Electro-Shock Therapy

A Shocking Indifference 

Why is it that the controversial issue of Electro Convulsive Therapy (Electroshock) does not receive more media attention? 

Unfortunately, and possibly due to a subtle, lingering prejudice, mental patients don’t ordinarily command much media or political respect in general.  The stigmatising effect of being labelled ‘mentally ill’ means that their every utterance is tacitly assumed to be suspect or invalid.  Their protests about their experiences and stories of personal abuse are ignored.  Their perspectives are discounted or dismissed out of hand. Coercive measures against them are accepted as probably necessary and ‘in their best interests’.  Basically mental illness is an uncomfortable subject area with an automatic assumption, however erroneous, of incompetence, irrationality and even violence.

 

No other minority group in the western world is so totally abandoned by the normal societal impulses toward common sense and decency. Perhaps the situation is best stated in the “Foucalt Tribunal Indicts Psychiatry” (http://www.oikos.org/ectcomments2.htm):“Functioning as an arm of the state and with state powers, psychiatry has created a category of subhuman from whom every protection and right is withdrawn.” 

The most hardened of criminals, including murderers and paedophiles, can only be incarcerated against their will when they have been found guilty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ of a crime by a court of law.  A mental health patient is not deemed to be worthy of the same rights.  No proof has to exist; no prior conduct even has to be demonstrated.  If, ‘in the opinion’ of psychiatrists, a person might ‘possibly’ do ‘something’, then that is sufficient legal basis to incarcerate them.  Mental health patients can be, and are, held against their will and subjected to involuntary ‘treatments’ based upon the arbitrary whim of psychiatrists.  The most controversial of these ‘treatments’ is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), otherwise known as Electroshock. 

Electroshock is a psychiatric procedure whereby between 75 and 470 volts are briefly applied to the brain with the aim of producing a grand mal seizure.  The current that operates normally within a human brain is of the magnitude of millivolts (thousandths of a volt).  It does not take a great deal of imagination to understand the results of passing between 75 and 470 volts through such a delicate mechanism.  Frank Vertosick a
US neurosurgeon equated ECT to “repairing a computer with a chainsaw”.  The trauma to the body is such that patients have to be given muscle relaxants to avoid the risk of the procedure breaking their backs and other bones.
 

There are at least nine independent organizations of victims of ECT in the English speaking world alone devoted to the dissemination of an anti-ECT message. Their web sites are full of distressing personal testimonials from people whose lives have been ruined by ECT.  Can you imagine a situation whereby ex-patients from conventional medical procedures would form themselves into organizations to protect others from that which they had received themselves?  Can you imagine the scenario whereby people were so horrified by the damage done to themselves that they would set up organizations to try to protect others from the same fate?  In conventional medicine this situation would create a furore such that the treatment would be, at the very least, thoroughly investigated, and almost certainly banned.  The most important and respected tenet of the Hippocratic Oath in conventional medicine is to first do no harm. 

Does the fact that some people are apparently helped by ECT justify the damage to the many who are not?  Maybe that is best answered by Peter Breggins MD, Psychiatrist and Director of the

International
Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology:“Some patients do feel ‘helped’ by ECT. Often they have been so damaged that they cannot judge their own condition.” 

The contemporary psychiatric justification for ECT is as a preventive measure against suicide in depressed people.  This claim is completely negated by the many authoritative and available studies that show ECT does no such thing.*  It is but one in a long line of claims for ECT that span the decades.  As each has been conclusively disproved so it has been replaced with a new claim.  The ‘treatments’ and the brain damage continue unabated, and still in the twenty-first century few listen to the victims. 

Anyone who does dare to venture a critical thought upon the self designated sacrosanctity of the psychiatric industry is promptly labelled as delusional, or as suffering from a psychosis.  This is not restricted to the legions of physiologically damaged and psychologically traumatised ECT patients.  The opinions and observations of experts from within the psychiatric and neurological field, and even the authors of clinical results which conflict with the official line, are similarly labelled.  It is an intimidating tactic that has served its perpetrators well for many decades.** 

Despite the easy availability of a myriad of professional papers documenting the resultant brain damage from ECT, silence reigns supreme.  Brain damage is not a side effect of ECT… brain damage is the treatment.  It is the cardiovascular complications, epilepsy, memory loss and deaths that are the side effects.  Psychiatry once acknowledged that the ‘therapeutic’ effects of ECT were due to brain damage.  In 1942, psychiatrist Dr. Abraham Myerson said: 

“The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process… the fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia (feeble-mindedness)…” (translated from the French original)*** 

One of the leading advocates of ECT in the
USA, Max Fink, still openly states that the basis of improvement is “similar to that of craniocerebral trauma” (head injury).
 

But most psychiatrists are necessarily more image conscious today and attempt to present their treatment in more scientific jargon.  Now ECT is couched in terms such as ‘neurological realignment’.  Indeed. 

A 1977 report in the American Journal of Psychiatry spelled it out unequivocally:“From a neurological point of view ECT is a method of producing amnesia by selectively damaging the temporal lobes and the structures within them..”**** 

Specific statistics on patients who die from ECT were hard to obtain prior to 1993 due to a natural reluctance on the part of psychiatrists to supply them.  In 1993, following massive public pressure, the State of Texas in the
USA enacted a law requiring the mandatory reporting of all deaths within 2 weeks of ECT treatment.  According to the Houston Chronicle, Tuesday, March 7, 1995:  “Eight people died in
Texas within two weeks of receiving electroshock therapy….”   These eight deaths were from 1600 recipients.  This is a death rate of 1 in 200.  The figure at the end of the first 18 months of mandatory reporting in
Texas was 1 in 197 which conformed with and confirmed the percentage obtained with the smaller sample.  This is somewhat at variance with the prior psychiatric claims of a death rate of only 1 in 10,000.
 

The death of one in 200 patients begs the question… how is it possible for someone to die from a mental disorder?  How can a problem of the mind result in the death of the body?  The shockingly obvious and unavoidable answer is: they don’t, they die from the ‘treatment’… and the indifference of those who should care but who choose to turn their backs. 

It is time to turn around and face the victims of Electroshock and to listen to their stories and to acknowledge the dreadful injustice that has been done them.  Whether classified as mentally ill or not, all individuals are as deserving of the same Human Rights as any other individual.  ECT is, to put it bluntly, a way of shutting up the troublesome mentally ill by inflicting brain damage on them.  And it usually works, but at what cost to the individual, and at what cost to a society that tolerates the practise and the practitioners? 

“Sometimes it has to get very dark before you can see the light”American Indian Proverb 

Philip Barton 11/8/05With a huge acknowledgement to the myriad sources that I used in this article.  They were simply too numerous to mention in their entirety… and to the victims of ECT themselves whose personal stories brought tears to my eyes. 

