The government is your friend? Lobotomies for soldiers?

The Wall Street Journal has just published one of the most shocking exposes we have ever read. The article outlines the government’s actions, specifically the Veterans Administration, as they dealt with mentally ill soldiers returning from World War II.

The only and best treatment, they thought, was to lobotomize these troubled soldiers.

IFO’s father-in-law barely escaped a similar treatment in the early 1950s when the State of New York was about to perform one on him, following a dreadful auto accident in which he sustained serious brain damage. Fortunately, FIL’s wife was acquainted with a lawyer who knew how to spring him from the State Hospital and get him into private care.

Other treatment – psychoanalysis – didn’t work. The psychiatrist kept asking him what he thought about his mother – a total irrelevancy. By the late 50s, drugs became the treatment of choice. Doctors apparently ignored the brain damage aspects of his condition and treated him as a schizophrenic. At least it left his brain intact.

As the years went by he went from a Thorazine drug-induced vegetative state to a fairly normal one, except for the tardive dyskinesia, humming and shaking, caused by the psychoactive drug he was taking.

However, we suspect he had been reducing his dosage over the years, because when his son and wife took him to a psychologist to see about getting him off the drug, the psychologist gave his okay and all of the drug-induced symptoms disappeared!

His mental disarray returned in much milder form, but he was able to function, partying with his friends and taking care of himself. Notice that in the link above to the discussion of tardive dyskensia is inaccurate in several details. The article says there is no “cure” for the symptoms, but clearly there is – just stop taking the d*mn drug!

But we digress. Strangely, there IS an investment lesson in this seemingly unrelated topic.

The lesson? ALWAYS do your own research. Check multiple sources. Ask friends and experts for their opinions, but don’t rely exclusively on any one. Rely on your own analysis of the facts as you have ascertained them.

And finally, don’t blame yourself if you make a mistake. It’s only money, after all.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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