Rounding out my posts about the causes of lunacy listed in the female case books from Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne, the following were causes given between the years of 1900 and 1910:

 

 

A definite movement from can be seen during the period of 1880 to 1910, from a focus on moral or experiential causes towards a far greater emphasis on physiological ‘reasons’. This reflects the growing medicalisation of insanity that led, in the early 20th century, to Victoria’s asylums being re-titled as Hospitals for the Insane.

The full list of causes can be read under the cut. It is worth noting that some causes, such as ‘alcohol’ or ‘old age’, were cited many times.

 

Absence of Son

Accident

Accident 19 Years Ago

Accident to Head When Young

Alcohol

Alcoholism

Amenorrhoea

Apoplexy

Bad Living

Bodily Disease

Brain Disease

Brain Fever

Bright’s Disease

Brother Leaving Home for Distant Parts

Buggy Accident

Business Worries

Change of Life

Childbirth

Climacteric

Confinement

Congenitial

Congenital Defect

Congenital Predisposition

Convulsion in Infancy

Death of Child

Death of Father

Death of Husband

Death of Mother

Domestic Bereavement

Domestic Trouble

Domestic Worry

Drink

Effects of Irregular Life

Epilepsy

Erysipelas of the Head

Excitement re Getting Married

Exposure to Cold

Family Bereavements

Family Troubles

Father’s Death

Fit

Fright

Frightened by Cattle

Fright from Reading of Sunshine Railway Accident

Going Blind

Grief

Habits of Life

Heart Failure

Heart Weakness

Hemipagia

Hereditary

Hot Weather

Hysteria

Illness

Illtreatment by Husband

Inflammation of Bowels

Injury to Head

Intemperance

Lactation

Living Alone

Lost Her Husband and Two Children

Lowness of System

Masturbation

Mental Anxiety

Mentally Deficient

Miscarriage

Monetary Matters

Mother’s Death

Morphia

Neglect of Food

Nervous Disease

Old Age

Onset of Blindness

Operation for Cancer (of Breast)

Operation Removal of Tumour

Ovarian Trouble
Over Study

Overwork

Paralysis

Paralytic Stroke

Parturition

Post Operation

Pregnancy

Previous Attacks

Privation

Puberty

Puerperal

Puerperal Fever

Religion

Religious Excitement

Religious Mania

Remorse

Run Down in Health

Run Over by Cart When 3 1/2 Years Old

Sedentary Life

Self-Abuse

Semi-starvation

Senile Decay

Senility

Severe Fright

Sexual

Sexual Perversion

Shock

Shock Caused by Death of Mother

Shock from Burns

Shock at Hearing the Woman Next-Door Murdered by Husband

Sickness

Strain of Nursing Sick Mother

Sunstroke

Sunstroke When Young

Suppression of the Menses When Young

Surroundings

Syphilis

Thrombosis Middle Cerebral Artery

Tram Accident 8 Years Ago Injury to Head

Tram Accident About 19 Years Ago

Trouble

Trouble on Account of Death and Sickness

Typhoid Fever when 12 Years

Venereal Disease

Want of Proper Care

Worry

Worry Concerning Sister in Kew Asylum

Worry over Children’s Sickness

Worry over Death of Child

Worry over Eyesight

Worry over Malignant Disease

Worry re Husband’s Desertion of Her

Worrying over Trifles

A Young Man Made Overtures of an Improper Nature to Her Coming Home from a Party