*        Black, et al ‘Does treatment influence mortality in depressives?’ Ann Clin Psych 1989;1:165-173Babigian, H., et al, ‘Epidemiologic considerations in ECT’ Arch Gen                            Psych 1984;41:246-253 

**      A few amongst the many noted and eminent recipients of such slurs                  are:Thomas Szasz MD – professor emeritus psychiatry, State University                 of New York,
Syracuse
John M. Friedberg, M.D. resident. Department of Neurology, University of

Oregon
Medical
School.
Portland.
OregonPeter R. Breggin, M.D. Psychiatrist, Director of the

International
Center for the Study of Psychiatry and PsychologyDr. Peter Sterling, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Neurobiology,                          Department of Anatomy,
School of
Medicine,

University of                         
Pennsylvania 

***    Abraham Myerson, in discussion of Franklin G. Ebaugh, et al., “Fatalities following electric convulsive therapy: a report of 2 cases with autopsy findings,” Trans. Amer. Neurol. Assoc. 68 (June 1942): p. 39, 

****  John M. Friedberg, M.D. American Journal of Psychiatry 134:9,              September 1977. pp: 1010-1013. 

 

90 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Foucault on July 31, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    This question was asked of the patient thirty minutes after ECT…while limping with a gait almost as if every bone in his body had been shattered, while walking down the corridor of the psychiatric ward towards his room. “Can you describe how you feel right now?”
    Reply. ” Dad…its like you dont know where you’ve been ..and…and…you dont know where you’ve come from…”
    Today, he still have night mares and sees blue flashes “in my eyes dad”…

    Reply

    • I am 63 intelligent caring genuine. When aged 23 I became deeply bereaved as I lost my father; my first boyfriend died of MS and then my flatmate took an OD I foundher unconsious but her father blamed me–at that time I was consulting a psychotherapist / Psychiatrist who gave me one week therapy for 18 months–he quietly suggested that on my private medical insurrance I could have INTENSE psychotherapy! I went to this private clinic signed a form that stated permission for ‘treatment’ –the next day I was given a dedative –woke up and could not tell where I was or even who I was!!!
      This private clinic gave ECT to thouands like me –one couple committed suicide after their ECT treatment–I ran away and went to the Matron of Sydney Hospital who gave me accommodation–I was a 3rd year nursing student. I have suffered terrible sleep disorders no one seems to understand! I am constantly in the ‘fright and flight’ sympathetic nervous system–it is rare for me to sleep properly. My family laugh about all of this –it is NOT a laughing matter==that DR committed a heinous crime–took my money my simpcity–I am now a psychotherapist and can truly emptahize with trauma

      Ive had years of therapy–the best kind is ‘body -relational model’–it does help!

      I am still traumatised and my life very challenging–PLEASE STOP this barbaric criminal act–created to MAKE MONEY out of vulnerable people

      HELEM UNITED KINGDOM-

      Reply

      • The UK government has recently introduced e-petitions online.
        Please sign this ‘Abolish ECT’ e-petition and relegate this barbaric ‘treatment’ to the history pages along with lobotomy. We need 100,000 signatures to get it debated in parliament.
        To sign an e-petition, you must be either:
        • a citizen of the UK
        • a resident in the UK (you normally live in the UK)
        It only takes a minute! Please pass this on.

        http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16278

        Thank you for your help.

        Join our fb group ‘Speak Out Against Psychiatry’

  2. Posted by flowerzzau on August 1, 2007 at 1:13 am

    Head Injury

    Psychosis can result several years after traumatic brain injury (Fujii, 2002). In such cases a police officer may be unaware of the subject’s history. Head injury, or more correctly stated, brain insult can result from multiple causes. These subjects may be suffering as a result of a swelling of the brain. Pressure on the brain can create aggressive behavior (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2006). Even concussions may result in increasing confusion, restlessness or agitation (Hammeke, 2004; Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, 2005). The most common symptoms will be irritability, anger outbursts, and violence.

    The subject may be experiencing a viral encephalitis which can include psychosis, depression, mania, fever, and/or disorientation. The subject’s behavior may look similar to ED. The situation could become fatal to the subject depending on what caused the injury, or brain insult. These types of injuries must be treated by physician.

    http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/ChrisLawrence/articles/1182796/

    See:

    http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:ZyCezOxveb8J:www.irct.org/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx%3FFile%3DFiles%252FFiler%252Fpublications%252Fipip%252FGeneric-manual-medical-English.pdf+medical+torture&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=13&gl=au&client=firefox-a

    for a run down on medical examination of electrical torture….. but of course, the nurses exclude descriptions of the burn marks on ECT victims in the daily notes in the Australian ‘Mental Health’ System….. I am told.

    Reply

  3. Posted by flowerzzau on August 2, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I notice my comment has been deleted.
    Please explain?

    Reply

  4. Posted by flowerzzau on August 2, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    ooops there it is.
    apologies

    Reply

  5. The latest research on electro shock was conducted by Harold Sackeim and a team of investigators in which 347 patients received the currently available methods of electro shock, including the supposedly most benign forms and confirmed that electro shock causes permanent brain damage and dysfunction.

    Based on numerous standardized psychological tests six months after the last ECT every form of treatment was found to cause lasting memory and mental dysfunction. ( Tuesday April the 3rd 2007). Is it not logical so that electro shock as a means of healing should indeed be abolished? Who is insane?

    Reply

  6. hi…I am Evelyn Wang ,come from Taiwan.

    I am an CCHR volunteer!

    nice to read your blog.

    Reply

  7. Posted by janet geden on September 8, 2009 at 8:18 am

    MY MOTHER HAD E.C.T.TREATMENT IN STANLEYROYD HOSPITAL,WAKEFIELD,YORKSHIRE,ENGLAND IN THE 60’S.SHE WAS
    DIAGNOSED AS HAVING ANXIETY NEUROSIS.HER FIRST SET OF TREATMENTS WERE WITHOUT ANEASTHETIC.SHE SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION AND O.B.D .IN LATER LIFE IN HER EARLY 70’S SHE
    HAD PARKINSON’S DISEASE AND I BELIEVE THERE IS A LINK.I THINK THERE IS A STRONG POSSIBILITY THAT HER BRAIN WAS DAMAGED IN THE EARLIER YEARS BY THE E.C.T. TREATMENTS BUT NOBODY SEEMED TO LISTEN. MY MOTHER WAS A VERY INTELLIGENT WOMAN IN
    MANY WAYS.I BELIEVE E.C.T.TREATMENTS SHOULD BE STOPPED.MANY
    SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY NEED LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING.MY MOTHER HAD SUFFERED FROM AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH HER
    HUSBAND AND I THINK THE TREATMENTS WERE TOTALLY WRONG BUT
    SHE ACCEPTED THE MEDICAL PROFFESSION’S TREATMENT BECAUSE SHE
    THOUGHT THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING.MY MOTHER DIED SEVERAL YEARS AGO BUT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY ABOUT E.C.T.IT IS AN UNGODLY TREATMENT ON ANY HUMAN
    BEING.FORGIVE THEM LORD FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.
    JANET GEDEN.

