Monday, December 16, 2013

scattered lives...

The Lobotomy Files: Forgotten Soldiers

Michael M. Phillips
Wall Street Journal
14 December 2013

"The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals."

[Read more...]

Disclaimer: My mother (1934-1997) was schizophrenic. The concept of lobotomy, and the reality of electoshock therapy, are woven throughout my childhood. Whether Mama had the former or not, she feared it, and spoke to it having happened to her, too.

I do not have reason to believe that Mama was lobotomized.

Electroshock therapy was, however, very much a part of her treatment, as were the hardcore medicines.

Sometimes, it seems, all of the treatments, horrors and 'civil rights' of the mentally ill are scrawled out like notes for a looming test across my palm...

As is that changing face of what we as a society have done in regard to care for those who are both needful, and deserving, of our concern.

In this particular series that question of the rights of the individual to choose or reject medical treatment in cases where their ability to do so (that is, to reject or approve that treatment) must be weighed comes to the fore again for all of us.

A great many homeless folk are veterans, and a great many of these are mentally ill, and much of the illness may indeed come from the inability of the spirit to allow what war demands.

My mother, however, had a mental illness made of the plainer assaults of the day...

Hat tip:  BioEdge