Friday, April 19, 2019

Quora Question: Did some husbands in the 1950's really get their wives lobotomized?

From someone on Quora:  Did some husbands in the 1950's really get their wives lobotomized?

Yes, they did.  Men who were psychiatrists (meaning they are an M.D.) had the authority to have anyone committed to a mental institution against their will, and to be medicated against their will.  The treatments in the mental hospital could, and often did, include a lobotomy.  Electroshock therapy was also popular.

Once the woman was quiescent (for whatever reason) she would have to institutionalized somewhere, and the institution could be out of state, nor did the name have to be revealed to anyone, including her relatives and children.

The most recent study that I’m aware of took place in the late 1970s.  Three psychology doctoral students checked themselves into a mental institution.  Upon arrival, they were assured they could leave anytime they wanted to - which was a lie.  After a few weeks the experiment was revealed to the staff and the doctors, and the three were diagnosed as being delusional.  It was only until they admitted to hearing voices when they checked in, but had been cured and no longer heard any voices that they were released.

Under the right circumstances, this scenario can still happen today.  I know of one case where a man was hospitalized and treated for 27 years, until someone finally discovered he didn’t speak any English; I gather his first language was an obscure Slavic dialect.  In another case a borderline developmentally challenged woman has hospitalized, and on her first night in the hospital her roommate murdered her.  The murder was never investigated, nor was the perpetrator charged.

Mental health workers are only too happy to declare someone to be a danger to themselves (suicidal) or a danger to others.  The fact that these statements are all opinion and a pack of lies has nothing to do with what happens next, which is hospitalization on the psyche unit and appropriate medication to keep the person quiet.  With HIPAA laws the way they are, it’s as bad today as it ever was.  Your spouse, child, or relative may be incarcerated in a mental institution, and no one at that institution will even admit he’s a patient there.

The only real hope anyone has of getting out before permanent damage is done to them is if a judge intervenes, and it should be a Federal judge.  Other than that, a person can try an actual escape (as in a jail break), but you’d better have someone to help you once you’re out.  Meanwhile, get in line for the shock shop.


CWMartin said...

As we learned watching Laurie's series dvd, Jim Rockford can get them out as well.

Glen Filthie said...

Hmmmmm. It seems a great way to contain those that you don’t wish to kill. Real loons constitutes a huge majority of street people. Nobody cares when they die....

Mad Jack said...

CW: I like the Rockford files, although the last season wasn't all that great.

Glen: You got that right. These people just vanished into a system that was fool proof. Unless you had a Federal judge to help you, you were truly up against it.