    Reply

    • Posted by ross mc donald on September 25, 2011 at 11:43 am

      im so sorry to hear this about your mum.look at ect on youtube from the 1930 s,its unbelivable they show what happens to a rabbit,then proceed with humans.i think the comparason of mending a computer with a chainsaw is apt.anyone forcing such a treatment should be viewed as a criminal.im not from a med background wikipedia suggestion that 60 to 70 per cent relapase/duh,how many would relapse with no medical help

      Reply

  8. Posted by janet geden on September 8, 2009 at 8:20 am

    MY COMMENT IS AS ABOVE

    Reply

  9. Posted by Nathan Palmer on November 30, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I was just wondering about the purpose of giving a patient ECT and then surgically implanting metal in their body as well?

    Reply

  10. I am against the electro convulsive therapy as there are not valid results it and causes distress to patients.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Jerome Johnson on November 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I had 10 sessions of ECT in July/August, 2010 in Portland, Oregon.
    I am a white male, 60 yrs of age and have advanced HIV.
    ECT saved my life. There was a small amount of confusion following the treatments but that abated by mid September, 2010.
    Note that I had taken five years of piano in elementary school. I have re-started my lessons and in six months have brought myself up to an intermediate level. If you are familiar with the pedagogy of piano, this is quite remarkable.
    My piano teacher is amazed as well as myself.
    Please consider my experience.
    Jerome

    Reply

    • Posted by Francine on August 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      same here – saved my life

      Reply

    • Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      It’s very sad to me that you had to go back and learn it again. Over the last few years it has been found that the brain has a `plasticity’ in that when parts of it are damaged it has some capacity to repair itself. It is thought that the brain develops other pathways to compensate and constant practice is required. The degree of recovery is very individual. I was a good tennis player and it took 10 years of constant play in much lower grades and playing `social’ tennis before I began to play anywhere near my pre-ECT level. Unfortunately I am 10 years older, (71), and many parts of my game, (speed mainly), are compromised by that. But I keep playing and loving it. This loss of spatial, orientational ability is common in right brain injury. All this was very depressing because I didn’t know why? Unfortunately other skills did not return. My technical skills for sculpture, building, casting, modelling, welding, (a figurative sculptor, I couldn’t form a human head for many years), have all but gone. Before ECT I wrote 2 novels. I signed the publication contract for the first and an option was taken out on the second The day before my total collapse, (due to a catastrophic suicidal reaction to an SSRI anti-depressant. I was given this for stress. I had a half finished novel at the time and tried for 5 years to finish it, and failed. I was no longer able to organise the long narrative. This is also caused by right and frontal lobe brain damage. Neuropsychological tests recorded this damage. Since I was still able to write short stories and short plays, people relaxed and said, `you’re above the `norm’ so don’t worry.’ That was after 66 ECTs, (April 3, 2000-Jan 11, 2002. After another 20, (July-September), again from an SSRI reaction, I can’t write fiction at all.
      I’m SO GLAD you have been able to get your skills back but I remain very sad that it amazed you and your teacher. Maybe without ECT you could be even further ahead? I note that you wrote this post a few months after your ECT experience. I hope you have remained well, but I think it unlikely. The docs don’t tell you it will, almost always, last no more than six months, with most people suffering the return of depression symptoms within 4 months. As I said, hard work, practice, practice, practice can help, at least for some. There are many alternatives to ECT, that really work and work through what happened to you that made you get depressed in the first place. Imagine how you would feel if those things, whatever they are, are no longer an issue and you could make the rest of your life more joyous.
      I wish you well.

      Reply

  12. Posted by Jerome Johnson on November 24, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Please leave me a comment–it would be appreciated.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kenneth Kitzmiller on October 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Psychiatrists are quite literally criminals. They can and do kidnap, permanently
      injure and kill people with NO due process and No judicial oversight. The
      American Psychiatric Association is a criminal organization. Apart from
      electric shock ‘treatments’ and brain operations, they are on the take from
      pharmaceutical corporations. They are running a racket as sleazy as the Mafia.

      Reply

    • Jerome. Unfortunately it has been shown that ECT patients often do not realise their deficits but cognitive tests show they are there. My husband has brain damage (not from ECT) and has a ten minute memory as well as other deficits. He has no idea anything is wrong. ECT on the right side of the brain destroys your insight and creativity. Your IQ goes down. Huge swathes of your past will be deleted. You only know when someone shows you a photo or talks about a past event you attended and you haven’t a clue what they are talking about. The more ECT you have the worse the brain damage.

      Reply

  13. Posted by ROBIN VALDEZ on February 4, 2011 at 5:37 am

    IS BEING SHOT WITH TAZERS IN ANYWAY COMPARIBLE TO ECT OR IS THERE SIDE EFFECTS FROM TAZERS. WOULD A PERSON BEING SHOT BY A TAZER HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE AND ARE THERE SPECIFIC TESTS THAT CAN BE DONE THAT SHOWS BRAIN DAMAGE SPECIFIC TO, BRAIN DAMAGE BY ELECTRO SHOCK WEAPONS,IF SO WHAT TYPE OF TESTING WOULD I REQUEST.IW OULD THINK IF ECT CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE BEING SHOT BY A TAZER SEVERAL TIMES IN YOUR LIFE WITH AN UNKNOWN AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY WOULD CAUSE SOME TYPE OF BRAIN DAMAGE.ONE INCIDENYT OF BEING TAZED THE BURNS TOOK 3 MONTHS TO HEAL.

    Reply

  14. my brother was snatched and put in emeryvill stat hospital with out ever seeing a dr and started on ect untill my mother found out and got a laywer involve and he was reliesed and later he started having strockes which i belive can be traced back to the ect i think that the damage done was bad enough to cause him trouble the rest of his life and the first strockes damaged a large portion of his brain and i wonder how many others who sufered ect have died from strokes gr have suffered strokes

    Reply

  15. Posted by Cheryl Prax on September 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

    The UK government has recently introduced e-petitions online.
    Please sign this ‘Abolish ECT’ e-petition and relegate this barbaric ‘treatment’ to the history pages along with lobotomy. We need 100,000 signatures to get it debated in parliament.
    To sign an e-petition, you must be either:
    • a citizen of the UK
    • a resident in the UK (you normally live in the UK)
    It only takes a minute! Please pass this on.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16278

    Thank you for your help.

    Reply

  16. Posted by robin mccarthy on September 23, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I have just ended a series of 9.I don’t feel depressed anymore,I don’t feel anything.I do feel as if a part of me is missing.I no longer find joy in reading my favorite books.I can’t admit to my daughter that I can’t remember some of the memories we used to share.Its as if part of my very essence has been stolen.I was supposed to have 12 of them,but I have this overwhelming feeling of terror left over from the last 2.I can’t do it.I would rather be considered crazy as aloon than empty and soulless.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Lisa on November 4, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Robin, I’m so sorry. I pray that God will give you peace and joy and give you new memories with your daughter. Blessings to you.

