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Wrongfully Committed

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Jimmy finally had enough of Supes' Superdickery.

An innocent person who is perfectly sane suddenly finds himself having a bad day. Perhaps he had a bad argument with a loved one or friend that left him steaming mad. Maybe he got in trouble for a crime he didn't commit. He might know about or be a witness to something that must stay secret. The stress of the situation has left him very frantic but otherwise he's mentally stable. Though for some reason, professionals won't hear him out, or just don't care; they're looking for someone to lock up. They could even be sadistic professionals who just want someone to torture. But no matter the case, he is now committed to a mental asylum. There, he tries to convince the staff of his sanity, to no avail.

Being involuntarily committed against his will, he can only hope for help from outside sources. Such as his family being able to prove his sanity. Perhaps the staff needs to monitor him and make sure he's not a threat to himself or others within a given time frame. Or in even bleaker cases, he could be in a Bedlam House, where the doctors and orderlies and other patients eventually make him lose his grip on reality. He ends up becoming a crazed shell of his former self.

A Sub-Trope of Go Among Mad People, something that will inevitably result from being committed. Compare Miscarriage of Justice (which has a character being found guilty of a crime he didn't commit) and Insanity Defense (when a sane person intentionally claims to be insane in order to avoid prison or other punishment for his crimes). See also Insane No More and Mistaken for Insane.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kotoura-san: Subverted in the Downer Beginning. Haruka's mother plans to send Haruka to the mental ward and fights with Zenzou over it. Haruka isn't committed since several hospital visits show nothing truly wrong with her, at least not enough to take her in (since Psychic Powers are not recognized by the setting's mainstream science and Haruka isn't sick nor delusional in any sense).

