Connect with us

General

The Horror Of Lobotomy – The Ice Pick Cure

Published

on

Psychiatric medicine has come a long way in the 21st century. While the mind still holds many mysteries, at the very least we now have many non-invasive treatments, typically drug therapies but also talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, that bring relief to millions suffering from mental illnesses every year.

Fifty or sixty years ago, however, many of the treatments taken for granted today were not available. Families, caretakers, and patients alike were desperate to find a cure for mysterious mental ailments that seemed to defy all treatment.
This desperation, in many cases, led them to turn to a controversial treatment that today is viewed as barbarous: lobotomy.

Surgery for the soul

A lobotomy is a procedure where the prefrontal cortex’s connections to the rest of the brain are severed. It was intended to ease the symptoms of such severe mental disorders as schizophrenia, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and severe depression.
Research had established that these ailments stemmed from malfunctions in the brain itself, although just how these malfunctions arose was anyone’s guess.
Some claimed the brains of patients suffering from these disorders functioned differently on a fundamental level, that their brains were morphologically different than healthy brains.
Dr. Walter Freeman performs a lobotomy using an instrument similar to an ice pick that he invented for the procedure on July 11, 1949. (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
Another school of thought, the one that informed those who performed lobotomies, believed that the brains of those with mental illness were structurally the same as healthy brains, but that disordered thinking trapped certain neuronal circuits in loops that could only be broken by physically destroying the neurons.
While it’s obvious to the modern observer that this wasn’t the case, we have to remember that the modern diagnostic techniques like fMRI and CT scans didn’t exist at that point in time, so really anyone’s hypothesis could have been correct because there wasn’t any way to tell.
If that sounds like a faulty basis to perform a surgery on…well, it is. Especially a surgery like a lobotomy. Initially, the procedure was performed in an operating room, with the patient under anesthesia. Holes would be drilled into the front and back of the skull, and then alcohol was injected into the front hole to dissolve the white matter.
Horrifying though that is, for Walter Freeman–a lobotomy pioneer–the procedure wasn’t enough. Psychiatric hospitals and asylums were not exactly wealthy institutions, and many lacked the funds or facilities to perform the procedure outlined above.
An outpatient procedure was needed, one that could be performed with little training and relatively simple tools.
Illustration of the prefrontal cortex (highlighted in orange) from Gray’s Anatomy.

The ice-pick cure

Freeman hit on the so-called ice pick lobotomy, known in clinical circles as a suborbital lobotomy, where an instrument that looked like an ice pick (hence the name) was placed into the corner of the eye, then hammered through the back of the skull into the brain.
Then the instrument was twisted around, destroying the prefrontal cortex’s tissue. The instrument was withdrawn and then repeated on the other side.
No anesthesia was necessary, although usually patients were given electroshock therapy to knock them out before the procedure was performed. The surgery took approximately ten minutes.
Sounds pretty awful, right? Awful though it was, for many families this was the only option to attempt to cure their loved ones.
Sadly, in many cases the procedure was forced on people for less noble reasons, as families or caretakers who tired of trying to care for an unruly loved one saw the procedure as a way to make the patient more docile and easier to handle.
For these and other reasons, lobotomy became something of a craze (maybe a poor choice of words) in the fifties and sixties.
In truth, results from the procedure were mixed. There was no real precision involved, as the surgery was essentially performed blind. Some patients saw improvement of symptoms with no significant side effects.
Other patients saw their symptoms become worse, to the point where some became suicidal. Still others reverted back to a child-like mentality where they acted essentially like a full grown toddler.
Some, including John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s sister Rosemary, became little more than vegetables. In all groups, seizures were a common side effect.

End of an era

Lobotomies fell out of vogue with the rise of antipsychotic medications like chlorpromazine, thorazine, and others. These drugs could have similar effects as lobotomies, but with less risk of permanent brain injury or death.
As for Walter Freeman, he continued to champion the procedure even as the psychiatric world moved on. He performed the final lobotomy of his career in February, 1967. His patient was named Helen Mortenson, and she died later of a brain hemorrhage.
A before-and-after photo comparison of a lobotomy patient from the Freeman and Watts collection.
Freeman’s career ended with her death. he spent the rest of his life traveling the country in a camper, trying to reconnect with his former patients, to show that his now-infamous procedure had improved their lives. He died of cancer in 1972.
Today, lobotomies are not performed, although in their place a similar sounding but altogether different procedure has arisen – the loboectomy.
This procedure essentially separates the two hemispheres of the brain, and it is used in severe cases of epilepsy to reduce the risk of permanent brain injury from epileptic seizures.
Psychiatry in particular and medicine in general has come a long way in the past sixty-odd years. It’s easy to look back now from our era of advanced technology and be horrified at this barbaric procedure.
And we should be, because this was an often ineffective and many times unnecessary procedure inflicted on people, often without their consent, by care givers who simply wanted to silence them.
However, in the cases where the procedure was undertaken in good faith it did provide hope for those in suffering, and while in some circles it was criticized frankly at the time there was no better alternative.
Sources: “‘My Lobotomy’: Howard Dully’s Journey.” NPR.org. November 16, 2005. NPR. May 18, 2014; “Introduction: The Lobotomist.” American Experience. PBS.org. May 18, 2014; Levinson, Hugh. “The Strange and Curious History of Lobotomy.” BBC.com. November 8, 2011. BBC News
Continue Reading

General

Miners in Siberia dug up a strange statue of an angel with shield and sword in the permafrost

Published

on

By

Miners of the Elga coal deposit (Yakut) in Siberia dug up a strange statue in the form of a woman with a sword and shield, and behind it there seem to be wings, like a fallen angel. The statue was unearthed by an excavator.

