This volume uncovers the roots of electroshock in America, an outgrowth of western patriarchal medicine with primarily female patients. The authors trace the history of electroshock in the United States in three historic stages: from an enthusiastic reception in 1940, to a period of crisis in the 1960s, to its resurgence after 1980. Early American experiments with electrical medicine are also examined, while the development of electroshock in America is considered through the lens of social, political, and economic factors. The revival of electroshock in recent decades is found to be a product of growing materialism in American psychiatry and the political and economic realities of managed medical care. The new material in the Updated Paperback Edition describes the resurgence of electroshock in the private psychiatric sector as a treatment of choice for depression.
* Preface vii* Acknowledgments xv* Introduction to the Updated Edition: Electricity, Psychiatry, and American Culture xvii* Part I: The Electrotherapeutic Origins of Pushbutton Psychiatry 1* The Eighteenth Century: The Electric Stage 3* The Nineteenth Century: The Woman on the Couch 21* Part II: The Electroconvulsive Century 41* The Birth and Triumph of Pushbutton Psychiatry: Electroshock, 1938-1965 43* Rage Against the Machine: The Decline of Electroshock, 1966-1980 63* Pushbutton Triumphant: The Rebirth of Electroshock, 1981-1999 85* Epilogue to the Updated Edition
"There are vociferous pro and con factions in the psychiatric world. ECT, gender issues in medicine, and the patients' rights movements are all part of the controversial package ably explored in this book, which belongs in the libraries of all major research institutions. Graduate students through professionals." -CHOICE Magazine "This is undoubtedly the first social history of ECT. The slimness of the volume belies the scope, depth, and accuracy of the coverage and the reliance on an enormously varied repertoire of primary and secondary sources.Kneeland and Warren's masterful study shows not only how ECT-like many other somatic treatments in medicine and psychiatry-has moved through cycles of invention, acceptance, rejection, and re-acceptance, but also how culture shapes and intertwines our bodies, minds, and machines." -- Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences "A rich and highly textured account of the place of electricity and machines in medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and American culture." -- Journal of the History of the Neurosciences