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  • Kimberly Taylor

19th Century barbaric, inhumane, and tortuous treatment of the Insane

Hydrotherapy (aka "Water Cure")

Hydrotherapy involved wrapping patients, mummy-style, in water-soaked sheets. towels, or blankets. This treatment could last for hours on end, leaving patients unable to move or free themselves. Icy water was thought to be effective in treating manic-depressive symptoms. Warm water would sometimes also be used, treating patients with agitated or excited behavior.

Another form of hydrotherapy required patients to remain submerged in a bath continuously for hours or sometimes days. They tightly strapped the patient in and only allowed him/her out to use the restroom. With a continuous bath, the patient was strapped into the tub with a canvas sheet covering the bath. Only the patient’s head poked out. The bath was most often used as a treatment for insomnia, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my next post where I will discuss the horrific treatment known as “Spinning.”

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