    Comic Books 
  • One Batman story involves a young man who is committed to Arkham Asylum after being wrongfully convicted of murder. His constant protests of innocence are dismissed as the rants of a crazy person and he is subjected to increasingly brutal treatments in attempts to "cure" him; instead, they end up making him incurably insane.
  • In Doomsday Clock, Batman had Rorschach II committed to Arkham after hearing his explanation of coming from a parallel universe (with Rorschach's genuine mental instability not helping his case). However, Batman's Genre Savvy enough to try to verify his claims afterward and apologizes to him after he escapes once he realized that he was telling the truth.
  • One arc of Justice Society of America sees the team go back in time to the 1950s in order to stop a plot to prevent them from re-forming in the modern age. While there, Stargirl breaks into a mental hospital to meet the original Starman, which results in her being committed herself.
  • Tintin:
    • In "Cigars of the Pharaoh", the Big Bad injects two of Tintin's friends with a drug that renders them permanently insane, then forges a letter to the local sanatorium, warning the doctors that the protagonist himself suffers from a delusional disorder. As a result, when the hero brings his allies to the hospital, he is institutionalized in their place.
    • In "The Black Island", Dr. J.W. Müller plots to send Tintin to an insane asylum where he works, hoping to inflict him a "special treatment" that will make genuinely make Tintin insane. When taunting Tintin, the Doctor gloats that he's done it before.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: Gaston tries to blackmail Belle into marrying him by threatening to throw her father Maurice into an asylum (the older man rambles about Belle having been taken prisoner by the Beast). When Belle returns home to save her father, Gaston leads a mob to commit Maurice until she reveals the Beast's existence to the villagers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass: Halfway through the movie, Alice is brought to an asylum to get treated for "female hysteria" after her stories about Wonderland are misinterpreted to be delusions.
  • Changeling: Christine Collins is reluctantly subjected to confinement in a mental asylum after refusing to acknowledge that the missing child brought back by the local police is her son Walter. It turns out that she's correct after all. The child retrieved by the police is Arthur Hutchens, who pretends to be Christine's missing child, and the police have incompetently misidentified him.
  • A variation is discussed in the "documentary," C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. The film discusses how in the 1800s', Dr. Crathwright discovered the mental malady of draeptomania, the freedom illness, where the afflicted have the delusion that they don't want to be slaves anyomore, and in severe cases may even try to escape. In the modern day, the Carthwright Institute offers a quick career path to their applicants who are then qualified to diagnose and treat draeptomania, and the drug Contrari is advertised to people whose servants have been diagnosed with draeptomania (more than likely, the medication just drugs the victim into thinking they like being slaves). At the end, during the film's "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer montage, it is Samuel A. Cartwright was a real "doctor" who coined up draeptomania as way to justify slavery in the United States.
  • From Beyond: Crawford is accused of Pretoious' murder, with his ramblings about what really happened leading to him being Mistaken for Insane and locked up in an asylum. Later, after her insistence on recreating the experiment to try and prove his innocence just makes him worse and causes Bubba's death, the same thing happens to Katherine.
  • Ghostbusters II: The mayor's aide has the Ghostbusters committed in order to prevent them from starting a panic over the increasingly apocalyptic conditions. The mayor quickly has this order reversed when it becomes obvious their help is needed.
  • Good Burger: The main characters are sent to a Bedlam House by the Big Bad after learning the secret behind Mondo Burger's...well, mondo burgers. Otis gets sent there also after he catches Kurt and his Mondo brats dumping shark poison in Ed's Sauce.
  • The Handmaiden: Discussed. Fujiwara and Sook-hee plan to commit Hideko falsely to an asylum so that they can disappear with her money. But it's a setup. Hideko and Fujiwara have already planned to wrongly commit Sook-hee in her place, pretending that she is Hideko. While Sook-hee does get wrongly institutionalised, her street family help her to break out as soon as she reaches them.
  • In The Magdalene Sisters, the nuns send Crispina to a psychiatric hospital after she's sexually molested by a priest in order to make sure that she keeps quiet about the abuse that was occurring at the Magdalene laundry.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Villain Protagonist Randle Patrick McMurphy is a (statutory) rapist with a violent streak who pretends to be mentally ill in order to serve his sentence in what he believes will be a peaceful mental institution. However, McMurphy soon learns that the timed sentence proposed by the judge doesn't apply in this situation, meaning he will never be able to leave his confinement without the doctors' express consent.
  • Side Effects: Reconstructed. Emily "wants" to get sent to a psychiatric hospital so she can get a light sentence for killing her husband. She blames her medication for turning her (briefly) violent and makes a killing on the stock market. However, Karma Houdini Warranty sets in, and David - who still oversees her treatment - prescribes medication that would put her in a zombie-like state. When Emily refuses to take it, David gets her committed and leaves her in the asylum to punish her.
  • Sucker Punch: The film follows Baby Doll, who is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather; he intends to have her lobotomized so she cannot tell the authorities about his involvement in her sister's death.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: At the beginning of the movie, Sarah Connor is introduced being interrogated in a mental ward, having spent years in the mental facility after failing to convince the public of the impending judgement day (from The Terminator) and attempting to bomb a computer factory to stop the apocalypse all by herself.
  • Unsane: Sawyer is wrongly committed after visiting a psychiatrist to tell them that she is being stalked, which they mistake for paranoia. It turns out they've done this numerous times, as a financial scam to commit healthy people under the false pretext that they are violent or suicidal.
  • A variation is presented in the Italian comedy Le Comiche 2. The two main characters drive an ambulance and run over the biker they had to take to the hospital while hitting a guy that is trying to help him. At this point they mix the two up and do whatever it takes to take the wrong man to the hospital. Along the way he is mistreated with every kind of verbal and physical abuse (Played for Laughs). Once in the hospital he tries to explain to no avail since the two men silence him, implying he needs psychiatric help. Subsequently, they clumsily manage to catapult him in an operating room where he takes the place of a woman patient. While being sedated he learns that the doctor is going to perform a breast augmentation on him. Unfortunately all his moaning through the anesthesia mask is not able to alert about the patient mixup.

