8 Horrific ‘Cures’ for Mental Illness Through the Ages

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If it was not already clear to the general public, the recent suicide of comedian Robin Williams took home the point: mental illness can be devastating. Almost it is not limited to people who sometimes see on the street railing against the apparent voices in their heads, or obsessive-compulsive characters in television shows like “Monk”. It is widespread and debilitating and can kill. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 17 Americans, including children, are serious mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress. That is 6% of the population, nearly 2 million people.

In any 1 in 4 American adults given year suffer some form of mental health problem. The USA. Surgeon General reported that 1 in 10 children suffer some form of mental illness, disrupting family life and school around them. Mental illness is responsible for 4 out of 10 cases of disability in the country. It often affects adolescents and young adults, and the cost to society is enormous, more than $ 100 billion a year in the US only, disability, unemployment, drug abuse, suicide, homelessness, and incarceration in prison.

And yet, in fact, as bad as things are, we live in the best case for mental illness. The medical community is beginning to understand the causes of mental disorders, often imbalances in brain chemistry, and is rapidly developing drug treatments to address them. In combination with therapy and interpersonal peer group behavior, together with early identification of problems, up to 90% of patients with mental illness can be helped significantly. The stigma of mental illness is eroding the slowdown away because we recognize that this is a disease, like diabetes, cancer and other diseases, and is not the result of weakness of character or lack of willpower.

Historically, mental illness is treated very differently. People looked to mental illness as distinct from the disease, and tried to eliminate the problem of horrible ways. Here are eight treatments for mental illness that not only do not cure or help the sick, but probably even more traumatized.

1. The trepanation

The trepanation is boring a hole in the skull. Already in the Neolithic era ago, about 7000 years, and as recently as today to a small number of strangers and misguided practice of trepanation has been used to “cure” mental illness. Thousands of years ago, having no knowledge of things like brain chemistry, ancient physicians (imprecise definition, for lack of a better term) believed that the mentally ill were possessed by demons running around in our heads. What better way to get rid of the demons that by giving them a way out? And so the holes were drilled in the skull of the patient so that the spirits could escape. Did I mention that there was no anesthetic at that time? Archaeologists have found a lot of ancient skulls with holes cut into them carefully.

2. Hydrotherapy

No, we’re not talking about a relaxing bath to soothe the nerves. In the early 20th century, psychiatrists use a variety of water treatments for the treatment of patients with mental disorders. Some were quite harmless, like hot baths or invigorating shower. Some treatments, however, limits the submarine Cheney-esque. Treatment of patients was as wrapped in towels soaked in ice water mummies. Another “cure” took a relaxing bath at the ends of fear, strips and contain the patients in the bathtub, sometimes for days at a time, allowing escape just to go to the bathroom. jets of high-pressure water are also used, and in at least one case of a patient was involved in a crucifix position and a fire hose turned against him. Hopefully it was better than traditional crucifixions.

3. chemically induced seizures

Here’s one that worked! More or less. A pathologist named Ladislaus von Meduna noted that, following seizures, epilepsy appeared calm and even happy. From this he deduced that by inducing convulsions in schizophrenics that could soothe their symptoms and perhaps even cure them. After experimenting with drugs such as strychnine and absinthe, he settled on a drug called metrazol, which stimulates the circulatory and respiratory systems and caused convulsions. It seemed to work. Most patients Meduna seemed to improve, at least according Meduna. Seizures may release chemicals that were absent in the schizophrenic brain, triggering improvements. Moreover, side effects such as memory loss and broken bones were not exactly minor, and treatment was abandoned.

4. Hysteria therapy

The ancient Greeks may have established Western culture, but they had a strange way to treat mental diseases. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine (doctors today still recite the Hippocratic oath) popularized the term “hysteria” to describe any type of mental illness suffered by women. The hysteria was diagnosed for anything from nervousness to pass out to just talk not enough. The cause, according to Hippocrates, was a “wandering womb.” The philosopher Plato said that when the uterus, “remains long unfruitful beyond its proper time, discontent and angry sets and walks in all directions through the body, closes the passages of breathing, and, by obstructing the breathing, that drives women to the extremities. “

in order to calm the fractious uterus, patients were forced to inhale malodorous substances bearing the uterus wherever was kicking up a storm in the body . Of course, the real cure for female mental illness was getting settled in the uterus doing what I was there for. Women needed to marry and start having babies.

5. The mesmerism

Franz Mesmer was an Austrian doctor back in Perhaps the most known as the father of hypnosis 18th and early 19th centuries, Mesmer also had an interesting theory about mental illness: blame it on the moon. Mesmer was convinced that the gravitational pull of the moon, much that affected the tides of the Earth, also affected body fluids. intermittent episodes of depression and schizophrenia rose and fell like the ocean tides, such as body fluids were being implemented by the gravity of the moon. The solution was to counteract gravity with other forces: the magnets. By placing the magnets in various parts of the body, she felt Mesmer body fluids were redistributed and mental balance was restored. Although many of the patients claimed Mesmer therapy cure them, medical authorities dismissed as ineffective mesmerism, and positive results are attributed to the placebo effect.

6. The rotation therapy

Charles Darwin has its unshakable place in intellectual history. Darwin’s grandfather also has a place, even though it was not perhaps the giant science was Charles. Erasmus Darwin was a doctor, a scientist and a philosopher. By many accounts it was wrong of all of them. His rise to fame was the rotation therapy. It is believed that the disease could be cured by sleep. And I thought to revolve around the patient induced sleep very quickly. Needless to say therapy Erasmo was dismissed, but not before Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the founders of America and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, adopted its rotation therapy for the purpose of curing the disease mental. Rush believes that mental illness was caused by cerebral congestion, and spinning would be reduced congestion and cure mental disorder. We can safely assume that the dizziness was the main outcome of their therapy, no cure.

7. Treatment with insulin-coma

Viennese physician Manfred Sakel developed insulin-coma therapy in 1927. Apparently, no special care doctor, who accidentally he gave one of his patients an overdose of insulin, resulting in her falling into a coma. The patient, who was addicted to morphine, coma woke up and found that his addiction was gone. Sakel, being evil doctor who was made the same mistake with another patient who also raised the free addiction. Sensing a trend, Sakel started intentionally induce insulin comas for schizophrenics and other patients, and 90% of them reportedly cured. It is not known why or even if these statements were true, but luckily therapy with insulin-coma finally faded by the 1960s a good thing, because it was a dangerous therapy and 2% of patients were not cured, they died.

8. Lobotomy

And finally, we cure the favorite of all mental illness, lobotomy. Lobotomy was developed by a Portuguese neurosurgeon Egas Moniz called. I had heard that when the frontal lobe of a violent monkey feces-throwing was cut, the monkey became docile and throwing out crap. From this, it is theorized that the frontal lobe was the breeding ground of mental illness and cutting that could cure mental illness. And so he tried in human patients. By its own standards, surgeries were a success, and lobotomies became fashionable. In 1949, Moniz even received the Nobel Prize for his efforts.

In the United States, a certain Dr. Walter Freeman took to the road in their “lobotomobile” and lobotomies fact provided on site for anyone who seemed willing, from schizophrenics housewives boring. His technique was to insert an ice pick into the eye socket and swirl around a piece of “disable” the frontal lobe. an imprecise surgical technique aside, no sterile equipment and there was a problem soon became apparent that multiplies the number of lobotomies. a number of patients are not cured; in fact, they became virtual zombies, unresponsive and lifelong brain damage. This takes quite bad testimony, faded lobotomy medical obscurity.I

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