Water Immersion
Common at the beginning of 
the 19th century, this involved 
submerging people under 
water for as long as possible.

Conceived in the 1890s by 
Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis looks to treat unacknowledged feelings from past events that are influencing current mood and behaviour.

First performed in 1935, the 
procedure consists of cutting the connections to and from the 
prefrontal cortex of the brain. It was likened by one psychiatrist 
to “putting in a brain needle and stirring the works”.

Electroconvulsive Therapy
Devised in 1938 by Italian scientists, seizures are electrically induced in anaesthetised patients to treat serious depression. Used widely in the Forties and Fifties, ECT has made a comeback in the past two decades.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclics were the most 
common antidepressants in the Fifties and Sixties before the development in the Seventies 
of SSRIs, the first purposefully designed depression medication.

Transcranial Magnetic 
First used in 1985, strong magnetic fields stimulate the brain 
via a coil held to the head. The patient is fully awake and alert during treatment.