Famous Mathematician Gödel suffered periods of mental instability and illness. He had an obsessive fear of being poisoned; he would eat only food that his wife, Adele, prepared for him. Late in 1977, Adele was hospitalized for six months and could no longer prepare Gödel's food. In her absence, he refused to eat, eventually starving to death. He weighed 65 pounds (approximately 30 kg) when he died.
Guillaume Duchenne was born 200 years ago in Boulogne-sur-Mer (France). After study years and some work, he returned to Paris to initiate pioneering studies on electrical stimulation of muscles. Duchenne used electricity not only as a therapeutic agent, but as a physiological investigation tool to study the anatomy of the living body. He built a portable electrical device that he used to functionally map all bodily muscles and to study their coordinating action in health and disease.
vintage medical office
Before the mid-eighteen hundreds, common belief was that those who suffered from mental illness suffered because they had a "disease of the soul" (Goldberg, 24). Their madness supposedly stemmed from an evil within, and they thus were treated as animals. Patients in these early asylums were kept in cages, given small amounts of often unclean food, had little or no clothing, wore no shoes, and slept in dirt.
Electricity and mental disease In the late 1700s, Italian physician Dr. Luigi Galvani discovered that frog muscles reacted electrically when exposed to certain metals - which led to the notion that nerve pulses are electrical charges. One day, Galvani's cousin, Dr. Giovanni Aldani, convinced French asylums to let him treat hopelessly depressed patients with electricity. By the 1850s, electricity was widely used to treat psychiatric ailments - and would eventually turn into electroconvuls...