Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History and American Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Ferrell, Claudine

First Advisor

McClurken, Jeffrey

Major or Concentration



This paper studies all eleven seasons of the hit television show M*A*S*H (1972-1973) and examines how the portrayal of mental health changed in the show’s plotlines in response to changing guidelines and mental health policy in the 1970s and early 1980s. This study focuses on the association of mental illness with homosexuality, the changes made to the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the 1970s and early 1980s, the rise and fall of mental health policies from the Kennedy Administration to the Reagan Administration, and the portrayal of several pertinent mental conditions, such as combat-related trauma, PTSD, repressed memories, phobias, and stress-induced drug use.