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My 10 Days in the Insane Asylum

The day it accepted its first 39 patients, it was known as the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum. (Today, of course, we’d call it a mental health facility but back then they used the term “insane asylum.”)

That was 1885.

In those days, there were a myriad of reasons someone might spend time at the insane asylum. You might actually be mentally ill and need a place to recover. Many of the drugs used today to treat mental illness didn’t exist, so care took time and patience.

But there were other reasons you might check in. In those days if you had a death in the family and were grieving you might check into the insane asylum. You might be going through a nasty divorce and want a place to go stay while you sort out your life. If your business had failed and it took a toll on you emotionally, you might spend months or even years at the insane asylum.

I only checked in for 10 days. For a vacation.

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