, Driven to Madness represents a deliberate attack upon a character's sanity and mental stability.

There are many varied reasons for someone to attempt to drive another person to madness. Perhaps they seek to break the character's will in order to make them more pliable, or it may be an attempt to induce a FreakOut or FaceHeelTurn. [[RevengeByProxy They may wish to punish the character or torment them by attacking their loved ones in such a fashion]]. They may try doing so in order to have someone discredited or declared incompetent. Maybe they're [[ForTheEvulz just jerks.]]

Somewhat less evilly, someone may regard sanity as a prison and seek to release a character from its constraints by any means necessary.

The methods can vary, as well, from [[{{Gaslighting}} making them doubt their perceptions]], to the aforementioned torture, exposure to a BrownNote, or even straight-up MindRape. Some [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] drive men mad with their mere presence. Sometimes it can come just from going [[LudicrousSpeed really really fast]].

Particularly effective if the character has reason to doubt their own sanity, such as if they have recently been discharged from a mental institution or have undergone a nervous breakdown. Indeed, in such a situation, this often takes the form of an ThroughTheEyesOfMadness plot - at least at first.

May be an aspect of the MindGameShip if the reasons for the sanity breaking were FoeYay related.

Can overlap with BreakTheCutie.

The subtrope, {{Gaslighting}}, is the subtle, insidious form of this.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' Tobi's talk with Sasuke about Itachi's true intentions ultimately led to Sasuke becoming AxCrazy and joining Tobi's side.
* What Akito Sohma did to Kana in ''Manga/FruitsBasket''. After Akito blinded Hatori for asking for permission to marry Kana, Akito turned against the poor nurse and blamed her so much for Hatori's partial blindness that she went mad. It was so bad that Hatori had to [[spoiler: delete Kana's memories of their relationship.]]
** [[spoiler: Ironically, ''Akito'' herself was driven to madness upon years of monstruous psychological abuse coming from her mother Ren. As a little kid, Akito was naive and bad-tempered but not evil; however, she completely SNAPPED and became a massive {{Yandere}} with some of the worst issues in the whole cast.]]
* Johan of ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' is an expert at driving perfectly sane and normal people to suicide through total MindRape. From the little that is known of his past, his own sanity was methodically attacked throughout his childhood.
* Eto's torture and manipulation of Kanae in ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' was done for the purpose of destroying [[spoiler: her sanity to the point of making her devoted to her and using her as a tool]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman: The Killing Joke]]'': In which The Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane and fails.
** Unfortunately, a detective who has the misfortune of overseeing Joker being processed through to jail in Batman Confident is indeed driven to madness, turning into a cop-killing psychopath who ultimately commits suicide when he realizes how Joker turned him into a monster.
*** Subverted with Harley Quinn, who was was insane but functional when she first met the Joker; Joker simply gave her an excuse to give up control to her crazy side. As someone put it elsewhere on the site, "the Joker might have driven her mad, but Harley was willing to car-pool."
* ''ComicBook/EmperorJoker'': This is the Joker's objective towards both Batman and Superman after gaining godlike powers from Mr. Mxyzptlk. He basically succeeded with his arch-foe, torturing Bats to death and reviving him each day to do it over again. Supes is half-way there when the comic starts, hunted down as a dangerous criminal by Bizarro each day, when he discovers that the now all-powerful Joker is responsible for turning the world into a dark parody of itself.
* The Sheeda in Grant Morrison's ''ComicBook/SevenSoldiers'' take great pride in their ability to break even the most noble of people and re-form them to suit their twisted desires.
** Also from ''ComicBook/SevenSoldiers'', after life has had a good hard go at [[BreakTheCutie breaking]] Sally Sonic, Vitaman essentially forces her to debase herself and then exposes her to [[PsychoSerum Doctor Hyde's Evil Serum]] to finish the job.
** The Terrible Time Tailor Zor briefly accomplishes this with magic, turning Zatanna into the person she would be if he had raised her instead of her father. [[spoiler: Fortunately, mad "Zorina" is enough of a brat to reverse the spell, just to annoy her "daddy".]]
* Happens to [[WhiteCollarCrime Warren White]], a white collar criminal who [[OnlySaneMan finds himself in Arkham Asylum]] in the limited series ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumLivingHell''. As the story progresses, Warren is continually tortured, abused and terrorized by the other inmates, until finally, he is locked inside Mr Freeze's empty cell by an inmate trying to steal his identity, where he loses his nose, his lips, some of his fingers, and his ears to frostbite. Now a "freak" himself, Warren transforms himself into the villain The Great White Shark.
* Incidentally, Franchise/SpiderMan is very good at this even if he doesn't entirely mean to do it.