    Reply

  18. PBR So you don’t believe anyone who says they have been harmed by this ‘procedure’? As Peter Breggin MD says, medical treatments have been withdrawn in the past if they have caused serious harm to a small percentage of people. He goes on to say that ECT harms a large percentage of people and there is little evidence that any are being helped. Page 250 ‘Brain disabling treatments in Psychiatry’

    Reply

  19. Posted by jayesh on March 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    dear sir, my wife feel eletrical current shock in body,since last 20 days.
    it was done after 3 to 4 day. on the time of shock if some one came in to contact with her they also feel shock.
    so i want to know what is this?
    give me reply

    Reply

  20. Posted by Maritza Martinez on April 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I am a survivor of ect treatment.Nobody cares about my battle against that treatment.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Catherine on May 18, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Hi. My mother was given ECT when in hospital. She had suffered from mental illness for years & drug addiction. What I would like to know is if there is any compensation availble for victims of this barbaric treatment?

    Reply

  22. Posted by Jeff on August 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I had E.C.T. It is a last resort. Damage is unquestionable like the ability to memorize new material. Degrading, hostile and barbaric. Cannot understand the absence of publicity against it.

    Reply

  23. Asylum magazine are going to dedicate a whole issue to ECT probably Dec 2012. Please send them your testimonies etc.

    http://www.asylumonline.net/

    editors@asylumonline.net

    Reply

  24. Posted by Disgusted on October 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    If a person has suffered a brain injury, they are allowed to act a little weird. Having a brain injury is no reason, in my oppinion, to justify torturing an individual; one,who has survived a head injury and two, has no real control over thier brain; by subjecting that person to yet another brain injury by means of ECT.

    Reply

  25. Posted by Kate on March 2, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I had ect three and a half years ago, six treatments against my will. I am still in a terrible place. It ruined my marriage, my life, i live in constant terror, I suffer PTSD, agrophobia, social anxiety, lack of confidence and self esteem. The effects of the “treatment” made me suicidal, I struggle to get through every day, I am afraid of the past, the present and the future. My trust in doctors is non existent after this. The people who I thought were helping me actually caused me to be even worse than before. I can’t think straight, have confused thinking, my body is a mess. This practice should be banned. They give the equivalent “brain shock” to pigs/sheep/cows at the abbatoir just before they kill them. It’s like going to the hospital with a broken leg and them hitting it with a baseball bat and saying “there, that will make it better”. Your brain controls all your bodily functions, how can upsetting the balance in there help?

    Reply

  26. Posted by Patricia L. Weed on March 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I had Shock Treatment in my early 50’s because of PTSD . I am now having symptoms of MS is that possible?

    Reply

  27. Posted by Daphne Mark on March 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Tissue Electro Convulsive Therapy(ECT) or shock treatment, is an outdated method and has no scientific evidence to justify it’s application to patients with mental illness.
    My scientific and medical opinion is that such therapy causes physical damage to brain architecture and it’s neural cells and actually could be the cause of future neural or brain atrophy because of the invasive physical impact on the brain cells (tissues).
    Note: the term tissue refers parts of an organ which contains the same functioning cells. Every organ has tissue composed of different in morphology and functions cell;
    e.g., the brain tissue is composed of neural cells.
    In conclusion based on the above the application of ECT is invasive to the brain tissue by causing physical trauma to the organ in general and disrupting or permanently eliminating the physiological and biochemical function of the neural cells and thus as a consequence causing cell atrophy (or brain atrophy) at later stages.
    In relation to the letter of the person with a diagnosis of MS this could be attributed to the damage of the neural cell which were no longer able to produce the protein myelin which in turn envelopes the neural cells (in a healthy state) and it is responsible for an effective neural transmission. This enables normal cell communication in the brain and neural functioning in general.

    I do strongly objet to such treatment. It could no be called therapy as it has not therapeutical results.

    Daphne Mark

    Reply

    • Posted by Deirdre Oliver on April 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      In 2000, after a catastrophic reaction to an SSRI I was started on ECT by a panicking psychiatrist. I was given 66 treatments over a 20 month period. My memory for this time is virtually extinct. However I do remember 4 occasions, (friends remember many more), when I withdrew consent. On all these occasions I was threatened with being `sectioned’ (made an involuntary patient in a public hospital) which terrified me and was often physically manhandled into the ECT room. Pleading, begging got me nowhere.
      Eventually, now labelled bipolar, I was `rescued’ by a psychiatrist from another clinic.
      The long term consequences of ECT were also catastrophic. It took 6 months for me to recover well enough to begin to realise that whole sections of my autobiographical memory were gone.
      1. My children’s growing up, most of their achievements, graduations, sporting triumphs, (they both became elite athletes), have been lost.
      2. My technical abilities as a successful sculptor, (there were many works I didn’t even recognise as mine), various successful sculpture exhibitions, solo and group. Lost.
      3. The proposed publication of my first book, (I would forget to contact the editor). Lost.
      4. The first level of production of a movie series, (I forgot/didn’t recognise my own work or the producer). Lost.
      5. The first level production of a sitcom I wrote, (I didn’t and still don’t, remember that this was optioned by a production company which had held a major workshops including actors. (This means they’re serious). Lost.
      6. I didn’t even recall my professional acting career. (I was in `Neighbours’ in the 90’s.)
      Plus, plus, plus! All still lost. Nearly every time I talk to my family members I find more that I’ve lost. As I tell my about to be ex, current doctor, my life is a poorer place than it should be.

      As if there needs any more to be said, I cannot write anything more than short stories now because I have lost the organisational skills needed to produce a 75,000 word novel. Neuropsychology tests have documented this. But because I won prizes for the short stories my current psychiatrist, who loves my creativity, says I haven’t lost anything! So keen was she that she attempted to wipe that out, too, by persuading me to have a further 20 ECT treatments three years ago. Why did I let her? I don’t know. I’ve written nothing since.

      I cannot `get over’ my rage and misery. Having ECT was, for me, like being raped, violated and demeaned. I feel terrible guilt and self loathing that I couldn’t stop it happening, that I `allowed myself’ to be treated like that. In fact I WAS once raped and the helplessness and horror of that was not as bad as ECT. I guess 86 times is a lot to get over.
      As for the `life saving’ effects of ECT, there is little evidence to support this. In fact in my case, I nearly died four times during it and four times after it. A lot of time on life support. The ongoing anguish of suicidal thinking persists today. In the preceding 58 years of my life there were no suicide attempts.

      Pre ECT I think I fitted the bill as an extremely competent, high performing, popular, well liked woman. Now, after losing an enormous amount of my life to psychiatry, that woman no longer exists. Since the beginning of 2013 I am now about to dump the whole profession. This might seem strange when I tell you I was a very good psychiatric nurse back in the seventies. I believed in the profession. NO MORE!
      I now suffer from a severe post traumatic stress disorder.
      My reason for going on like this are:

      1. I need people to know how devastating ECT is.
      2. I want them to realise that their awful residual distress may include PTSD which requires a specific type of help a bit different from normal depression, though this is a significant feature of PTSD.
      3. I want to warn people that their psychiatrists are lying about ECT and a lot of the drugs as well. (Another post). If they are ignorant about what can happen they should be prosecuted for incompetence.
      4. I want somebody, anybody, to join me in setting up a lobby group to ban ECT here in Australia and world wide.
      5. The lobby group should aim to include those doctors who also have issues with ECT to join in. It is their voices that will do the most good. I actually did a telephone survey a few years ago, and rang 50 psychiatrists asking if they ever prescribed ECT. I included those who said `hardly ever’ as `yes'; the ones who said they did when young but never since as `no’. Out of 48 responses, 23 said no to ECT, 25 said yes. Where are they when we need them?
      We have to remember that `in order for evil to triumph, it just needs the good people to stay silent.’
      After all this, maybe I can write a book?)

