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The treatment of mental illness hadn't had much progress until the introduction of drugs in the '50s. A decade before then, Walter Freeman ushered in one of the darkest periods in psychiatry's history by touting the “ice pick” lobotomy – where a sharp instrument is inserted through the eye socket to destroy the frontal lobes – as the cure for everything from depression to hyperactive children. It became incredibly popular, over 50,000 were performed, with Freeman performing over 3,000 himself in his lobotomobile. Freeman believed in lobotomies even after being discredited. He spent his final years visiting his victims, trying to prove they had benefited from his work.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

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