** Kraven was so confounded by Spider-Man's humiliating defeats that he went nuts and eventually committed suicide.
** Electro started off as a typical JerkAss criminal but years of verbal and physical torment had enough of a toll that he is now relegated to asking his mutant girlfriend to shapeshift into Spidey during sex so he could feel in control.
** While [[ComicBook/DoctorOctopus Dr. Octopus]] was driven insane by the accident that turned him into a villain, it has been noted that Spider-Man's constant taunts and beatings drove him farther over the edge. Also, in two separate incidents, he was mentally scarred after pissing Spider-Man off. One of those times involved Spidey ripping his mechanical arms off.
** The Chameleon was '''frightened into a coma''' when he unknowingly built robot duplicates of Peter Parker's dead parents. It ended up being a case of BewareTheNiceOnes.
** Titania of ComicBook/SheHulk fame first fought Spidey back in ''ComicBook/SecretWars'' and instantly acquired a deep fear of Spidey and spiders in general due to the beating/embarrassment she received.
** ComicBook/NormanOsborn, like Dr. Octopus, was also already crazy when he first went up against the wall-crawler but after his first defeat, he essentially dedicated his entire life to ruining Peter's. In fact, since he was behind ''ComicBook/TheCloneSaga'', it was an inverted case since it mentally broke Peter Parker for about a year or two.
** Spidey drove Eddie Brock (aka ComicBook/{{Venom}}) insane by exposing the real identity of a killer after Brock had identified a compulsive liar who'd taken credit for the crimes. This was the only case in which Peter drove someone insane without meeting him.
** Several of Spidey's foes have attempted to pull this on him, including Mysterio, Chameleon, ComicBook/NormanOsborn, and even ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's foe Dr. Faustus.
* In ''ComicBook/TheBoys'', [[spoiler:Black Noir, the clone of Homelander,]] drove Homelander insane by mailing him photos of Homelander [[spoiler:actually Noir dressed up as Homelander]] eating babies, eating hearts, and committing violent murder-rapes. Homelander became an insane monster because he thought he was already a monster and just didn't remember it.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} and Character/GreenLantern villain Hank Henshaw, better known as the Cyborg Superman, was once a normal scientist (hell, he was an {{expy}} of [[Franchise/FantasticFour Reed Richards]]) until an accident changed him. He watched his friends die, his body disintegrate and, when he built a robot body for himself, watch his wife commit suicide. When he escaped using a small rocket he built from Supes' Birthing Matrix, he drove himself mad through the incredible loneliness, reasoning himself that he didn't leave Earth because he was a threat, he was driven off by Superman because he was ''jealous''.
* Used to be part of ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'s modus operandi. He stopped doing that, but by that time [[TheDogBitesBack he had earned himself two formidable enemies in the form of one of these victims and the son of another]].
* Dr. Eggman in ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' started suffering a massive one following having his greatest victory - defeating Sonic, capturing just about everyone and turning Knothole Kingdom into a crater - swiped from him. He would ultimately snap after one last victory by Sonic pushed him over the edge.
* In ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'', V kills every Norsefire employee who'd once worked at the concentration camp where he'd been imprisoned. Every employee, that is, except for Lewis Prothero, who as the camp commander had selected him, among other prisoners, to be subjects of medical experimentation. Because said experimentation drove V mad, [[PayEvilUntoEvil he drives Prothero mad]] by kidnapping him, sticking him in a replica of the camp, and cremating his beloved rare doll collection before his eyes.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'', Gravemoss is driven mad (well, ''madder'') thanks to long term exposure to [[ArtefactOfDoom the Darkhold.]] EvilIsNotAToy.
** In the sequel, ''Ghosts of the Past'', Harry is finally driven to the brink of insanity after a ''brutal'' TraumaCongaLine at the hands of the Red Room, who [[spoiler: tortured him and turned his BlankSlate body into the new and improved version of the Winter Soldier]]. The result? He becomes [[spoiler: the Dark Phoenix]], and is only ''barely'' talked down.
* In the beginning of ''Fanfic/TalesOfTheEmperasque'', Corvus has been driven to gibbering madness by ten thousand years of trying to find his way out of Fulgrim's ever-changing maze designed specifically to break Ravenlord's sanity.
* In ''[[Fanfic/{{Their Midnight Revels}} Their Midnight Revels]] While Ariel and Miranda state that Edith and Thomas were mentally ill before they arrived and would have gotten worse if they had not arrived the Downton Duo show signs of being driven there also by their involvement with magic.Both are exhausted from dancing all night and have the urge to continue dancing. They have heightened senses and their brains are overwhelmed by the clairvoyant abilities that they receive. They also have stronger emotions such as rage against their friends and family, and sexuality particularly when Edith attempts to seduce the housemaid, Emily.
* In ''FanFic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', [[spoiler:The Emerald Tablet, [[AIIsACrapshoot an malevolent A.I.]],]] uses the mental link Asuka has with Unit-02 in an attempt to gradually grind down her sanity by subjecting to constantly low-key mental stress, meant to bring out her BloodKnight urges and her inner fears and insecurities. It eventually starts affecting her by giving her increasingly vivid nightmares, bouts of extreme nausea, and culminates in [[spoiler:her viciously attacking Unit-08 and gravely injuring [[NewMeat Keiko]] in the process]].