      Reply

      • Please do write a book . People need to know about this , and others who have suffered too, need the support of knowing they are not alone :)

      • Posted by Sheri Robinson on April 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        I was abused as a child and became an alcoholic at a young age to self medicate. I also was in abusive marriage then abandoned with two children. my x got away with all he did because he had a lawyer who I think was friends with the judge. Anyway I spiraled into a deep depression and tried to end my life twice I was given ects n it ruined my life even more. I have a ton of amnesia and have lost precious moment’s of my children’s lives among just struggling each day just to function…that is not what I would say made my life better it’s like you are a stranger to yourself.

  28. Dear Deirdre
    I am co-editing an edition of Asylum magazine on Electroshock. Could we use your quote? http://www.asylumonline.net/

    Reply

  29. Posted by Deirdre Oliver on April 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Dear Cheryl,
    Certainly! And do feel free to use my real name. Deirdre Oliver

    Reply

    • Posted by Deirdre Oliver on May 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      I have just been cleaning out my study and found 3 documents. The 1st was a neuropsychological report from June 2003 about 1 i/2 years after the 66 ECT treatments from 3/4/00 – 11/1/003. A couple of quotes:
      `…well motivated and there were no inconsistencies evident in test performance. Speech and language were generally unremarkable with no word finding difficulties apparent.
      … A moderate disturbance of attentional function was evident, particularly on more complex and demanding mental operations. Speed of information processing was also reduced to expected levels.
      …Estimated to have been of `high average’ to superior’ intellect pre morbidly, [her[ performances on verbal measures were commensurate with this estimate. By contrast, her performance on non-verbal intellectual measures fell well below expected levels….Specifically, she had a reduced capacity
      for novel complex problem solving, planning and organisation.’ (?Right brain function where ECT electrodes are placed to reduce DAMAGE.)
      There was a later 2006 neuropsychological which echoes the 1st. e.g.. `Performances on non-verbal tasks that placed demands on information processing speed, concentration, and complex planning and organisation fell in the Average range, suggesting a decline from premorbid levels.’
      The 3rd document, 23/8/2006, is the report from a CT brain scan.
      `…The ventricles are mildly dilated and this is associated with widening of the cerebral sulci. Both the sylvan fissures and the anterior inter hemispheric fissures are widened. A small focus of decreased density is shown anteriorly in the basal nuclei region on the right (!?) consistent with a small infarct.’ (brain bleed/stroke). There is evidence of CONSIDERABLE FRONTAL ATROPHY. AN OLD INFARCT IS NOTED DEEPLY WITHIN THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE.’ (My caps, ECT was 2000-2002, hence `old’).
      To my knowledge I was never treated for a brain haemorrhage.
      This seems to me to be a fair example of ECT caused brain damage, but still they call a repetetive `organic brain syndrome’, `therapy!’ Also, there is a resurgence in lobotomies! Even in the 1800’s they didn’t do any worse damage.
      Somehow these people have to be stopped. Diagnosis of mental illness in the FETUS and newborn, a list of symptoms to diagnose mental illness in your 2-year-old available on the web! They are running MAD!
      Deirdre Oliver

      Reply

  30. Posted by Deirdre Oliver on May 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    One of the major problems in attempting to control these medical renegades is that genuinely out-raged people, justifiably, indulge in very emotional diatribes. This gives the profession the chance to say, `well, that’s what we’d expect from a, (literally), lunatic fringe, ha ha, look at them.’ The only way to deal with them is to be calm and totally scientific. The evidence is out there but it needs to have new names, new well designed studies, getting the information into print that the public can respect. Without any hysteria, unproductive insults and, sorry, ratbag name calling, association with the more extreme religious groups. We have to get the doctors to support the effort to control their rogues, instead of head-in-the-sand avoidance of `problems’. We need whistleblowers from the drug and ECT manufacturers. We need to pluck out the well written, sensible material from web sites like this, all of them. These medicos are becoming very powerful and very dangerous. The public has to be outraged as well. The rest of the medical profession has to become outraged as well. They won’t go anywhere near the `ratbag’ element. My ex-quack said she was sick of my `pseudo-science’, she didn’t seem to know that the pseudo-science I was talking about was the studies done by her colleagues. WE HAVE TO GET THIS STUFF UP FRONT SENSIBLY, SCIENTIFICALLY AND REASONABLY.
    I just had a thought! Can we find some young fire breathing ambitious journalism students who want to make their mark?
    Deirdre Oliver

    Reply

  31. Posted by joshua simpson on November 16, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I looked after a 41 year old woman last year 2012 , she then stayed a while with her brother who said have a REST in hospital ,she was in Yorkshire uk.
    She was a voluntary patient with no prior history of hospitalization . They were going to ECT her after six weeks for saying that she felt that life was not feeling real.
    I helped get her out of there she is safe now . but you can be sure it terrified her . And I am outraged . How dare they do this anymore . it was first used to stun pigs before they cut their throats in the 1940s Lets end this tourture that has life long awful repercussions
    joshua777j aol dot com

    Reply

  32. Posted by Hanno on December 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m a 40 year old male living in South Africa. I was diagnosed with “vanilla” depression at the age of 21. It was always controlled with SSRI’s. I went through drug addiction but recovered successfully, but who knows what damage it could have caused. I have been HIV positive for 13 years now. About 4 years ago I became seriously ill with depression and anxiety. Not the normal “run of the mill” type. I felt so sick/ill from it that I didn’t want to live. I was admitted into a mental hospital where they at first did nothing for me and then tried CBT. It didn’t help at all. I came to live at a mental facility for people who have been “stabilized”. I was far from it and only my religious beliefs kept me from suicide. I started following up at a different mental hospital where they focused more on medication. They tried every drug possible and I was on 4 different anti-depressants at one stage. Nothing helped. I lost all hope and felt SO BAD.
    They then tried the standard 6 sessions of ECT on me. It worked, but only for 6 weeks or so and then I relapsed. We tried it again, with the same effect. I then got onto private medical insurance and started seeing a psychiatrist who suggested maintenance ECT – once every 6 weeks or so. It changed my life! I am on half the psychiatric meds I used to take, I sleep well again, I am positive, I want to live and hope my life will change for the better. I can work again!!! I want to put this nightmare of 4 years behind me and move on. Its however obviously easier said than done, but I will get there. My insurance has to pay for my ECT sessions under SA law (thank heavens) and at the moment we are still a bit too scared to see what will happen if we totally stop the treatments, so we are going to move them further and further apart. I have cancer now and TB, but am fighting it with all I have and I am not going to lay down. How many people can come from 4 years of wanting to die, then get cancer and TB and suffer from HIV and still have a positive outlook on life? I do and I’m proud of it.

