Depression In The 1800s

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Throughout the nation and our world people are suffering from this disease. Depression effects people of both genders, all ages, and any background. The history of mental illness, specifically depression were extremely helpful in today’s treatment and diagnosis. We know that all individuals are different and because of this, we can assume that each case of mental illness, more specifically depression, is unique in its own way as well. One treatment that is very effective for one person may not be equally as effective in a similar case simply because of the differences in patients. History, types of depression, symptoms, and treatments are all equally important in finding ways to help one who is suffering from depression. As we look back in…show more content…
Because of this, the common thought was that affected people should be looked down upon or locked up. Consequently, most people with mental illnesses became homeless and poor, and many were committed to institutions called asylums (“Depression: Depression & Related Conditions,” n.d.). During the late 1700s and early 1800s, there were a variety of complex explanations for depression. People were unsure of what depression was, and for that reason, there were several attempts to try to explain what it was, although many had no idea (“Depression: Depression & Related Conditions,” n.d.). Some doctors and authors at this time suggested that aggression was the real cause of depression. They recommended exercise, music, drugs and diet as treatments to try to relieve some of the aggression one had in their body. These doctors believed if they could reduce the aggression one had, then eventually they will get rid of the problem. Doctors also stressed the importance of discussing problems with a close friend or a doctor, almost like today’s common treatment, talk therapy. They believe that if you talked about everything you were feeling, you would eventually stop feeling these kinds of feelings. Others thought that depression was caused by an internal conflict between unacceptable impulses and a person 's conscience…show more content…
This included water immersion, which involved keeping people under water for as long as possible without drowning them. It also included a special spinning stool to cause dizziness in order to rearrange the contents of the brain into the correct positions. It was thought that if you mixed up the parts of the brain by spinning it, then they would move around into the correct position, curing one’s depression. Horseback riding, special diets, enemas and vomiting were also recommended treatments (“Depression: Depression & Related Conditions,” n.d.). Beidel, Bulik, and Stanley, 2014 stated, treatments during the late 1800s and early 1900s were usually not adequate for people with severe depression. Because of this, many people became desperate and were treated with a surgery called lobotomy, which is the surgical destruction of the prefrontal lobe of a person 's brain. This had become popular as a "calming" treatment at this time. Lobotomies were often tremendously unsuccessful, and frequently caused personality changes, the inability to make decisions, and poor judgment. In the worst cases, they sometimes lead to a coma or even death (p.13-14). Electroconvulsive therapy, which is when electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally causing a momentary seizure, was used as treatment for people with depression but not as often as lobotomies at this time. In the 1940s and 1950s chemists
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