  • Fingersmith: Sue is wrongfully committed in Marianne's place, which would have also been wrong in the first place since it was all a con to steal her money. Instead, it's an equally corrupt scheme for Mrs Sucksby to get back her daughter, Maud.
  • Subverted in The King in Yellow. Hildred Castaigne claims that this happened to him after he fell from his horse, but it turns out that he actually is completely insane, probably from combined factors of brain damage and reading the eponymous play. The Repairer of Reputations ends with him being dragged off to a mental institution, this time for good.
  • Lady Audley's Secret: Implied. Lucy ends up in an institution in the end, because of her hereditary madness and her attempted murder of her first husband George. However, the narrative leaves it extremely ambiguous whether she is receiving any sort of treatment or if she is being committed to avoid humiliating the Audleys.
  • The Master and Margarita: Soviet poet Ivan Bezdomny encounters Satan himself and begins to behave irrationally - at least in the eyes of the people who surround him. The problem is, he did see and hear all the things he describes, but they're so outrageous that nobody believes him.
  • In The Millennium Trilogy, Lisbeth Salander was wrongfully committed to a mental hospital for much of her teenage years after she tried to kill her abusive father. While it quickly became clear that she wasn't actually crazy, her dad happened to be an intelligence asset of a secret government division, and thus it was decided that keeping her locked up benefited them more than having her roam free. The fact that this left her completely in the power of a pedophile meant effectively nothing to them.
  • One Just Man: Allan Dori is a New York attorney, part of a corrupt criminal justice system that relies heavily on plea-bargainig; criminals plead guilty and get released (based on time served) or receive reduced sentences. If they claim innocence, they're sent back to The Tombs, a brutal, overpopulated holding cell center for those still awaiting trial. Allan decides to fight the system and pushes his clients to plead innocent, so the overpopulated cells can get fuller (in hopes for the government to build a bigger and more safer center). But his efforts result in riots, causing the deaths of several people and destruction around New York (with riots even spreading throughout America). Allan is taken to prison, as a means of "protection", and hopes he can go to trial. But in the end, the prison is transformed into a mental asylum, with the doctors there to "help" Allan.
  • In The String of Pearls (the very first Sweeney Todd story), Sweeney Todd takes Tobias Ragg to Fogg's Asylum in order to remove him as a witness to his dastardly work, going to Mr. Fogg in order to commit him while Tobias is too unconscious to meaningfully consent (since Tobias had fainted after Sweeney's latest round of threats and terrorization). Tobias has to escape the asylum in order to return to London and help Mark take Todd down.
  • The Kingston Cycle by C.L. Polk: The government of Aeland maintains the widely-believed lie that witches inevitably go mad so they can be locked up in asylums and have their Soul Power extracted to fuel the power grid. As a bonus, any claims that Aeland's nobility are a secret Supernatural Elite are taken as a sign that the witch has completely lost her mind.
  • Wildthorn opens with Louisa Cosgrove, a Victornia-era girl shunned for wanting to be a doctor, taken to an asylum and told she's really Lucy Spears, sent there for her own good.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Horror Story: Murder House: Being a Supernatural-Proof Father, Ben has Vivien wrongly committed because he doesn't believe that she really saw ghosts. Violet denies that she saw anything so she wouldn't have to leave the house, and out of revenge because one of the twins wasn't his. Ben eventually pulls Vivien out of the asylum after realizing she wasn't lying and had been raped by Rubber Man.
  • In one episode of Barney Miller, the squad come across a woman who escaped from a mental hospital. The doctors are convinced she's speaking gibberish and keep insisting that she is insane despite appearing to be quite lucid. Dietrich finally shows up with the owner of a store from the Greek section of New York City and discovers that she's speaking a rare dialect of Macedonian. Inspired by the similar real life stories below.
  • In season 2 of Breaking Bad, after escaping Tuco's hideout, Walt fakes a dissociative fugue to avoid questions about his whereabouts and gets taken to a hospital as he planned. However, the doctors refuse to let him leave until they figure out what's supposedly wrong with him and he spends three days in the hospital. He manages to get out by telling the psychiatrist a half-truth in confidence that he faked it to get away from it all for a while, but gets stuck with a $13,000 bill that he and Jesse have to work to recoup.
  • In a episode of Cold Case, the intellectually disabled Victim of the Week is placed in a psychiatric hospital by a classmate's father who accuses him of being dangerous after the boyfriend of the victim's classmate forced her to lie about being sexually molested by the VOTW.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: In "Funkhouser's Crazy Sister", Jeff sleeps with a woman who was recently released from a mental institution, then passes it off as a delusion when she tells his wife. Larry backs him up, then later learns that she was reinstitutionalized on this "evidence" of a relapse. This is all played for Black Comedy.
