Often intimidating medical treatments are packaged in the most unthreatening way possible, to make them less unnerving for patients, both young and old. But the new Mishka Edition Fisher Wallace Stimulator — a cranial electrotherapy stimulation device used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia — goes the other way. The home treatment kit comes in a tongue-in-cheek package emblazoned with bloodshot eyeballs, bolts of lightening and clashing neon colors, playing up the stigmatized treatment in the hope of normalizing the FDA approved tool for the next generation.
The portable brain stimulation device is a highly regarded treatment which has been prescribed by over 2000 board-certified psychiatrists. It can be used alongside drug therapy and can help doctors lower their patient’s prescriptions and even eventually come off them completely. The device works by generating a gentle electrical pulse which stimulates the brain, producing serotonin, endorphins and other vital neurochemicals. Patients can self-administer the treatment twice a day for twenty minutes at a time. The youth-orientated package was produced in collaboration with streetwear brand Mishka, and the product is marketed in an American Apparel-esque way.
Devices — which cost USD 599 to buy or USD 199 per month to rent — can only be sold to licensed healthcare practioners. Are there other historically frightening medical treatments which could benefit from similar rebranding?