Sometimes, I marvel at the things we try in our attempts to make everyone “normal” in life. The latest thing I’ve chuckled over is electroshock, just because I wonder how the idea that this would help someone ever came up. Specifically, this bit on electric shock being used to treat the insane at Modern Mechanix (from the way back in November 1940 issue of Popular Science) made me think about this.
Insane Patients Helped by Electric Shock Treatment
Fighting insanity with electric shock is the most dramatic recent advance in the field of medicine. At the New York State Psychiatric Institute, in. New York City, seemingly hopeless cases of the most common forms of insanity, schizophrenia and dementia praecox, have been shocked back to apparent mental health by the new treatment. Electrodes, at the ends of a caliperlike instrument, are placed just in front of the ears on the patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head. From seventy to 100 volts of current pass through his brain. The result is a violent convulsion resembling an epileptic seizure.
In some cases, a single electric shock achieves what seems to be a medical miracle, restoring the patient to sanity. Previously, insulin, snake venom, and metrazol, have been used to produce shock. The electric treatment is painless, leaves no after effects, and costs less than shock-producing drugs.
[tags]Modern Mechanix, Insane patients helped by electric shock[/tags]