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Transcript

Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy

Insulin Shock

Lobotomies

Hydrotherapy

The nineteenth-century brought ideas about the care and treatment of the mentally ill. These ideas, soon to be called “moral treatment,” promised a cure for mental illnesses to those who sought treatment in a very new kind of institution—an “asylum.”

Excruciating Therapies

The History of the

Psychiatric Medications

  • Doctors administered drugs such as opium and morphine, both of which carried side effects and the risk of addiction. Toxic mercury was used to control mania. Barbiturates put patients into a deep sleep thought to improve their madness. Chloral hydrate came of use in the 1950s, but like the drugs before it, it had side effects, including psychotic episodes.

Psychiatric Medications

Around the same time, doctors overseas performed the first lobotomies. The practice was brought to the United States thanks to Walter Freeman, who began experimenting with lobotomies in the mid-1940s, which required damaging neural connections in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain thought to cause mental illness.The problem was, lobotomies didn’t just stop bad behaviors. They damaged people’s memories and personalities, which even Freeman admitted: “Every patient probably loses something by this operation, some spontaneity, some sparkle, some flavor of the personality.”

Lobotomies

Brought to the United States by Manfred Sakel, a German neurologist, insulin shock therapy injected high levels of insulin into patients to cause convulsions and a coma. After several hours, the living dead would be revived from the coma, and thought cured of their madness.

Insulin Shock Therapy

This therapy proved to be a popular technique. Warm, or more commonly, cold water, allegedly reduced agitation, particularly for those experiencing manic episodes. People were either submerged in a bath for hours at a time, mummified in a wrapped “pack,” or sprayed with a deluge of shockingly cold water in showers. Asylums also relied heavily on mechanical restraints, using straight jackets, manacles, waistcoats, and leather wristlets, sometimes for hours or days at a time. Doctors claimed restraints kept patients safe, but as asylums filled up, the use of physical restraint was more a means of controlling overcrowded institutions.

Hydrotherapy

Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy

(ECT for short) is a treatment that involves sending an electric current through your brain. This causes a brief surge of electrical activity within your brain (also known as a seizure). The aim is to relieve severe symptoms of some mental health problems.Types of non-convulsive electric shock therapy can be traced back as early as the 1st century A.D., when, according to de Young, “the malaise and headaches of the Roman emperor Claudius were treated by the application of a torpedo fish — better known as an electric ray — on his forehead.” But their heydey in treating mental illness began in 1938.