Lobotomy Meaning

Learn about the controversial history and lasting effects of lobotomy with examples, case studies, and statistics.

What is Lobotomy?

Lobotomy, also known as psychosurgery, is a procedure in which a part of the brain is surgically removed or disconnected to treat mental disorders. It was commonly used in the mid-20th century to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, severe depression, and anxiety.

Types of Lobotomy

  • Pre-frontal Lobotomy
  • Transorbital Lobotomy

Controversy Surrounding Lobotomy

Lobotomy has been heavily criticized for its unethical practice and irreversible effects on patients. Many individuals who underwent lobotomy experienced severe cognitive impairments, personality changes, and even death.

Case Studies

One of the most infamous cases of lobotomy is that of Rosemary Kennedy, the sister of President John F. Kennedy, who underwent a lobotomy at the age of 23 to control her mood swings. The lobotomy left her permanently incapacitated.


According to historical records, thousands of lobotomies were performed in the United States alone between the 1930s and 1950s. The procedure fell out of favor in the 1960s with the introduction of psychotropic medications.

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