* The main theme of ''Film/ShockCorridor'', where the hero has himself declared insane and sent to the asylum to solve a murder case. But things are going the wrong way.
* ''Film/TheScreamingSkull'': In which a man attempts to drive his wife insane in order to get unrestrained access to her money. It shares [[InNameOnly very little]] with the F. Marion Crawford short story of that name besides the title.
* ''Let's Scare Jessica to Death''
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'':
** In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', the Scarecrow uses his fear toxin to drive people insane -- and then he gets a dose himself.
** In the sequel, ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the Joker attempts to turn Harvey Dent insane to prove that no one is incorruptible. [[spoiler:He succeeds.]]
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'': Bane destroys Batman's city via anarchy, threatens to trigger a nuke in its heart, fractures his spine, and leaves him stranded in the middle of the world's largest dry well which only one child has escaped via climbing. By the end, Batman is shown psychologically broken enough to kill people - starting with Bane - by firing explosive rounds via Bat-Jet to Talia's face.
* The Skeksis render their captives near-mindless servants and steal their living essence by exposing them to ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''.
* In ''Film/ThePitAndThePendulum'', this is the goal of Nicholas Medina's tormentors. It [[GoneHorriblyRight goes horribly right]].
* ''Film/HushHushSweetCharlotte'': Attempted semi-successfully with [[spoiler: one part {{gaslighting}}, one part drugs, and one part FakingTheDead with a StagedShooting.]]
* The film ''Sleep, My Love'' with Claudette Colbert.
* In ''Film/{{Gaslight}}'', Gregory is using all sorts of {{Gaslighting}} methods to convince Paula she's going mad.
* The Penguins are approaching this at the start of ''WesternAnimation/PenguinsOfMadagascar'' from the rest of the circus playing their [[EarWorm Afro Circus/I Like to Move it]] mashup at the end of ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}} Madagascar 3]]''.
* By the end of ''Film/AsylumBlackout'', this seems to have happened to [[spoiler:George]] due to the events of the blackout.
* ''Film/FullMetalJacket'': Pvt. "Gomer" Pyle is targeted by [[DrillSergeantNasty Gunnery Sgt. Hartman]] because he can't keep up with the other recruits. [[FromBadToWorse It gets worse]] when [[IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure Gunnery Sgt. Hartman decides to punish everyone whenever Pyle messes up.]] It comes to a head when [[EtTuBrute Joker joins the other recruits in blanket party]] and Pyle actually improves in his training, but Joker becomes concerned when [[MadnessMantra he starts to talk to his rifle]] and becomes more and more disconnected from reality. It all ends when [[spoiler: in their final night before deployment, Pyle recites the rifleman creed at the top of his lungs, [[TheDogBitesBack and shoots Sgt. Hartman, after Hartman delivers one more insult too many.]] [[AteHisGun Pyle then turns the rifle on himself.]]]]
* As things become gradually worse for the group in ''Film/VeryBadThings'', Boyd gradually ends up losing his sanity. At the very end of the film, [[spoiler:Laura]] suffers a complete mental breakdown and runs screaming into the middle of the street.

