Psychosurgery Prefrontal Lobotomies Essay

Psychosurgery Prefrontal Lobotomies Essay

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If your next-door neighbor sweeps his front porch three times every day and spends fundamentally all his time cleaning and re-cleaning his ten foot by ten foot stoop, is he normal? In a sense, he could be defined with an anxiety disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). These obsessions can often center on inflicting harm on others, suicide, or personal failures People distraught by obsessions and compulsions may feel that they have mislaid control of their mind. In extreme cases, this mislaid control of the mind was treated by a psychosurgery known as a prefrontal lobotomy (Weiten 568).
The American Psychological Association defines prefrontal lobotomy as “an operation that severs
the nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes of the brain with the diencephalon, especially those
fibers of the thalamic and hypothalamic areas; best-known form of psychosurgery.”

The surgery sounds quite complex and foreign yet after World War II tens of thousands of mental patients were subjected to prefrontal lobotomy and other surgeries as sources of treatment (Valenstein 418). The process was developed by a man by the name of Egas Moniz, Professor of Neurology at the University of Lisbon, who was recognized for his accomplishments by receiving the Nobel Prize (418). As well as Walter Freeman, Professor of Neurology at George Washington University, who performed the first trans-orbital lobotomy in the United States; and by nineteen-fifty, forty-one percent of the nation’s inpatient mental hospitals had performed lobotomies (418). There was considerable evidence that Moniz’s procedure actually cured all of the mentally unstable patients, or so we thought.


... middle of paper ...

...oes this make him subject to a lobotomy?

Works Cited

1. For more information about ECT’s, see Weiten page 626.
Works Cited
American Psychological Association. “Glossary of Psychological Terms- Prefrontal Lobotomy.”
APA, N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.
Lambert, Kelly, and Craig H. Kinsley. "Epilogue." Clinical Neuroscience. New York: Worth Publishers,
2005. 526-528. Print.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- United Kingdom. "Neurosurgery for Mental Disorder (NMD)."
OCD-UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Valenstein, Elliot S.. "The History of Lobotomy: A Cautionary Tale." Michigan Quarterly Review
(Volume XXVII, Issue: 3). Volume XXVII ed. Ann Arbor: Michigan Quarterly Review, 1988.
417-437. Print.
Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations. 6th ed. Pacific Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co.,
2004.(568 and 626) Print.

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