  • Dollhouse: Priya Tsetsang was in a psychiatric ward with a severe case of schizophrenia when she was recruited to the Dollhouse. The memory-wiping technology used to turn someone into a Doll was proposed as a way of "curing" her schizophrenia. Except, as the staff of the Dollhouse eventually discover, this was all a lie. Nolan Kinnard, a high-level employee of the company behind the Dollhouse, was obsessed with Priya, and when she rejected him he drugged her to it seem like she was schizophrenic. He then covertly arranged for her commital to the hospital and the Dollhouse, all so he could then hire her to be "imprinted" as a version of herself that loved him back.
  • General Hospital's Felicia Jones found herself like this after stabbing Dr. Ryan Chamberlain. Although her actions were in self-defense—it's he who was trying to kill her—he twisted everything around to make it seem as though she was the crazy one. He exacerbated this by occasionally showing up at the asylum to taunt her, with her angry reaction unfortunately only managing to make her look even more insane.
  • In the first season of Iron Fist, Danny Rand is put in a mental hospital after he shows up in New York barefoot, claiming to be a person who supposedly died in a plane crash years earlier and possessing superpowers he got from the mystical city of Kun-Lun. He eventually convinces the asylum staff that he is who he says he is. The staff still thinks Danny is crazy because he claims to have superpowers, (apparently a common delusion after the events of The Avengers), believing he can't access those powers while he's on the medication they gave him. Danny eventually escapes after some thugs hired to kill him hurt him enough that his adrenaline kicks in and awakens his Chi.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Part of Frank's backstory is that he got sent upstate to a "nitwit school" after getting scrambled by questions from a psychologist. He eventually gets out with a certificate declaring him not having "donkey brains".
  • One episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit involves the team investigating an abusive foster family. One of the victims is a little black girl who was stashed away in a children's ward for supposed self-harm in order to keep her from testifying about how the foster parents took a cheese grater to her face.
  • Los Ricos No Piden Permiso: Victoria and Teresa take The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry a bit too far. Victoria has the mayor Marcial put Teresa in a mental institution and keeps her permanently stoned. Her family simply believes the false medical reports about Teresa's condition, and any time someone talks to her, she is too far gone to realize anything.
  • One episode of Mission: Impossible has the Villain of the Week commit the primary witness to his crimes to an insane asylum so that she couldn't testify against him in court. The team was sent to break her out.
  • Alice at the start of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is in a mental institution because her time in Wonderland is considered a delusion that must be broken.
  • Psych. In "Shawn, Interrupted", Shawn is sent undercover at a mental asylum to see whether the suspect, Bernie, is faking insanity. However, a problem arises when the only doctor who knew Shawn was undercover gets murdered and Shawn is knocked unconscious upon discovering the body. The other staff members tie him to his bed, thinking he is an actual patient whose condition is worsening due to his odd behavior, and his attempt to explain everything doesn't help due to how ridiculous it sounds.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation plays with this in the episode "Frame of Mind". Commander Riker joins a presentation of a theatre play on the Enterprise where his in-play character is committed to a mental asylum. His character is increasingly agitated at his treatment in the mental asylum, where he claims he is being abused (saying they were controlling his meals and his speaking and thinking habits, as well as suppressed his free will with drugs and confinement when he shows it). The in-play doctor, portrayed by Data, brushes it off as a delusion. Throughout the episode, Riker himself is bombarded with multiple delusions that make him question whether he really is himself, or his experiences on the Enterprise have all been a fantasy.
  • In episode of the The Tick (2001), Arthur's mom and sister become concerned with him being a superhero, so they enroll him in a program that is meant to convince people to not be superheroes anymore. While exploring the clinic one night, he sees the director prancing around his office in confiscated superhero uniforms, and when Arthur calls him out on how tells people not to be superheroes while secretly wanting to be a superhero himself, the director orders Arthur locked up in isolation, saying he's delusional. After several days of not hearing from him, Tick, Captain Liberty, and Batmanuel march into the clinic, rescue Arthur and expose the treatment as a sham.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): When Diego (a 30-year-old man from 2019) time travels and lands in the sixties, he becomes fixated on preventing the Kennedy assassination. Unfortunately, he goes about this in a way that makes him look like a paranoid lunatic, so he is institutionalized. This is where his brother Five eventually finds him.
  • Victorious: In "Rex Dies", Robbie's puppet Rex is damaged. Because Robbie treats Rex as a real person, his friends take the puppet to the hospital to make Robbie feel better. When Cat tries to explain the situation to a nurse, the nurse assumes Cat is delusional and sends her to the psych ward. The bizarre things she does to keep herself occupied in solitary don't help.

