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

ISBN-10: 0520205472
ISBN-13: 9780520205475
Edition: 1997
Authors: Joel Braslow
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/6/1997
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 6.18" wide x 9.29" long x 0.87" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.

Figures
Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Psychiatric Body
Institutional Therapy: Context, Background, Structure
Discipline or Therapy: Patients, Doctors, and Somatic Remedies in the Early Twentieth Century
In the Name of Therapeutics: Sexual Sterilization as Psychic Cure
Neurosyphilis, Malaria, and a New Therapeutic Rationale
Where the Mind Ends and the Body Begins: The Practices of Electroconvulsive Therapy
Surgery as Discipline: Lobotomy at Stockton State Hospital
Discipline Gendered: Women and the Practice of Lobotomy
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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