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Fig 6.17 – ECT Shock Therapy

Text: Page 238

When ECT became widely used in American state mental institutions in the 1940s, there was concern that the damage to the brain was of greater magnitude than insulin and Metrazol therapies. Psychiatry, somewhat ambivalent about those concerns, began to endorse the medical concept of “decortication.” Psychiatrists reasoned that the positive impact of causing disorientation, amnesia, and trauma to the brain to calm the patient outweighed the negative impact of damage to the cerebral cortex. The “decortication” theory proved to be very wrong.

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