In 1935 Portuguese doctor Egas Moniz learned of an experiment where removing the frontal lobes of two chimpanzees resulted in reduced violent behavior, making them more compliant. The doctor decided to repeat this experiment with humans. Shortly after performing this procedure on unsuspecting patients suffering from mental illnesses, he published a paper demonstrating a method he believed to be an innovative way to treat such illnesses as schizophrenia and psychosis. Today, Moniz is remembered for discovering lobotomy, one of the most shameful and tragic procedures in medicine.

From the year 1945 to 1947, there were around 2,000 lobotomies performed. However, the numbers skyrocketed to 18,000 after Moniz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery in 1949. There were many factors why this surgery was deemed acceptable by mental institutions back in the day, mainly because there was no medication or therapy effective enough to treat people who suffered from various mental illnesses. And with electroshock therapy being already in use, this invasive operation didnx5ct shock people. However, the misinformation and active campaigning for the effectiveness of lobotomy had a significant impact too.

A physician, Walter Freeman, helped popularize this procedure in the US. With no surgical training, Freeman decided to change the operation, and instead of drilling holes in the skull, he stabbed patientsx5c brains with an icepick through the eye socket. Freeman perfected this method to the point where it only took him 12 minutes to perform it. He traveled around the country in a van called the Lobotomobile and had no problem performing it in non-sterile environments.

However, he and other doctors who performed this procedure often overlooked the gruesome side effects lobotomies caused, mainly focusing on the appearance of the patients and relieving the discomfort the illnesses had caused to their family members. This attitude is highlighted in the photographs Freeman took of his patients and used them as an argument in favor of lobotomies. Scroll below to see the disturbing images.

#1

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Missy Barton
Community Member
3 years ago

Poor baby!

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#2

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Living_Shadow
Community Member
3 years ago

Honestly with these photos you can really tell that the doctors only cared about the patients appearances in the end... they didn't bother noting down the side effects or any behavior afterwards

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#3

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Caroline Huot
Community Member
3 years ago

they 'make nice household pets' OMG!!! This is SO sad. :(

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#4

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Rowlie
Community Member
3 years ago

All of the faces on the right are so devoid of thoughts, feelings, personalities. Something between zombies and Stepford wives.

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#5

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Notsoboredpanda
Community Member
3 years ago

This breaks my heart. Imagine living in these times. When you just need support. 💔

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#6

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Kelly Horrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

I want to upvote every picture but it is hard. It feels wrong to up vote - but I will because they deserve to be seen simply for the horror they endured.

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#7

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BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

Went from a woman to a little girl.

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#8

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Kelly Horrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

Cured his eyesight? And then started to smoke

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#9

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Kelly Horrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

Cure for bad house keeping.

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#10

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 years ago

Well, aging has certainly changed. I would not guess her to be a year younger than 70.

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#11

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tarebear
Community Member
3 years ago

"Subject yo compulsive seizures but made no complaint" so since she didn't complain it was totally fine that she randomly seized

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#12

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Robert O
Community Member
3 years ago

The photo on the right reminds me of someone... movie star? Author? ... can't recall who.. now just bugging me

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#13

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Kelly Horrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

In 1940, struggling economy, job anxiety. Poke your eye with an ice pick. Tah Dah!

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#14

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Rowlie
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

Wow, so efficient! Even her teeth grew back

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#15

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Nia Loves Art
Community Member
3 years ago

His face shape completely changed …

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#16

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Enuya
Community Member
3 years ago

Lobotomy, electroshocks and tying to bed. It's so hard to believe that we were so barbaric less than one hundred years ago. I know that even today the treatment of mental illness is far from perfect. Still, I am so grateful that I live today, not few decades ago.

Sarah Kohrmann
Community Member
3 years ago

ECT (electric shock) is still used aND has been shown to have some success with treatment-resistant depression. The differences today are that patients must consent first and they are sedated so it's not painful

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BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

He's smiling because he's no longer tied up, after 2 years.

Feelin’ Memes
Community Member
3 years ago

Human torture. Just for having a mental illness. Cruelty

John Madison
Community Member
7 months ago

Hard to imagine the Kennedy's had one of their sisters lobotomized, kept in an institution. Nahhhh, it ain't hard to imagine.

Sig Retterer
Community Member
7 months ago

Look how happy and healthy he looks in the second picture! Clearly lobotomies are safe and effective for everyone, and doctors would never lie to us or use experimental medicine on people even though there might be other treatments available! "Look, Ma! No restraints!"

Vic Fer
Community Member
1 year ago

And to think that just a small pill or two could’ve avoided all this savagery. Thank God for today’s medicine. Is not perfect but much much more humane

Jacquie Gariano
Community Member
3 years ago

We still had state hospitals in 1960's that warehoused people like this in very primitive ways and the care and treatment was inhuman. .

Valerie Fawn
Community Member
3 years ago

I would act cool too, just so they wouldn't do more messed up stuff to me

Emily Howell
Community Member
3 years ago

I envy people who get treatment, my dad has depression and the NHS expects him to say if he is OK with his treatment and what he feels he needs. He is just confused by what they offer, he just wants to be better ...

youre2much
Community Member
3 years ago

We still tie people to the beds in some instances. Leather straps with buckles, but the side that touches the wrists/ankles is made of soft materials. They are called "Gentle Reminders" now

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#17

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Kelly Horrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

and he began to melt

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#18

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 years ago

In fact, she is probably no longer bothered by everything. Such a wonderful citizen!

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#19

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Andrea Bernier Hall
Community Member
3 years ago

Oh look! She learned how to smile! No practice needed. Just a little poke here and there, it's really no big deal at all!

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#20

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Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 years ago

210lbs, so healthy! Were the 50s really real?

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#21

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hashwadoobies
Community Member
3 years ago

so much pain in her eyes in the before picture.

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