A social media post claims that the viral lobotomy poster is from the 20th century. We fact-checked and found the claim to be false.
A social media post displays a widely circulated graphic on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Comments accompanying the image suggest it is a genuine advertisement depicting an anatomical head with an icepick-like instrument being inserted into the brain through the eye socket.
The text embedded in the poster reads: ‘Feeling depressed? Dealing with anxiety and migraines? You might require a lobotomy.’
Furthermore, the poster advocates for lobotomy as a solution for difficult family members and mentions Walter Freeman, an American physician who introduced this procedure to the United States in 1936 and conducted over 3,500 lobotomies.
We have attached a screenshot of the Instagram post below:
What is lobotomy?
A lobotomy is a surgery that doctors use to cut or damage parts of the brain to try and help people with severe mental problems. They believed it could make them feel better by changing their feelings or behavior.
This surgery became popular during the 1940s and 1950s. Doctors thought that by disturbing certain parts of the brain, they could ease symptoms of mental illnesses like depression or schizophrenia.
Usually, they would reach the brain by making holes in the skull or by putting a sharp tool, like an icepick, through the eye socket to damage some brain nerves.
But, this surgery caused big problems. People often change in ways that cannot be fixed, like losing their emotions, and thinking abilities, or even dying. As better medicines and treatments came along, lobotomy stopped being used because it was risky and had bad effects on people.
Is the viral lobotomy poster from the 20th century?
No. The viral lobotomy poster is not from the 20th century. Someone made a funny advertisement for lobotomy. It is a treatment for mental illness that is not used anymore and was popular in the past.
We ran a quick Google reverse image search and found that the post was made by a social media user named Demonic Pinfestation. The user also operates a website https://demonicpinfestation.bigcartel.com/ selling lifestyle product pins. It seems the claimed social media post was made to create a backstory to sell one of their pins. Same has been confirmed by Demonic Pinfestation spokeperson to USA Today.
But now, this advertisement is being shared online as if it is a real old flyer promoting the treatment. This is making people doubt science. We even found that this brand has made such advertisements for its other products in the past.
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