Music, madness & charms to soothe

reading about the history of madness
and the treatment (or lack thereof)
for it can a depressing and sometimes
even shattering experience.

imagine my surprise then
when i came across The Opal
and a story about music and healing...

from The Opal:

And this example of trying to step somewhat beyond
the modicum of dispensing agents for settling a "maniac"--
a person it seems suffering from a manic stage.  Doctors and attendants tried to treat the patient with an assortment of narcotics, but they didn't work; very liberal applications of brandy occurred, which caused some sleepiness, but after two days the man would be getting sleepy, anyway.  And
then came the desperate measure (so to speak):  music. 

It was certainly nothing new, really, the calming effects
of music having been know deep into antiquity.  Why it
was not more liberally applied in mental institutions,
I don't know.  The case and description are found in the American Journal of Insanity (later the American Journal
of Psychiatry) for 1858:

"The symptoms indicated, as it seemed, the prompt use
of narcotics. Morphine was therefore given in doses gradually increased, till at the end of 48 hours, 3 gr. at a time, with strong laudanum injections, had been administered. This treatment seeming to have little or no effect, was abandoned and other means, such as baths, counter irritants, stimulants, djc &lc, resorted to, with but slight amelioration of the alarming symptoms.

The patient had now continued in this state three days
and nights, without sleep, and with little or no food.
Pulse much of the time 120. Countenance anxious and sunken, presenting every appearance in fact, of approaching final prostration.

Of the means above mentioned, the administration of brandy, in often repeated and large doses, seemed to act most favorably and effectually. Under its use the pulse
came down to about 100. The patient also became more quiet* and manifested a slight disposition to sleep.

At this time, it was suggested by the father, that his son
had always manifested a remarkable fondness for music,
and that when a child, sleep had often been produced by it.
A violin player was accordingly sent for, and the effect of his art tested upon the patient, with the most remarkable and immediate favorable effects.

The nervous excitement began to abate at the sound
of the fiddle, and in a very short time, the patient was
in a sound sleep, from which he awoke in an hour or two much refreshed and nearly rational.

By continuing the brandy, and when nervous excitement began to manifest itself, an occasional quietus from the fiddle, this singular state of mental excitement was,
in a few days, entirely and permanently subdued."

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