A Quick Holiday Mental Health Quiz

John McManamy Health Guide
  • A few years ago, at our local NAMI, as part of our holiday pot luck, I emcee’d a quiz night. This involved general knowledge, but I also included ten mental health questions. Let’s see how you do? (Answers further below.) ...


    1 What did John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and LBJ have in common? 


    2 The Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem, founded in 1247, later to become Bethlehem Royal Hospital for treating lunatics, is more commonly known by this name.


    3 Hippocrates and the ancient Greeks referred “the four humors” or "temperaments". One of them literally means "black bile." Name the temperament.

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    4 What did Christopher Columbus, Michelangelo, and Isaac Newton have in common? 


    5 Emil Kraepelin back in the early 20th century described a condition he called “dementia praecox." Today, we know dementia praecox as ...


    6 Between 1907 and 1939, more than 30,000 individuals with mental illness in the US were subjected to this procedure.


    7 The 1949 Nobel Prize in Medicine went to António Egas Moniz for developing this treatment of the mentally ill. 


    8 NAMI was founded by parents who got sick of being blamed for their kids' mental illness. Psychiatry even had a label for these horrible parents. Name the label. 


    9 Robert Spitzer, the most influential psychiatrist you never heard of, is the man responsible for the modern version of this text, which we quote from all the time. 


    10 Eric Kandel, Arvid Carlsson, and Paul Greengard shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning "signal transduction in the nervous system." This is a fancy name for brain cells talking to each other. What's the scientific name for brain cell?


    Answers ...


    1 US Presidents with mood disorders. Their legacies fully document the assets of living with depression or bipolar, as well as the liabilities. For more on the topic, check out this President’s Day Special of mine.


    2 Bedlam. Many would argue that psychiatry, not to mention society, still resides in the middle ages.


    3 Melancholia. The others were sanguine, choleric, and phlegmatic, all having to do with the balance or imbalance of particular body fluids.  


    4 Bipolar. We bring humanity the gift of civilization, not to mention discover America, and how do they treat us? That's right. They marginalize us.


    5 Schizophrenia. Kraepelin also coined the term manic-depression. His separation of the two illnesses gave psychiatry a basic navigational system.


    6 Sterilization. The procedure accorded with mainstream social Darwinist thinking at the time, and was upheld by the US Supreme Court. Hitler later took up the practice, en route to his final solution. 


    7 The prefrontal lobotomy. Yes, seriously. Someone actually received a Nobel Prize for this.


    8 Schizophrenogenic. As late as the 1970’s bad parenting was believed to be the cause of schizophrenia. Mothers, in particular, were singled out for abuse by the psychiatric profession.


  • 9 DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Back in 1980, the publication of the DSM-III represented a major advance in diagnostic psychiatry. These days, critics from many quarters are questioning the relevance of its latest iteration, the DSM-5. For more, check out my post, RIP Diagnostic Psychiatry.

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    10 Neuron. Sort of a trick question. Ignore all that “signal transduction business" and focus on the actual question. Easy answer, right? But you had to use your neurons.


    Grading your answers ...


    Zero to three correct: You have your priorities right. Good for you.


    Four to seven correct: You’re probably normal, but - just so long as you know - normal is seriously overrated.


    Eight to ten correct: You really need to get out of the house. That’s me talking to me. Time for a walk. 

Published On: December 08, 2014