10 Shocking Psychiatric Treatments Doctors Have Actually Used

The field of psychiatry isn’t an exact science. It’s hard to tell exactly how to help someone who is having mental problems because there can be all kinds of factors contributing to the issue. This has led to some people thinking that there is no fix for some problems. It has also led to some rather horrific treatments every now and then. Luckily most of the truly terrible treatments have since gone by the wayside but that doesn’t make the fact that they were once considered to be the norm. Check out these 10 shocking psychiatric treatments doctors have actually used and let us know what you think.


In the 19th century, women were often diagnosed with a disorder called hysteria. The most common symptom of this was thought to be horniness and so doctors of time would actually get their female patients to orgasm. This is how vibrators were first born.

Bleeding and Purging

Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, thought almost all human ailments – including mental illness – resulted from out-of-balance bodily substances, such as blood, bile and phlegm. In the 1600s, English physician Thomas Willis determined the best way to correct such imbalances, or melancholy blood, was by bleeding, purging and even vomiting. The bleeding part was done either by cutting or by using leeches.