* All the Outer Gods of the Franchise/CthulhuMythos can drive one insane, but Nyarlathotep is apparently the only one who seeks to do so ForTheEvulz.
** Arguable. In none of Lovecraft's works does Nyarlathotep just randomly harass anybody. In the ''Haunter of the Dark'' he seeks to kill his summoner, because he didn't provide an appropriate sacrifice, in ''The Dreams in the Witch-House'' he just played a role as a guardian to the secrets beyond human ken who receives sacrifical tribute in return of allowing individuals to cross that veil, and in the ''Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath'' he is seeking retribution against Randolph Carter for trying to see Earth's god's he had sworn to protect (and dominate) for unknown purposes.
* In a somewhat unknown Swedish novel, ''Simon's Family'' by Marianne Freddriksson, the character Isak is training at a boot camp. His squadron leader tries to break the spirit of him by being his antisemetic self (Jewish Isak had been molested as a child by Nazis- no I'm not making this up). Isak begins to go numb almost to the point of no return.
* This is the final fate of the protagonists in Creator/AlexanderPushkin's ''The Bronze Horseman'' and ''The Queen of Spades''.
* ''Literature/TheBookOfLostThings'': A common result of the Crooked Man's tortures, usually after being ForcedToWatch.
* Norwegian author ''Creator/IngeborgReflingHagen'' had this as a common trait in her early production. Most of her main characters were either DrivenToMadness, DrivenToSuicide ''[[UpToELeven Or Both]]''!
* In ''[[Literature/LineOfDelirium Emperors of Illusions]]'', this is the goal of the protagonists, as far as TheEmperor is concerned. They have nothing against him personally (except for Kay, whose home planet was destroyed at the Emperor's order), but [[spoiler:a CorruptCorporateExecutive thinks that the Emperor created this universe and wishes to pay him back for that by destroying humankind]], so they decide to get rid of the Emperor. However, since ResurrectiveImmortality exists in this universe, the Emperor cannot be killed permanently. Their plan is to cause him to lose his mind in a way that is irreversible. [[spoiler:It nearly works, but the final trigger phrase fails because the Emperor is not the creator of the world, resulting in an Empire-wide manhunt for the conspirators]].
* ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' (second book of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Szeth, the Assassin in White, finally loses his long battle with his own insanity by the end of this book. The realization that [[spoiler:his servitude--and the resulting slaughters he created--were completely avoidable sends him screaming over the edge.]]