    And for those who say it causes damage, memory loss and a lowering of IQ, it might be true in some cases but not in my case. And I can go on and on as to why it is not the case for me, but I don’t feel I need to “prove” it. And no, I also monitor myself very closely on various levels so its not a case of where it is happening to me, but I am just not aware of it. I find that a very patronizing thing to say.

    So whereas I unfortunately I am not one of the people who are going to go along with what most people are doing here, which is to try and discredit ECT into the ground, I will be the first to admit that, as with every medical treatment out there, there are those who benefit from it and those who might have bad experiences. But I stand STRONGLY for the fact that ECT saved my life! And it did more than just help me, it totally changed things for me to a point where I feel “normal” today, completely free of depression. And to have done so from the terrible depths where I was, where NOTHING helped for years, is nothing short of a miracle. I am eternally grateful to ECT and my psychiatrist.

    Reply

    • NB My husband has extensive brain damage of which he is totally unaware so it is possible to not be aware of the damage which has been done to your brain. The only way to know is by full cognitive testing which will show where the damage is. You will be surprised. If I deleted some of your old emails you would not be aware they were missing until you looked for them. However with ECT you would not even think to look for them as you would not know they ever existed.

      Reply

  33. Reducing the ‘anti-depressants’ has probably helped a lot. These make people worse in the long run. Unfortunately maintenance ECT will cause a gradual cognitve decline of which you will be unaware. It causes permanent brain damage full stop – the more you have the more brain damage you get. You prefer to have temporary relief in return for brain damage. Many people do not have this choice. They are forced to have it or if consenting they will not have been told the truth of the brain damage and memory loss.

    Reply

  34. Posted by DeirdreOliver on December 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I posted a piece on 26/12/13 – But it’s not here – is there a reason, e.i. too long, repetitive, or did I just mess up the posting procedure

    Reply

  35. Posted by DeirdreOliver on December 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I have been going through my file from 2010 when I consented to ECT. Although I have a huge residue of PTSD following the first 66, (2000-2002), and, not so subtle brain damage, confirmed by 2 lots of neuropsych tests, 2003 and 2006, my now ex-doctor got me into another 20!
    The story is one of total betrayal. I have found memory issues I didn’t know I had about that time, but the hospital notes paint a picture. The nursing staff, having had to deal with my dread of even being around ECT for 7 years, recorded that I was terribly distressed with each one. On at least 5 occasions I told them that I was making ropes to hang myself, a couple of times I told them I would eat something before the treatment and die during the anaesthetic. The doctor has not recorded any of this. One time, apparently, I was transferred to the locked ICU for several hours because I was acutely suicidal. There are no comments from the doctor about this, she just continues to say it was my choice. She was so assiduous in constantly claiming I was `leading the push for ECT’ that it makes me sure that she knew I was suffering dreadfully and lied to cover herself if it turned really bad. How did nobody hear my calls for help?
    She very occasionally made remarks that I was very `theatrical’ in my distress, that I felt humiliated, that it had never done any good, that I wanted to go home etc. But, after LONG TALKS each time, WE agreed that I continue to the end. And we did.
    It has taken 3 years for all this to come to a head for me. I will never speak to a psychiatrist again, except in court; my sisters have `enduring power of attorney'; I cannot go to any hospital or doctor of any kind that might have any record of my psych history; if I need medical attention I will only go to those big impersonal med centres and I will not disclose any part of my life that could lead to them finding out that I was ever taking psychotropic drugs. I’m weaning myself off the last drug right now. A week ago I went my past GP, with a sudden onset, (I’m 71), mild semi paralysis of my foot, called foot drop. This can be caused by something wrong in the brain or can be purely mechanical from a damaged spinal disk. While I was there I asked her to sign the ongoing referral to my psychologist. (Govt regs).
    Her interest in my mental condition however, took up the entire consult. I mentioned the foot problem but she did not even check the basics. I went straight to another practice. I had an `urgent’ brain scan and later a lumbar spine scan. The doctor told me if it got any worse to go to a hospital immediately. (NO). Fortunately both of these were OK though I do have to see a neurologist. If they hadn’t been, if there were signs of a slow bleed in my brain or a tumour, I could have died because of a psychiatric label!
    Back to ECT. From my file I have found that the records of the actual ECT indicated bilateral ECT. There were no records of any EEG status, the doctor’s names, if there at all, were illegible. The doctor’s notes were frequently illegible also, and there was at least one nurse whose copious notes were always totally illegible.
    I think I may have agreed to `ultra brief’ ECT, (it took 3 days and a lot of manipulation by the doctor), because I believed that the `ultra brief’ ECT was one single very short shock. The nurses record having lengthy `chats’ reassuring me that the `new’ ones were much better. Since then I’ve found out that it is a pulse, firing 140 `ultra brief’ PULSES a second for up to 5.3 or more, seconds. This means it can be over 700 ultra brief pulses in one treatment. Oh, and the `small electrical current’? Up to 450 volts. Small? Needless to say there was no info about the awful loss of memory and non-memory damage that I have to live with every day of my life. My past was devastated, my future killed stone dead.
    THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WIDE WORLD I WOULD HAVE CONSENTED TO THAT. And yet another little issue. The notes reveal that my doctor had consulted with her superior, a known zealot of ECT whom I hate, stating that he said I should have 20 ECTs. The reason for this was the `length of my illness’ and the resultant `hippocampal shrinkage’ I most surely had as a consequence. I was never told THAT. She wrote that he emphasised that I MUST complete the 20 because `everyone knows that bipolar depression takes MUCH LONGER to recover’. I never spoke to this man before or since, but he may have heard of me as an implacable enemy of ECT. Even in the admission notes by the doctor she wrote, `has had a lot of ECT in the past and has an antipathy to it – watch on ECT days’. She knew. Earlier in the admission the nurses record that I had a bad reaction when someone started talking about ECT. This was before it ever come up as an option. An option that the nurses were urged to encourage. Even a `filling in doctor’ reported my `difficulties’ with ECT.
    WHAT DID SHE THINK SHE WAS DOING? For 7 years I told her ECT was like rape. You don’t treat rape with rape.
    I think it’s time to expose these barbarians.
    UN-informed consent, the unnecessary use of a treatment known to cause immense psychological problems for me, recommendations followed from someone who never saw or spoke to me, excessive use long after serious emotional distress to the point of having to be locked up to protect me from suicide, was being recorded.
    For 7 years I told this woman over and over and over, that my problems dated from the earlier excessive use of ECT in 2000, not from my earlier life. I was not sick the first time either and the admission in 2010, though I was a bit flat, was for a trial with an antidepressant, Lexapro. I crashed approximately three and a half weeks into the trial. There was also suspicion that the first disaster was also caused by a catastrophic reaction to an SSRI. After that, I lost my technical ability for sculpture, including recognising my own work, I tried so hard to finish my third novel but couldn’t organise long narratives. The neuropsych tests showed that, but I could still write short stories and plays. Since 2010 that’s gone too. And worst of all, I’ve lost most of my memory of my children growing up.
    I left the place dreadfully traumatised and damaged with a mood score the same as I went in. Why didn’t I ask for the `withdrawal of consent’ form. I can only say it could have been because it WAS like rape. You know you can’t fight back so you just hope it will be over soon.
    I believe that the clinic and the staff involved failed me in their duty of care. I also believe that I’m not the only one.
    I will never forgive them as long as I live and I will do my very best to bring them down.
    Deirdre Oliver

    Reply

  36. Thank you for posting this. A hell of a story. I am at a loss of what to say. I am so sorry that people are given this evil power over others.
    http://www.speakoutagainstpsychiatry.org

    Reply

  37. Deirdre, just noticed your comments in April to use your quote for Asylum magazine. Luckily that issue was delayed so hopefully your quote can go in when it is compiled.