  • The Shrike: Jim is put in the mental ward of a hospital after a suicide attempt. As in many instances in fiction, the mental ward is portrayed as a Kafka-esque prison, even worse than a regular prison as there is no means of appeal or escape. Jim is trapped there, with psychiatrists who are looking for a reason to keep him committed and a wife who is manipulating events for her own advantage. Eventually Jim figures out that until he gives up his girlfriend, goes back to Ann, and submits to her control, he will be left in a state mental asylum to rot.
  • Johanna Barker of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street gets involuntarily committed to Fogg's Asylum after her plan to elope with Anthony Hope gets discovered by her guardian Judge Turpin. Turpin wanted to marry Johanna himself, but learns of her elopement plans due to a tragically foolish act by Anthony which also spoils Sweeney Todd's plot to kill Turpin. She is markedly affected by the experience but is eventually rescued by Anthony, with Johanna herself shooting the asylum keeper in the play.

    Video Games 
  • In Dishonored 2 , the non-lethal way of disposing of Duke Abele is to have his Body Double switch places with him via stealing a Medallion (the only way to distinguish the two). This makes it so that the real Duke Abele will come off as insane when claiming to be the real deal and be committed to an asylum. It's implied that while the authorities know what's really going on, they're more than happy to find a way to dispose of someone that everyone hated.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Maximilian Roivas is committed to an insane asylum after murdering his house's serving staff, claiming that they had been taken over by an unholy evil. Considering what happens to most of the other characters that wind up wielding the Tomenote  this is actually a happy ending.
  • In the Hitman: Blood Money mission, "Flatline," 47 infiltrates the Pine Cone Rehabilitation Center, a mental clinic that is currently used by several mafia heads as a private club during a court mandated stint in rehab. After taking out some targets in the public facility, 47 goes down in to the secret, underground, draconian asylum where he has to sneak out Agent Smith, who was captured while gathering intelligence by Mark Parchezzi III, who was posing as a doctor, and ordered him placed in isolation, where the orderlies routinely give him powerful psychoactive medication and perform rigorous physical therapies to treat his "insanity."
  • In Seven Mysteries, the True End has Tuan/Nathan, who almost killed Sang in self-defense, get framed by the Headmaster for the murders they committed. He tries to explain about the hauntings of the school and how they tie into the murders, but is declared insane and institutionalized. In the remake, Neal eventually busts him out.

    Web Videos 
  • Mortal Kombat: Legacy: Chapter 6 focuses on Raiden, who has the bad luck of being summoned inside the perimeter of a mental institution. The staff confuses him with an inmate, locks him out, and perform all kinds of experiments and practices on him. Near the end, he manages to escape said institution.
  • Paint: In the second "After Ever After", Cinderella gets sent to the literal Bedlam House by the Prince after telling him the story of where she got her clothes and carriage. The rest of her segment involves her being tortured by doctors who tell her she's insane, and whom she compares to Satan.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In "American Fung", Stan forgets about his wedding anniversary and decides that the best course of action is to forcibly commit his wife to a psychiatric hospital so she doesn't find out. However, the doctors quickly realize that there is nothing wrong with Francine and release her, prompting her to immediately lash out at Stan for being a horrible husband. In an ironic twist, the hospital staff interprets her outburst as an anger disorder, wrongfully committing her once again.
  • Family Guy: One Cutaway Gag had Peter and his friends visiting a fifties-era insane asylum. A doctor who works there proceeds to have them committed for things that would've been unacceptable at the time. For instance, Peter is committed for being friends with a minority and a crippled man. When Cleveland protests, he's declared insane for speaking up to a white man. Finally, Joe is committed and scheduled for euthanasia as he's crippled.
  • Futurama: In "Insane in the Mainframe", Roberto robs a bank, forces Fry and Bender to help him, and then frames them as the masterminds. During the ensuing trial, Roberto threatens to kill Fry if he tells the judges who the real bank robber is. Fry decides to plead insanity and is sentenced to a human mental asylum, but after hearing the human asylum is fullnote , the judge instead sends him to the robot asylum with Bender. While there, the robot doctors conclude Fry suffers "delusions of humanity" and treat him accordingly, causing him to snap and become convinced he's a robot.
  • King of the Hill: In "Naked Ambition", during a trip to the lake, Boomhauer relaxes on an inflatable tube and falls asleep. When he wakes up, he finds he has floated all the way to Houston. The locals think Boomhauer is a lunatic because he's sunburnt, wearing nothing but a speedo, and speaking with an unusual accent. He is taken to a mental asylum and calls Dale to get him out, but when Dale arrives, he's (unofficially) committed as well. The two men call Bill for help, which backfires when Bill voluntarily commits himself. After a failed escape attempt, the trio finally call Hank to come get them all out, who explains that they didn't have to go through all that.
    Hank: Boomhauer, your 72 hours are up, and you're clearly not a danger to yourself or others, so you're free to go. Dale, you were never actually committed, so I talked to them, and they're letting you go too. (Though they recommend you keep taking your medication.) ... Bill, you checked in on your own, so you can leave whenever you want.
  • The Simpsons: In "Stark Raving Dad", after wearing a pink shirt to work, Homer brings home a psychiatric quiz and makes Bart fill it out. When Homer brings the quiz back, he's declared insane and taken to an asylum. The asylum staff are convinced Homer is crazy because of his anger over Bart (they think the boy is just a figment of Homer's imagination). He isn't discharged until Marge comes by and talks to the staff to prove that Bart really exists. During his time there, Homer befriends a large white man who thinks he's Michael Jackson.

    Real Life 
  • In some places, some relatives use mental hospitals to get rid of unwanted persons, like in this example in Ukraine.
  • On occasion, people end up committed because nobody understands the language they're speaking:
    • András Toma, a Hungarian soldier captured by Soviet troops in 1945, was left forgotten in a mental hospital by 1947. Declared dead in Hungary in 1954, he was discovered only when a Hungarian language speaker discovered him in 2000.
    • In 1968, Catherine Yasinchuk, an inmate at a Philadelphia mental hospital since 1921, was found to be perfectly sane; she had been locked up after being encountered on the street because no one understood Ukrainian, the language she was speaking.
  • In 1887, reporter Nellie Bly went undercover in the Women's Lunatic Asylum in New York City to investigate its conditions. She spent ten days there before people from the newspaper finally got her released. Afterwards, she wrote an exposé about the facility's deplorable conditions, which she later turned into a book, Ten Days In A Mad House.
  • A large number of dissidents in the Soviet Union were diagnosed with a fictitious "sluggish" form of schizophrenia specifically invented by Soviet psychiatrists, presumably under orders by the KGB and Kremlin, to justify sending dissidents to mental hospitals.
  • Adrian Schoolcraft, a former NYPD officer, attempted to complain about official misconduct and corruption he was seeing at his precinct. In response to those complaints, he was demoted to desk duty, and eventually had his apartment raided by fellow officers who were claiming he was suicidal, which they used as justification to commit him to a local hospital on an involuntary six-day hold, during which they described him as "express[ing] questionable paranoid ideas of conspiracy and cover-ups going [on] in the precinct. Since then, he started collecting 'evidence' to 'prove his point' and became suspicious 'They are after him.'" Thankfully, he recorded a lot of material to back up his allegations, including setting up two recorders in his apartment just before they raided it - they found one, but he was able to turn the other over to reporters.
  • This idea was partly invoked during the controversial Rosenhan Experiment, a study conducted between 1969 and 1972 by psychologist and Stanford University professor David Rosenhan to challenge the validity of psychiatric diagnosis and the nature of hospital admission: he and eight collaborators approached various mental hospitals claiming to be hearing voices and experiencing other hallucinations, with the intent of getting themselves admitted and diagnosed as having various mental psychoses. Once there, they promptly stopped pretending to experience any symptoms, and the study reports that they took anywhere from 7 to 52 days before the hospitals would let them go (reportedly, none of the "pseudopatients" were recognized as fakes), with some of the longer-lasting experiences being described as especially oppressive, abusive, and effectively requiring them to identify as having mental illness to be considered "cooperative". This experiment did provoke some interest in reforming mental institutions and diagnostics to be less draconian (it's cited as having motivated a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the ever-evolving medical standard on abnormal psychology in America), but it's also been criticized for being built entirely on a bad-faith approach — critics citing how if a patient comes up to a doctor claiming to have a mental problem and requesting help, a good doctor is going to take the patient's word for it and keep them committed for as long as necessary based on what kind of problems they're diagnosed with, and that the experiment only proves that it's possible to deceive doctors by lying to them — with others going so far as to call the whole experiment a hoax, having found inconsistencies and false quotations in the original article, as well as serious difficulties in confirming that anyone other than Hosenhan was actually involved in the experiment.


Video Example(s):


There Really Is A Bart?!

After Homer is institutionalized due to a misunderstanding, the diagnosing doctor is shocked to hear from Marge that 'Bart' isn't a figment of Homer's imagination, but rather their son.

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Main / RealAfterAll

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