Mental Illness

The Princess who Swallowed a Glass Piano

Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria was part of the House of Wittelsbach. The princess was frail, and she exhibited unusual behavior. She told her parents that she had swallowed a glass piano as a child, and was afraid that she would shatter.

The Mystic Margery Kempe

Born in the 1300s, Margery had 14 children with her husband before dedicating her life to God. In her 40s, she began a vision-inspired pilgrimage to visit holy sites, and these travels became the basis for her spiritual autobiography,

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother's unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn't her son free her when he came to power?

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as "Juana la Loca." But Juana's mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana's youth, her marriage and more.

When we last left the story of W.C. Minor, he'd fatally shot a man in London. In the conclusion of this episode, Sarah and Deblina look at the events that led Minor to become one of the Oxford English Dictionary's most prolific contributors.

In the first part of this episode, we look at the early days of William Chester Minor. Minor originally studied medicine and served and practiced surgery in the Union Army. Eventually he was committed to a hospital for the insane. But what happened next?

Today, Vincent van Gogh has come to fit our idea of the tortured artist. Aside from his art, he's best known for cutting off his ear and committing suicide. Yet new research debates both of these van Gogh moments. Listen in to learn more about van Gogh.

Mad King Ludwig Dines Alone

From his opulent, solitary dinners to the amazing Neuschwanstein Castle, it's no surprise that King Ludwig II was known as an eccentric. In fact, people thought he was mad. But why? Tune in and learn more about Mad King Ludwig in this podcast.

Nellie Bly & Stunt Journalism

Born in 1864, Nellie Bly wasn't your average journalist -- in fact, she feigned insanity to gain entry into a mental institution. Join Sarah and Katie as they take a closer look at the life of Nellie Bly, America's original stunt journalist.