Mental Ills and Bodily Cures: Psychiatric Treatment in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Mental Ills and Bodily Cures: Psychiatric Treatment in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

by Joel Braslow
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520205472

ISBN-13: 9780520205475

Pub. Date: 10/06/1997

Publisher: University of California Press


Mental Ills and Bodily Cures depicts a time when psychiatric medicine went to lengths we now find extreme and perhaps even brutal ways to heal the mind by treating the body. From a treasure trove of California psychiatric hospital records, including many verbatim transcripts of patient interviews, Joel Braslow masterfully reconstructs the world of mental…  See more details below

Overview


Mental Ills and Bodily Cures depicts a time when psychiatric medicine went to lengths we now find extreme and perhaps even brutal ways to heal the mind by treating the body. From a treasure trove of California psychiatric hospital records, including many verbatim transcripts of patient interviews, Joel Braslow masterfully reconstructs the world of mental patients and their doctors in the first half of the twentieth century. Hydrotherapy, sterilization, electroshock, lobotomy, and clitoridectomy—these were among the drastic somatic treatments used in these hospitals.

By allowing the would-be healers and those in psychological and physical distress to speak for themselves, Braslow captures the intense and emotional interplay surrounding these therapies. His investigation combines revealing clinical detail with the immediacy of "being there" in the institutional setting while decisions are made, procedures undertaken, and results observed by all those involved. We learn how well-intentioned physicians could rationalize and regard as therapeutic treatments that often had dreadful consequences, and how much the social and cultural world is inscribed within the practice of biological psychiatry. The book will interest historians of medicine, practicing psychiatrists, and everyone who knows or has seen what it's like to be in mental distress.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520205475
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/06/1997
Series:
Medicine and Society Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Psychiatric Body1
1Institutional Therapy: Context, Background, Structure14
2Discipline or Therapy: Patients, Doctors, and Somatic Remedies in the Early Twentieth Century33
3In the Name of Therapeutics: Sexual Sterilization as Psychic Cure54
4Neurosyphilis, Malaria, and a New Therapeutic Rationale71
5Where the Mind Ends and the Body Begins: The Practices of Electroconvulsive Therapy95
6Surgery as Discipline: Lobotomy at Stockton State Hospital125
7Discipline Gendered: Women and the Practice of Lobotomy152
Conclusion171
Notes177
References215
Index233

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