One flew over…

From Biological Psychology 10th ed., by James W. Kalat (2009):

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, about 40,000 prefrontal lobotomies were performed in the US, many of them by Walter Freeman, a medical doctor untrained in surgery. His techiques were crude, even by the standards of the time, using such instruments as an electric drill and a metal pick. He performed many operations in his office or other non-hospital sites. Freeman carried his equipment in his car, which he called his “lobotomobile”.

That’s right….”lobotomobile”.

At first, this procedure was used on patients with severe schizophrenia, and then on people with much less serious disorders (you know…depressed middle-aged women…disobedient children…clearly a menace to themselves and others).

Dr Freeman reported that “men couldn’t support a family, after a lobotomy, but a woman can do housework…lobotomized women made excellent housekeepers.”

Yet another savory little tidbit from the annals of mental health.


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