A Case of HysteriaMain MenuThe Altogether Shocking History of Women’s Mental HealthThe Anatomy of InsanityThe Wandering WombTheater Of The HystericsFather Freud Knows BestThis Place Will Make You CrazyHysterical ParoxysmThis Lobotomy Won't Hurt A BitShe Must Be MadShock The Pain AwayJust A Touch Of ElectricityA Home For Inebriates And The InsaneThe Inmates Aren't Running The AsylumStories From The SanatoriumAgnes RichardsThe Ladies of RockhavenBaby BluesMaybe She's Born With ItStay Subservient!The Cost of Going Crazy in CaliforniaTill Commitment Do We PartAdditional Artifacts from Patton State Hospital, ca. 1930-1950Anne-Marie Maxwell
The Water Cure
1media/Header Image - The Water Cure.jpg2020-04-01T09:52:58-07:00Anne-Marie Maxwell326ac6eff123bb3f77fb517c66299be8b435b479369808image_header2020-04-22T14:55:40-07:00Curtis Fletcher3225f3b99ebb95ebd811595627293f68f680673eAlthough the benefits of hydrotherapy for certain medical conditions have been known since ancient times, doctors began to prescribe it for mental illness around the late 1800s, and in particular for female patients presenting signs of “hysteria.” Warm baths were used for patients with insomnia and suicidal tendencies. These baths could last from several hours to several days, with water temperatures typically ranging from 92–97°F. On the other hand, cold water was thought to be best for those diagnosed with manic-depressive psychoses, and over ex-citement—under the notion that cold water slowed blood flow to the brain, thus decreasing mental and physical activity. For other maladies, physicians experimented with alternating hot and cold temperatures to try and achieve the desired results. Various hydrotherapy treatments were employed, including baths, douches, colonic irrigations, packs, or showers. One of the methods involved locking patients in steam cabinets. These had a large canvas cover with a hole for the patient’s head to prevent drowning.
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1media/Splash Hysteria.jpg2020-04-10T15:45:06-07:00Anne-Marie Maxwell326ac6eff123bb3f77fb517c66299be8b435b479A Case of Hysteria?Curtis Fletcher14book_splash2020-05-04T16:10:49-07:00Curtis Fletcher3225f3b99ebb95ebd811595627293f68f680673e
1media/Patients in steam cabinets, c 1910. American Psychiatric Association Archives_thumb.jpg2020-04-03T14:26:55-07:00Anne-Marie Maxwell326ac6eff123bb3f77fb517c66299be8b435b479Patients in steam cabinets, ca. 19101media/Patients in steam cabinets, c 1910. American Psychiatric Association Archives.jpgplain2020-04-03T14:26:55-07:00Anne-Marie Maxwell326ac6eff123bb3f77fb517c66299be8b435b479