Insane Asylums were not meant for torture. They were meant for curing mental illnesses. People often mistake the treatments they used back then as torture because the psychologists back then believed that they were helping cure them by using very physical damaging procedures. For example, people were often shocked in order to help treat with psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It was believed that the shock could help cure these patients by sometimes inducing seizures so that the person could not remember what had happened before it. It would sort of brainwash the patient. Another thing that they would do as a last resort was brain surgery. A frontal lobotomy is still a fairly common form of psychological brain surgery that is still performed today. Although today it is done much more precisely and carefully. The way they perform this surgery is by cutting holes in through the skull of the patient. Back in the 30’s and 40’s, the surgeon would stick two metal rodes in through the holes and scrape away at the brain. It was believed that this front part of the brain is what had caused certain disorders and they believed that by damaging this part of the brain with two metal rods was the best way to get rid of the disorders. Thousands of these surgeries were performed for even the most mild mental disorders. It was believed that the surgeries were an easy cure for anything from mild depression to schizophrenia. All they were really doing was damaging the brain and although the person would often be cured of their mental disorder, they were often not able to do many other things after the surgery such as walk or even talk. It was a big price to pay and thankfully all of those treatments have been researched much further today and are much safer and more controlled.
I am a psychology student at Fordham University
Does this picture remind you of something? Maybe an AA Meeting…just saying…