[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Angelus does this to Drusilla before turning her into a vampire.
* [[Series/{{Firefly}} River Tam]] is driven mad by the government and the knowledge she learns from the officials who come to see her.
** Not to mention the show's Reavers, who will occasionally keep one victim alive and force said victim to watch their shipmates be raped to death, skinned and eaten. The survivor will ultimately go mad from the experience and will only cope by becoming a Reaver themselves.
* Averted in the SciFi miniseries ''Series/ChildrenOfDune'' when one of the Cast-out attempts to drive Leto Atreides II insane with too much spice consumption. Rather than going insane, he becomes completely immune to the effects of spice and gains some superpowers into the bargain.
* In ''Series/ThePrisoner'' Number 6 goes to work on the Number 2 of the week in "Hammer Into Anvil". (Arguably, breaking Number 6' sanity is the point behind the whole series.)
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' the episode "Crazy Witch Lady" has the titular Lady driven to madness by the citizens of Camden treating her like an evil witch. It is implied she was just a regular quirky [[EccentricTownsfolk Camden resident]] before this.
* Dr. Prospect does this to Daido Katsumi in ''[[Series/KamenRiderDouble W Returns: Eternal]]'' by [[spoiler:slaughtering the entire village he was trying to save and then rubbing salt in the wound by explaining how this happened because [[NiceJobBreakingItHero NEVER took them out of the village in the first place]]. Katsumi ''snaps'' completely as a result.]]
* This is what the main character of ''Film/TheCube'' has to contend with for the teleplay's entire duration.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[spoiler:Rassilon]] drove the Master to madness by impanting the never ending sound of war drums in his mind when he stared into the Time Vortex as a child. The Master's last words before one apparent Final Death (it didn't stick) to the Doctor was him asking whether the drumming would finally end.
** In the Series 9 finale three-parter, the Twelfth Doctor is driven to madness by a TraumaCongaLine: betrayal and capture by both [[spoiler: Ashildr and the Time Lords]], his companion Clara being [[spoiler: Killed Off for Real]], and ColdBloodedTorture at the hands of the latter betrayer, with absolutely no one around to help him through his agony. The result is that he becomes a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds who almost destroys ''Time itself'' in the pursuit of a TragicDream. He is ultimately pulled back across the DespairEventHorizon, but must endure the losses of [[spoiler: his homeworld and people (for now), possibly his confidante Ohila, Clara ''and'' his key personal/emotional memories of her]] in the process of returning to his best self.
* Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine has this happen to Gul Dukat after he sees his daughter murdered. whether he gets over it is highly debatable.

* [[spoiler:Enzo in Machinima/{{Supermarioglitchy4}}'s "Birthday Freakout", after Mario ruins his party by making the castle explode. Ever since then, he has been planning to assassinate Mario. This has been pushed to higher limits [[BigDamnHeroes when a Policeman arrests him]], causing him to plan {{Revenge}}.]]
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Season 11, Lopez Dos Point Oh becomes so stunned at how outrageously stupid and inept the Reds are that he hijacks a giant robot and goes on a destructive spree.
-->'''Dos.0''': ''(Spanish Subtitles)'' [...He's insane. ''They're all insane''.]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Black Spiral Dancers of ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' force their captives to walk the Black Spiral and go as mad as they have.

