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10 Bizarre Therapies in Mental Illness Treatment History

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5. Hydrotherapy

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During the early 20th century, water-based methods became popular in treating mental illness. It was favored due to it’s simplicity and effectiveness in treating patients with insomnia and manic depressive symptoms. Patients were subjected to methods such as cold plunges, being sprayed or hosed down with hot and cold water jets or being confined to prolonged baths that lasted from hours to several days interspersed with periodic bathroom breaks. Clinicians observed the therapeutic effects of varying temperatures on the body and it’s nervous system. It was believed that various properties of water could be used stimulate circulation and improve symptoms accompanying certain diseases.

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