Encyclopedia of Asylum Therapeutics, 1750–1950s


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About the Book

The mentally ill have always been with us, but once confined in institutions their treatment has not always been of much interest or concern. This work makes a case for why it should be. Using published reports, studies, and personal narratives of doctors and patients, this book reveals how therapeutics have always been embedded in their particular social and historical moment, and how they have linked extant medical knowledge, practitioner skill and the expectations of patients who experienced their own disorders in different ways. Asylum therapeutics during three centuries are detailed in encyclopedic entries, including “awakening” patients with firecrackers, easing brain congestion by bleeding, extracting teeth and excising parts of the colon, dousing with water, raising or lowering body temperature, shocking with electricity or toxins, and penetrating the brain with ice picks.

About the Author(s)

Mary de Young, a professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University, lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Mary de Young
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 376
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6897-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1788-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi

Preface  1

The Entries

Awakenings  5

Bed Therapy  7

Cerebral Stimulation (Psychic Stimulation)  13

Color Cure (Chromotherapy, Colorology)  22

Counterirritation  26

Deep Sleep Therapy (Prolonged Narcosis, Prolonged Sleep, Continuous Sleep)  44

Depletive Therapy (“Heroic Therapy,” Antiphlogistic Therapy, “Rush’s System”)  52

Diet  71

Electrotherapy  82

Etherization  96

Exodontia  98

Expressive Therapy  101

Fever Therapy (Pyrotherapy, Pyretotherapy)  120

Fixing (The Eye, Catching the Eye, the Gaze, the Clinical Gaze)  137

Forced Feeding (Forced Alimentation, Gavage)  141

Genital Surgery  152

Hydrotherapy (Hydropathy)  164

Hypothermia (Cold Narcosis, Refrigeration Therapy, Frozen Sleep)  188

Isolation  191

Masks, Gags and Toggles  205

Mechanical Restraints  208

Metallotherapy (Metalloscopy, Burquism)  239

Moral Treatment (Moral Management, Moral Therapy)  242

Organotherapy (Opotherapy, Séquardotherapy, Histotherapy, Zootherapy, Materia Medica Animalis)  254

Orthomolecular Therapy  261

Ovarian Compression  264

Phototherapy (Light Therapy)  267

Pious Frauds (Salutary Demonstrations, Innocent Ruses, Curative Ruses, Suggestive Therapies)  270

Psychic Driving, Accelerated Psychotherapy, or Automated Psychotherapy  275

Psychosurgery  277

Rotation, Oscillation and Vibration  295

Salutary Fear  306

Shock Therapy (Convulsive Therapy)  322

Surgery  346

Total Push  351

Index  355

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fascinating…thorough and comprehensive research. Both engrossing and informative”—Against the Grain
  • “Fascinating…a history of psychiatry, as seen through the eyes of a sociologist who has researched primary sources extensively and parlayed that data into highly readable, sometimes even poetic, prose. Everything is interesting…this book contains many fascinating factoids”—Metapsychology Online Reviews
  • “Essays are descriptive and scholarly…Students, researchers and instructors studying the history of psychology and related fields would likely find this resource of interest. Its narrative style and documented research take this reference text beyond a simple timeline of treatments toward a turn in a direction of scholarship.”—Reference Reviews