* In the play ''Gaslight'' (and the two film versions of the play) the husband plays tricks on his wife in order to convince her she's going crazy. It became a TropeNamer.
* In Creator/{{Euripides}}'s tragedy, ''Theatre/{{Bacchae}}'', the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology god Dionysus]] drives his aunts --and many of the women of Thebes-- mad because they dishonored his mother and refused to acknowledge his divinity. The play ends with [[DownerEnding tragic results]].
* ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire'': Stanley to Blanche.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'' the [[CreepyDoll blue dolls]] are capable of driving people insane. Late in the game they attempt to do this to [[spoiler: Garry]] and if they succeed the damage may be [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan temporary]]..or [[DownerEnding permament]], all depending on your [[MultipleEndings previous actions]].
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, finding inventive ways to drive people to complete madness is within the realm of Sheogorath, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[MadGod Madness]]. He even considers it ''[[MadHatter a blessing]]'':
--> '''Sheogorath''': ''"Madness is a bitter mercy, perhaps, but a mercy nonetheless. It is better to be seen as mad than hopelessly despondent."''
* ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'': This is one of two ways that the enemies can kill your party (the other being relentless murder). The entire dungeon is one big stress-fest, with critical hits that crush morale and enemy attacks solely dedicated to freaking your party out. If they reach the breaking point, they go insane. If they reach the breaking point twice, ''they literally die from stress''.
** Good news is, there is a tiny chance that their insanity will be of the [[HeroicSecondWind positive type]], effectively making them even ''better'' than in normal mode.
* ''VideoGame/TheWedding'': Jack begins to become insane and mentally unstable, the longer the portal in his basement is open. Lack of sleep was part of the reason why the demons and monsters roaming his house made it easier for him to go insane. His notes also indicate that his wife apparently summoned some extra demons, specifically to terrify him, but [[UnreliableNarrator exactly how accurate that is, given Jack's mental state when writing that part]]...
* In ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfWar'', players can actually [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential do this to their enemies]] with the use of their "[[MindRape shaming]]" ability which makes orcs drop in level and if used enough times, it will make them permanantly deranged. When used against [[spoiler:Brûz the Chopper]] in the story mode, he becomes a sobbing wreck that repeats his MadnessMantra endlessly, while other orcs are only capable of saying a few broken words between screaming and gnarling.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[VideoGame/HalfLife Gordon Freeman]], in ''Machinima/FreemansMind'', starts to behave more and more erratically as time passes and things happen (not that he wasn't a bit of a CloudCuckooLander to begin with). He has a ''dead serious'' monologue about how he's probably going insane and in need of psychological assistance after it's all over.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick is usually driven crazy by things in movies she could easily switch off.
* The VideoGame/{{Touhou}} FanVid series WebVideo/KoishiKomeijisHeartThrobbingAdventure uses this as the prime plot driver: SOMETHING is driving all of Gensokyo insane, and the few sane people left ([[AnyoneCanDie well...sane and still living]]) have to figure out who and how to stop it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Many WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes characters end up doing this to their antagonists -- of particular note are the mice Hubie and Bertie.
* Accordingly, the Warner Kids of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' almost invariably manage to do this to anyone they have adopted as their "Special Friend" (generally someone who is being a jerk to start with).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheTwelveTasksOfAsterix'', the titular hero and his friend are sent to "The Place That Sends You Mad", a building from which they are to receive a certain form - alas, within the building lies a ''ferociously'' [[ObstructiveBureaucrat obstructive bureaucracy]]. So obstructive, in fact, that it briefly pushes Obelix over the edge. Fortunately, Asterix manages to turn the situation around, driving the bureaucrats mad instead - and allowing him to get the form in the process.
** Earlier in the film, Asterix also manages to cause a hypnotist to turn his power back onto himself, causing the poor man to believe himself a wild boar.
*** Iris may be a poor man, but it's a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
--->'''Iris''': ''(eyes glowing)'' By Osiris and by Apis, ''look at me''...\\
'''Asterix''': Can you light those up one at a time?\\
'''Iris''': Wha--be quiet! Now, by Osiris and by Apis, look into my eyes...\\
'''Asterix''': Can you use them for reading in bed?
* ''WesternAnimation/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'': Sam and Max do this to MoralGuardian [[PunnyName Kent Standit]] in "The Glazed MacGuffin Affair". When he banned the titular snack food, Sam and Max went on a crusade to make him lift by getting him to taste one, following him everywhere he went and trying to trick him into eating one. This escalates into a cross-country chase, ending when Kent realizes he's arrived at the factory where Glazed {{MacGuffin}}s are made and snaps.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'''s Discord favors this as a method of BreakTheCutie.
* The Fog of Lost Souls from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' is a prison within the Spirit World for humans. The fog bombards its occupants with images of their greatest fears and failures, slowly driving them mad over the course of decades if not centuries. [[spoiler: Zhao has been reduced to a TalkativeLoon, and Tenzin and his siblings begin to fall to the Fog's effects after only a few minutes of wandering.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': A RunningGag on the show is to have this happen to Kaeloo (the culprits usually being Stumpy and Mr. Cat), and for the ResetButton to make sure that her sanity is back by the next episode.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', Joker does this to Detective Bennett in a situation clearly inspired by ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke''. Unlike his comic counterpart, this Joker actually succeeds and turn Bennett into a supervillain.