Are you looking for information about shock therapy? Shock therapy is a type of aversion therapy, where a patient is treated with something unpleasant in conjuncture with a form of bad habits. For instance, a type of aversion therapy is placing something that tastes horrible on the thumb of someone who has a habit of sucking their thumb; this is usually done to ween small children and toddlers out of this phase. Shock therapy was something similar, but would use electricity in order to 'shock' a patient, therefore having their mind identify the bad behavior with that of the shock. Another example is that of lab rats which, when reaching for something like a food, are given a small shock in order to keep them from touching that item.
In essence, you could think of this as a type of reverse Pavlov's dog effect. Shock therapy came about in the early 20th century, as a major shift began to take place in the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Before this, individuals who displayed psychoses were locked away within mental hospitals or insane asylums, with either limited or no social support or therapeutic care aimed to help or treat their problem. The first step towards this was the introduction of scientific psychotherapy by physician Sigmund Frued, who went on to found psychoanalysis. Though many of his first initial ideas are dismissed today, at the time and for many years afterwards, his thoughts and theories were paramount when it came to understanding the mind and what happens within.
While the methods for using electricity in order to treat mental disease had been tossed around by physicians for centures, it was only in the period of 1917 and onward that this idea was put into practice. Shock therapy would be used to treat neurosyphillitic paresis by inducing a type of Malaria fever, schizophrenia by inducing comas and convulsions with insulin, and the introduction of electroconvulsive shock therapy.
While researchers and physicians found a link between the use of shock therapy with that of healing a variety of mental illnesses, the use of electroconvulsive shock therapy or ECT was probably the most popular and most dangerous to be applied. This is also the treatment type that many might be familiar with. There was a backlash against ECT, especially when it was discovered that it was also being used to subdue and control patients within psychiatric hospitals, with many of them receiving multiple shocks a day.
In the 1970s, the backlash grew with the most prominent point being made in the novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which would later be made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson. By the mid 70s, ECT use declined, while the use of medications began to rise in the hope of helping patients.