Ernest Hemingway Is Admitted to the Mayo Clinic

But even the beautiful landscapes of Idaho couldn’t hide the fact that something was seriously wrong with Hemingway.

In the fall of 1960 Hemingway flew to Rochester, Minnesota and was admitted to the Mayo Clinic, ostensibly for treatment of high blood pressure but really for help with the severe depression his wife Mary could no longer handle alone. After Hemingway began talking of suicide his Ketchum doctor agreed with Mary that they should seek expert help. He registered under the name of his personal doctor George Saviers and they began a medical program to try and repair his mental state. The Mayo Clinic’s treatment would ultimately lead to electro shock therapy. According to Jefferey Meyers Hemingway received "between 11 to 15 shock treatments that instead of helping him most certainly hastened his demise."

When he left Spain, Hemingway travelled straight to Idaho; but was worried about money and his safety. His paranoia became acute and he believed the FBI was actively monitoring his movements. That November he was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and he may have believed he was going to be treated for hypertension because he had been receiving treatment for high blood pressure and liver problems. Hemingway suffered from physical problems as well: his eyesight was failing; his health was poor. Furthermore, his home and possessions in Cuba had been abandoned during the revolution. Meyers writes that "an aura of secrecy surrounds Hemingway's treatment at the Mayo", but confirms that in December 1960 he was treated with electroconvulsive therapy as many as 15 times, then in January 1961 was "released in ruins".