Mysteries of Mental Illness Documentary Series Overview (2021)


Mysteries of Mental Illness explores the story of mental illness in science and society. The four-part series traces the evolution of this complex topic from its earliest days to present times. It explores dramatic attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness and gives voice to contemporary Americans across a spectrum of experiences.


The attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness, including its causes and treatments.

Throughout history to today, we have continued to grapple with deceptively simple questions about mental health: what is mental illness? From where does it come? And how can it be treated?

Around one in four people suffer from mental illness; an American is more likely to need services from psychiatry than from any other medical specialty. Yet a diagnosis of a mental disorder still carries a stigma that a heart condition or other physical ailment does not, largely because mental illness has been so poorly understood for so long.

Many Americans’ diagnoses have grown more acute during the coronavirus pandemic, and people who had been previously undiagnosed – including many who remain so – are now suffering for the first time from depression and other illnesses that have been exacerbated by the present-day crises. One of the most critical barriers to treatment is the stigma of mental illness.

Mysteries of Mental Illness Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Peter Yost … (4 episodes, 2021).
  • Producer(s):
    • Alex T. Ostroff … associate producer (4 episodes, 2021).
    • Peter Yost … producer (4 episodes, 2021).
    • Anna Auster … co-producer (2 episodes, 2021).
  • Writer(s):
    • Peter Yost … (4 episodes, 2021).
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
    • Tom Bergmann … (4 episodes, 2021).
  • Editor(s):
    • Anna Auster … (4 episodes, 2021).
  • Production:
    • GBH.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (2021) (USA) (TV).
  • Release Date: 22 June 2021 to 23 June 2022.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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