Literary Hub • Feb 21 2023
“The Miracle Cure.” A Brief History of Lobotomies: Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman on Early Psychosurgery—and Its Impact on the Kennedys and Tennessee Williams
Excerpted from Malady of the Mind by Jeffrey Lieberman. Copyright (c) 2023 by Jeffrey Lieberman. Reprinted by permission of Scribner.
The earliest form of psychosurgery, trepanation, the drilling of holes in the skull, had been practiced for hundreds of years. Paintings from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries depict the practice, including Hieronymus Bosch’s The Extraction of the Stone of Madness and Pieter Huys’s A Surgeon Extracting the Stone of Folly.