    Reply

  38. Posted by DeirdreOliver on December 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you so much Cheryl. It’s nice to know there are people like you who actually believe us. I can’t talk about the plans I have for the future with this, but I hope that some people aren’t going to like it.

    Reply

  39. Posted by DeirdreOliver on December 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Oh, and I wanted to ask if you got the story, `Karen’? I’ve sent it to Phil in a couple of ways, like `pdf attached’, and `pdf just as an email’. Further, I have some GOOD NEWS. Due to a response I wrote to a cocky young wannabe journalist, to whom I said basically “do your homework son, then join the grownups”, (it was about ECT and surprisingly I got no reply), a woman in Queensland emailed me about a problem her 20 year old daughter was having as an involuntary patient (ITO) as her doctor wanted to give her ECT. Because I can find my way some of the Mental Health Act I went up there to see if I could help. A lot happened, the girl is out of hospital, has a new, non-bully doctor (though still on a Community Order), NO ECT(!), and expected to come off the CTO 7/1/14. When I met her she was like a deer in the headlights. She’d had a forced naked body inspection, didn’t shower at the hospital, (!), couldn’t talk to the staff, (I met them, bullies, I wouldn’t have talked to them either), and wasn’t eating when she was there, but was at home. (I saw the food too!) The parent’s stories were ignored to the point where her mother made some videos to prove her point. Her daughter was described as `catatonic’ (In all my years working at a huge old mental hospital, I and nobody else I knew ever saw `catatonia'; which isn’t a `disorder’ in its own right anyway). This sheltered (a very religious catholic and patriarchal family), 20 year old university student was also called schizophrenic, because of her very understandable withdrawal and was slowed almost to a stand still by drugs. These 3 things, `mute’, not eating or showering (!?) and barely moving were the reasons put forward for ECT, and staying on an ITO. When I pointed out to the doctor that I thought her retarded movement looked more like psychomotor retardation to me, he got very aggressive and shouted me down. I gave him some literature on ECT and found he’d said I was a Scientologist and poo-pooed the literature as coming from psychologists who are not doctors! I enjoyed that thoroughly.
    The problems this girl has are about growing up. The end of a sheltered childhood and the transition to adulthood with all the scary issues that entails. Psychological issues, and very common ones at that. Huge doses of antipsychotics aren’t going to fix anything. Given time and supportive, knowledgeable and caring counselling this girl, her diagnosis of schizophrenia not withstanding, can get well and stay well. I’m sending her some literature, a book by Jay Haley called `Leaving Home’ among other suggestions. I hope she can get and stay clear of psychiatry in the future. Did you know that people with schizophrenia in India and other 3rd world countries almost all go on to lead normal, or at least `normalish’ lives unless they receive psychiatric treatment. I used to see that back in the old days, too.
    Another beauty was in my notes (ECT 2010) when a nurse wrote

    “2035hrs – Nursing (1)…reported this as a “very bad day”. Spoke of connecting her feelings about ECT with the powerlessness she felt as a child in the sexual molestation episode as an early teen and as an adult by her boss. Encouraged to consider that ECT may have allowed her to make the emotional connection and also to allow herself to feel the feelings she has kept the lid on. With compassion and non judgmental attitude I encouraged to express them her writing. She had a few tears and moved off her suicidal ideation (per taking O/D).!!!!

    My comments: Well I’m so glad you feel good about yourself, dropping this little psychotherapy gem. ECT as a psychotherapy enabler? My God! This is one of the worst bits of psycho-jargon drivel I have ever heard of.
    I WAS TELLING YOU “GET ME OUT OF HERE, I CAN’T DO THIS!
    “Compassion and a non-judgmental attitude?” What am I supposed to be judging unfairly? ECT? There never was a “lid on” these things. ECT is more likely to destroy any chance of ever working on those issues. Particularly when you may know, and [the doctor] does, of the results of 2 neuropsychology reports of mine that clearly show a reduction in the very cognitive abilities needed FOR psychotherapy!
    Could it be that It is the absolute powerlessness and helplessness, that someone is doing something dreadful to you and you can’t get away that might be the problem? Add a bit of humiliation and it’s all good! ECT as a psychotherapeutic tool? It’s a bit hard to engage in that kind of claptrap when you’ve just had 450 volts of electricity fired through your head.
    You know, get the 30% drop in your IQ, for a start. Then there’s all the other cognitive skills that disappear along with your memory of your LIFE. Yeah, if it solves people’s problems so well, why don’t you have it, just to clear out the `nest’ as it were. I’m sorry I didn’t see this little gem coming because if I had I would have bolted and saved my brain a few 450 volt jolts!
    Deirdre

    Reply

    • Deirdre, I have emailed Phil to check whether he got your story, ‘Karen’. Like most people I had no idea what was happening in the ‘Mental Health’ system until a rude awakening in 2009. That caused me to read extensively and speak to survivors. I was even more horrified and determined to make a difference in a small way.

      Are you going to the INTAR conference in Liverpool UK in June next year? http://intar.org/2013/09/intar-conference-liverpool-2014-call-for-contributions-3/ If you want to contribute to the conference the deadline is 31st December. I have offered to tell my story in a seminar.

      Reply

      • Posted by deeeo42d on December 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        I wish, but it’s a long way from Australia. I’ll be there in spirit. Yeah, the only part of medicine, a `helping’ profession, that they lock you up to `help’ you, whether you like it or not. Of course they are `helping’ you to behave as they want, like them. I recall a young uni student who very nearly died because a psychiatrist decided to `help’ her by returning her to infancy, via barbiturates for 6 weeks, in order to wipe out her `faulty’ personality, (she had several psychotic episodes, probably from smoking dope, but always got better), and rebuild it from scratch. In whose image I asked? He is now a much revered elder statesman of the profession. He is actually one of several psychiatrists I worked with who are still practicing and are basically psychopaths.  This is something I wrote to the Health Minister of Western Australia re a re-vcamp of the Mental Health Act there, (each state has their own brand, mostly bad). A letter was written by the president of the WA psych association, which chilled me to the bone. I’ll send it to you if you like. Anyway this was part of my response: `When I read something like this I despair. I keep returning to the Nazi Germany psychiatrists. This is how it’s done.  First, withdraw social status, (“mentally ill” therefore “dangerous and mad”); second, isolate, (“get rid of the parents and all legal restraints”); third, “educate” the public by claiming you are doing them a service by removing and/or repairing these “faulty” people from general society; fourth, call what you are doing science for the betterment, (purity) of all; fifth, tell the biggest lies often enough and people will believe them, (Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany 1938 approx.). You then have complete power over a demeaned sub-group and can allow the escalation of atrocities under the name of “science”..That government supported psychiatrists to perform atrocities that defy belief. Do you want to be known as a major player when you allow ours to do the same?’  Deirdre Oliver PS:  All our states are re-doing the MHAs. They want to allow children of 14 to consent to ECT without parental consent and 16 year olds to be competent to consent to Psychosurgery as well, also without parental consent. In Australia 14 year olds are not competent to consent to SEX, neither can vote or drive a car. It’s frightening particularly that the `College’ is upset because they don’t want to deprive 13 and unders the benefits of ECT! Good Luck

