1. Electroconvulsive Therapy
More commonly known as electroshock, this method of treatment was just what it sounded like: the mental patient would be restrained by a series of straps - and often a full team of medical assistants - while hundreds of volts of electricity were passed through his or her brain. A large percentage of those treated experienced significant memory loss.
The practice of trepanning, or trepanation is a practice that is said t go back as far as the prehistoric times. Simply put, it is the practice of drilling a hole or a series of holes in a patient’s skull in order to release whatever evils might lie within.
The concept of water therapy might conjure some more relaxing thoughts nowadays but in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, hydrotherapy wasn’t quite so pleasant. Patients were often strapped to the inside of bathtubs or wrapped tightly in cloths, then subjected to violent water jets as a means of sedation.
4. Insuline Shock Therapy
In the early 1920’s, Doctor Manfred Sakel pioneered the idea of therapy through induced coma. Schizophrenic and other mental patients were injected with high doses of insuline in order to put them in a coma, which Sakel believed they emerged from cured.
For over two decades in the 20th century, doctors believe that physical removing the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex would cure mental patients. The procedure was sometimes performed simply by inserting a sharp object - called an Orbitoclast - through a patient’s nose, then hitting it with a mallet to reach its intended target.
Austrian physician Julius Wagner-Jauregg was known to sterilize patients who he believed had developed schizophrenia because of excessive masturbation.
7. Malaria Injections
Before much simpler cures were discovered, patients with Neurosyphilis were injected with the Malaria, which raised their temperature to extremes and in turn killed the Syphilis virus.
8. Organ Removal
Dr. Henry Cotton, an early 20th century psychiatrist, believed that mental disorders were caused by bacteria inside the body. His solution? Removing entire organs that were infected by madness. Needless to say, few survived the process.
9. Restraint In Utica Cribs
One of the cruelest instruments of restraint, the Utica Crib, was a coffin-sized cage in which unruly patients were placed until they were sedated.
10. Sleep Deprivation
In certain hospitals like the Camarillo Mental Hospital here pictures, overcrowding led to patients being lined up to sleep sitting up. Alternately, some believed that sleep deprivation could help in the treatment of depression.