Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Lobotomy

This story broadcast on NPR last night really creeped me out. The before and after photos of the 12 year old boy, Howard Dully, are truly disturbing. He was lobotomized by Dr. Walter Freeman in 1960, for no other reason than that his new stepmother didn't like him. It's a gruesome technique, where a tool like an ice pick is thrust into the corner of your eye and up into the front part of your brain, and then twirled around a few times. I had nightmares about zombie children in nightgowns wandering halls with blood dripping from the corners of their eyes, holding their trembling hands to their faces. Very scary.

8 comments:

Radish King said...

This was also done to Frances Farmer. In fact, I think she was one of the first.

A. D. said...

Rebecca-
Pretty sure that the lobotomy was just sensationalized fiction in the case of Frances Farmer (see here).

Peter-
I just read the transcript. I can't believe the father's nonchalance as well as that of the doctors, etc. in hacking at people's brains with an icepick. This story sure takes me back to Abnormal Psych. class.

Hmm . . . hard to blame Tom Cruise for thinking psychiatry is a pseudoscience when this was happening not all that long ago.

Peter said...

R, AD: This story has really disturbed me. Did you read the scan of the doctor's typed procedure note of the lobotomy he did on the boy? It is chilling.

I want to find a poem in this. (A dark poem, but a poem nonetheless).

Jilly said...

I was driving home from work...kinda listening to it. I kept having to turn it off when I got squicked.

Very thankful for Abilify.

LKD said...

Thanks for this link, Peter. It reminded me of what happens, what kind of awful harm a parent can inflict upon a child who has become a liability".

I'm an NPR junkie and hadn't heard this piece. I'll have to listen to the realaudio later when I have a moment to sit still and be, I suspect, quietly wrecked.

Pamela said...

This was chilling. Especially harrowing were the lobotomy marathons. I kept thinking of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and also "Memories of West Street and Lepke."

A. D. said...

Peter-
Yeah, read that. Chilling is the right word. I just can't get over the crude invasiveness of the procedure and how any one could think that it would be a good idea.

Howard D said...

Thank You all for listening, I am amazed at the response my story has had....

Howard Dully
howarddully@comcast.net