Miners show their emotions and enthusiasm when they are standing next to the statue. If the translation is right, they say that they cannot describe or tell what it is and that right now the special services will arrive by helicopter to pick up the statue to an unknown location. 
Further study and examination by experts may be required to determine the significance of this potentially valuable ancient artifact, but since the special services are involved, it remains to be seen whether we will hear anything about it in the future.

{fullWidth}

Continue Reading

General

Isaac Newton’s Predictions: The Apocalypse Will Come in 2060

Published

on

By

Mankind has been waiting for the end of the world for a long time. The latest example is 2012. Many have stocked up on canned food and other necessities. But whether the Mayans were wrong or we misunderstood them, the world did not end. Nothing catastrophic on a global scale happened on December 21, 2012.

Is there anything to fear now? Are there prophecies that point to a specific date? And not dubious predictions from uneducated fraudsters, but from respected people – like the Mayans.

Every year we see the alleged predictions of Baba Vanga and Nostradamus. In most cases, the end of the world is always linked to them in one way or another. But seriously, we can hardly believe in any of them anymore.

Here’s another name that has been associated with doomsday predictions in recent decades – the famous scientist Isaac Newton. Based on information from his personal manuscripts, we know that he tried to calculate the exact year of the apocalypse – 2060. Here’s what we know.

The many interests of Isaac Newton

The fact that Isaac Newton indicated the date of Armageddon, experts learned at the end of 2002, when manuscripts with his notes were discovered.

They had been kept for many years in the National Library of Israel among the unorganized archives of the author of the First, Second and Third Laws and, of course, the Law of Universal Attraction.

After scientists discovered and read the previously unknown manuscripts of the genius, it turned out that in addition to mechanics, physics and mathematics, he also studied alchemy, occultism, astrology and theology.

After Newton’s death in 1727, thousands of pages dedicated to his “secret passions” were kept in a chest in the home of the Earl of Portsmouth for more than 200 years. In 1936, most of the manuscripts were purchased at auction by the Jewish scholar Abraham Yehuda.

As a result, they ended up in the National Library of Israel.

There is Newton’s manuscript with a prophecy about the end of the world in 2060. It was discovered by Harvard University Professor Stephen Snobelen, who began the initial research.

Newton’s previously inaccessible manuscripts testify to the fact that alchemy, theology and the occult came to the fore, and his serious discoveries were the result of this “obscurantism”.

For example, the law of universal attraction did not appear thanks to the famous apple, but thanks to the concept of the attraction of one element to another, which was proclaimed by alchemy. Another example is Newton’s famous physical theory of absolute space and time, which was based on the theological ideas of the genius of physics.

He believed that absolute space is the place inhabited by God, the form of existence of His universal spirit, and absolute time is the infinite duration of the divine presence.

In addition, Newton believed that due to the divine structure of the universe, any impact is immediately transmitted to each of its points without the participation of matter. Curiously, this theory is also considered by some modern physicists who study vacuum and quantum mechanisms.

Now let’s take a closer look at Newton’s actual predictions and the apocalypse.

Part of a 1704 letter to a friend in which Newton calculates the day of the Apocalypse using the Book of Daniel.

Bible Studies and Newton’s Predictions

Newton treated the Bible with a special mystical reverence – he studied it all his life. He believed it contained messages from higher powers about the future of the world. He dreamed of creating a system that would allow the Bible to be used to predict that future.

There is another well-known source that also attracted the attention of a genius – the Book of Daniel (Old Testament), in which the prophet accurately predicted the date of Christ’s coming to earth, the death of the Son of God, and His resurrection.

Newton believed that God had chosen the prophet Daniel to interpret the future. And to “see” it, the book must be deciphered – every word of it. What Newton did for many years-nearly 50, since he also considered himself chosen by God-to try to decipher it.

Mathematically calculating the date of the end of the world, he wrote 4,500 pages of words and formulas. The Book of Daniel itself is a collection of prophecies.

Newton interpreted them in an attempt to create an algorithm suitable for predicting future events. What happened in the end remains to be seen – the archive has not been fully studied. Only the mysterious date of the end of the world, 2060, was discovered.

After understanding the essence of Newton’s manuscripts, Professor Snobelen discovered that the scientist had deciphered the Bible’s references to certain periods of time. Newton defined one of these periods as 1260 years. He then calculated that this period began in 800 AD.

He added 1260 years and came up with 2060. Newton himself wrote that a world war would begin, then there would be a plague that would lead to the destruction of a significant portion of humanity. But after the end of the tribulation, the kingdom of the Messiah will come, and the world will see a new beginning.

In other words, it should be noted that when the prophet prophesied the end of the world, he still believed that after a time of trouble for mankind, an era of prosperity would come when God would live among people to dry their tears of suffering.

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy