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

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