Somatotherapy, History of

Santosh K. Chaturvedi, Soumya Parameshwaran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The history of somatotherapy is as old as the identification of mental health problems, since ancient times. However, the modern history spans the past century. The history of somatotherapy for mental illness is also a reflection of the understanding of mental illnesses during those periods. This article traces the history from chemical substances to control aggressive behaviors (not modern psychopharmacological agents), to fever therapy and insulin coma treatments. On a parallel was the development of methods to induce seizures by chemical and electrical methods - electroconvulsive therapy - and by other methods of brain stimulation - repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulations, and transcranial direct current stimulations. The future may see stereotactic surgeries and other methods of intracranial localized brain stimulations. Other physical methods of treatments, like vagus nerve stimulation, phototherapy, sleep-inducing therapies, and sleep deprivation therapies, had shorter lives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 26-03-2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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