The History of Electroconvulsive Therapy in the United States and Its Place in American Psychiatry: A Personal Memoir
Lebensohn, Zigmond M.
Comprehensive Psychiatry. 1999 May-Jun; 40(3): 173-181.
The history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the United States is traced from its crude beginnings in 1940 to its emergence as a highly sophisticated and effective treatment for many severe psychiatric disorders. The general distrust of all somatic therapies in the 1930s and 1940s expressed by many prominent psychiatrists (both analysts and nonanalysts) contributed to an ambivalent relationship between ECT and the rest of American psychiatry. The media coverage of ECT is reviewed, and suggestions for dealing with the antipsychiatry movement and anti-ECT prejudice are discussed.
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