My daughter has to do rotations at London hospitals as part of her training. The other week she told me she was studying schizophrenia -- part of this training was going to Broadmoor Prison and talking to relevant prisoners there.
Then she told me she was going to Bedlam, the old insane asylum in London.
The word bedlam, meaning uproar and confusion, is derived from its name. Although the hospital is now at the forefront of humane psychiatric treatment, for much of its history it was notorious for cruelty and inhumane treatment – the epitome of what the term "madhouse" connotes to the modern reader.
I was excited that she got to go to places I'd only read about. I don't know what I was thinking as it's not like it used to be in Victorian times, and I'm sure there's no gift shop where Katie could buy me a 'I'm crazy about Bedlam' t-shirt.