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10 Bizarre Therapies in Mental Illness Treatment History

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8. Rotational Therapy

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Before Charles Darwin, there was his grandfather Erasmus Darwin. Erasmus was a physician, scientist and philosopher although he was reputedly not very good at any one of those things. He believed that sleep cured illness and therefore saw spinning around as an effective means of inducing therapeutic sleep. His idea was largely dismissed but was later employed by Dr. Benjamin Rush as a treatment for mental illness. Rush, who was one of the original signatories of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, believed that mental illness was a symptom of brain congestion and he held the notion that spinning around would dislodge brain mucous like a centrifuge and produce mental clarity. Of course, all that spinning just left them dizzy, dazed and confused.


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