Download e-book for kindle: PUSHBUTTON PSYCHIATRY: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF ELECTRIC SHOCK by Timothy W Kneeland

By Timothy W Kneeland

This quantity uncovers the roots of electroshock in the United States, an outgrowth of western patriarchal medication with basically lady sufferers. The authors hint the heritage of electroshock within the usa in 3 ancient levels: from an enthusiastic reception in 1940, to a interval of obstacle within the Nineteen Sixties, to its resurgence after 1980. Early American experiments with electric drugs also are tested, whereas the improvement of electroshock in the United States is taken into account in the course of the lens of social, political, and monetary elements. The revival of electroshock in fresh many years is located to be a manufactured from turning out to be materialism in American psychiatry and the political and monetary realities of controlled treatment. the recent fabric within the up to date Paperback variation describes the resurgence of electroshock within the deepest psychiatric area as a remedy of selection for depression.

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Extra info for PUSHBUTTON PSYCHIATRY: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY IN AMERICA, UPDATED PAPERBACK EDITION

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On the list of twenty electrical wonders displayed by Ebenezer Kinnersley in Boston in 1751 was “The Salute repulsed by Ladies Fire; or Fire darting from a Lady’s Lips, so she may defy any person to salute her” (Morse, 1934: 369). During the Abbe Nollet’s journey through Italy “to rout out quacks and fakers,” Veratti electrified a young woman for Nollet and his companion, a cardinal. She did not perform as advertised. Veratti’s explanation of the failure must have piqued their curiosity: “ ‘Monsignors,’ he said to the cardinal, ‘it is because we could not electrify her in your presence as she should be electrified’ ” (quoted in Heilbron, 1979: 354).

By November 1756, Wesley had purchased an electrical “apparatus” from Ben Franklin, and had opened a clinic (eventually he had three) for the provision of electrical treatment to the poor of London (Wesley, 1958). As a cleric, Wesley was interested in the relationship of electricity to the divine. Like many eighteenth-century thinkers (and their predecessors), he came close to identifying electricity with the life force, and with God and the universe. In an oft-quoted passage, he referred to electricity as: the general instrument of all the Motion in the Universe.

The Abbe Nollet traveled from France to Italy to investigate Pivati’s claims, finding them to be invalid although perhaps not deliberately fraudulent (Rowbottom 8 The Electrotherapeutic Origins of Pushbutton Psychiatry and Susskind, 1984: 18). Despite the aura of potential quackery, physicians, electricians, and others continued to experiment with medical electricity throughout the century. Electrical physicians staked their claim to legitimacy on the grounds of diagnostic expertise, which could be acquired only through medical education.

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