Insane Asylums in the 19th and 20th Century

Electro Shock Therapy

by on Feb.20, 2014, under Uncategorized

electro shock therapy

Here, we have an image of a patient  of the Karl-Bonhoeffer-Nevenklinik getting some electro shock therapy in the 1930s.

(Jordyn’s Perspective) While I was looking more into this image, I noticed that the source i got it never gave us the information about why he was being given this kind of therapy. So it got into my head, why would they be giving him electro shock therapy? What led the doctors into thinking that this would help cure a mental disorder of any type? What were the typical illnesses that were “treated” with electro shock therapy? As I took a closer look at this image, I noticed how much pain and fear are etched into his face. Look closely at his mouth. See the item he is biting down on? It could’ve been put there for many reasons, one would be to bite down on when they shocked him to “help with the pain”. Another reason for it being there probably would’ve been for the technicality of the shock. If you have even been to the dentist’s office to get some x-rays, they put a piece of plastic in your mouth to separate your jaw from the rest of your head. My guess is that the same idea applies with electro shock therapy since they both use some type of electro shock, even if they are for two totally different uses. I can’t imagine what kind of pain this would cause. It irritates me that people would use this to “treat” mental illnesses, I mean, what kind of person sees a mentally ill person and says, “Hey! I have a great idea! Let’s attempt cure this crazy person by sending high voltages of electricity into their brain!” It makes me even more angry when you realize that most of these poor people weren’t even crazy.

(Meghan’s perspective) This kinda scares me. Who came up with the idea of sending a high electric SHOCK through someones BRAIN? Then he has something with a rope going through it in his mouth. Wont that get effected by the electricity? Would these shocks effect the rest of their body? I cant imagine the pain these people are felling at this point.

(Jenny’s perspective) Why would someone come up with electric shock therapy? Its crazy! I mean I don’t even know what to say about this. i cant even imagine what they went through. the pain must have been bad if they have something in their mouth!

:,

2 Comments for this entry

  • Inloes, Terri

    I do love the humor!
    You probably can find the reasoning behind using electroshock therapy!
    Have you found any information about Dr. Benjamin Rush?

    • Dietz, Jordyn

      He was the first one that thought that mental illness was a disease of the mind and not “demon possession”. He created theories that mental illness was caused by inflammation of the brain. He made the Tranquilizing Chair that was supposed to control the blood flow to the brain; which essentially did nothing to cure patients. He also believed that bleeding and purging patients was a good cure too. But I think we both know how useless those cures tended to be, especially during the Yellow Fever outbreak.

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