    • Deirdre, your testimony has made it into the ECT edition of Asylum but I can’t find your email address to give to the magazine so they can arrange a complimentary copy for you. I think the article ‘Karen’ is not going to be included. NB the magazine is still being compiled at the printers. email speakoutagainstpsychiatry@gmail.com. Thanks. Cheryl Prax

      Reply

  40. Posted by sharon racklyeft on February 3, 2014 at 1:37 am

    In us legal redress can be taken,inpossable in uk

    Reply

  41. Posted by DeirdreOliver on February 3, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    This info is quite old. I have written to this site before. Currently I am researching a wide range of issues re ECT. I am trying to find people who are actually involved in setting up enquiries to see what we can do, practically, to confront the `industry’, for that is what it is. Here in Australia, with our very accommodating public health system pays a significant proportion of the cost of ECT, and with our relatively wealthy and insured population, we have the highest per capita use of ECT, 35% of which it is involuntarily. I was a psychiatric nurse in the 1970s and worked in a public psychiatric hospital. We rarely used ECT, though it had been used as a punishment for the old back ward guys if they got stroppy. We figured ECT wasn’t particularly helpful and caused brain damage.
    As far as I was aware there weren’t any private psychiatric hospitals then. We used to fantasise that we should start one in order for us to help people better than the big old hospitals. ECT was never going to be a part of that. How naive we were.
    ECT began to be reborn with the appearance of the private psychiatric clinics/hospitals in the 1980s. It was quick, you didn’t have to talk to the patients, a long consult was 15 minutes so you could churn through patients with a scrip and ECT and it PAID.
    The numbers speak for themselves. $15,000+ a week for one psychiatrist? Who’s going to give that up?
    To try and maintain their justifications for its use as a `therapy’, there are dozens of `studies’ with pages of sic-babble that when you look at it’s saying, (in 3 pages), that this is a transformer that converts (in Australia) 250 volts from the power point into 450 volts with140 pulses a second powered through the head for nearly 8 seconds, to give someone a fit. There’s not much mention of people getting this. Well, if you’re going to be `scientific’, people are more or less irrelevant.

    Nearly all these `clinics’ run on high profits from ECT. That these places get away with seriously and permanently damage over 50% of their patients is a medical, legal and moral disgrace. There is no other part of medicine that would be ALLOWED to do that.

    And by the way, here in Aus the ECT machines are classified alongside condoms! NO ECT machine has EVER been tested for safety ANYWHERE in the WORLD. Thanks for our government’s protection.
    The ECT `push’ who constantly tell us that the media have demonised ECT totally miss the point that the media, via psychiatrists demonise the mentally ill as violent and dangerous and therefore have to be `shocked’ into `behaving’ in whatever way they think is appropriate. In fact all the data support that the psychiatrists have sent out disclaimers that they will take NO responsibility for the prediction of who might be violent and who may not be. Because their results are dismal. WOW! In fact psych people are almost 50% less likely to be violent and are far more likely to be victims. The general population is NEVER told that!
    That ECT is being touted for our children, as more and more adults are wising up is chilling. Young parents, wanting the best for their babies are terribly vulnerable. The lists of psychiatrists who specialise in child and adolescents has sky-rocketed in the last few years. WHY? ECT for 4 year-olds?
    That ECT machine manufacturers are vigorously advertising their destructive wares to the third world is a clear indication that money is what drives ECT.
    In those countries, in the past, only 16% of people with `schizophrenia’ become permanently disabled. These are the people who are treated with anti-psychotic drugs and, yeah, you guessed it, ECT. But The Shock-makers are launching big time and doing their best to create a market.
    Sadly, there are so many, even in our relatively well educated population, who believe the doctor is always right. That there is some kind of `special’, `magical’ ability that a doctor has and therefore he/she is a person to be totally trusted. Even more sadly psychiatrists believe it too.
    It’s TIME to make them answer the hard questions.
    It’s time to ask our government how long can we our `mentally’ ill to be victimised by venal, greedy, arrogant charlatans?
    Deirdre
    PS: I am looking for people here in Australia to create a counter attack and MAKE these guys answer to the their patients and their society.

    Reply

  42. Posted by ARACELY on March 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    thank you for info. my son is in hospital for hurting himself. the nurse told me they are considering ect. I am scared for him. I told them I protest. I going to the hospital to prevent this for happening to him.

    Reply

  43. Posted by DeirdreOliver on March 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I am so sorry you have been placed in this position. Has he had SSRI or SNRI anti-depressant drugs? This is important as some side effects can be devastating. If so check the info on the box. A few questions – Where are you? What hospital is he in? Is he a voluntary or an involuntary patient? How old is he and how long has he been there?

    Reply

  44. Posted by y.ashish kr on March 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Due to thinkings .cant do routine works busy in rapid thoughts and heavy imaginations

    Reply

  45. Posted by y.ashish kr on March 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Due to thinkings .cant do routine works busy in rapid thoughts and heavy imaginations any treatment to forget past

    Reply

  46. Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I wonder if any of you could forward this to as many people as you can. We have reached a new level of psychiatric barbarity here in Australia. Contrary to the WHO, Human Rights groups, good medical practice, world wide, the pressure on the government from Psychiatrists with a taste for the high life and no morals, ($15,000+ per week), has prevailed and there are now no age limits on electroshocking our children, of ANY age!
    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry has now got control of the Victorian Mental Health Act and is about to do the same for the NSW Act.
    Amendments such as the restrictions for Electroshock being banned for for children under 14 have been scrapped, as have those banning psychosurgery for children under 16. ECT now has NO age restrictions in Victoria. Penalties for inappropriate or illegal use of psychosurgery have also been removed. The new Act was passed by parliament this week. The NSW Mental Health Act contains the same conditions as Victoria.
    The NSW Mental Health Act is under review and on Sunday 30th March 2014
    Proposals are: ECT for ANY age; psychosurgery, remove all bans; remove penalties for illegal uses ECT/psychosurgery; no requirement for legal safeguards for restraint (children); sterilisation, without parental or guardian consent.
    ELECTROSHOCK (ECT) OF CHILDREN:
    The NSW Mental Health Expert Reference Group who advises the NSW Ministry of Health, highlighting key issues, do not want a prohibition placed on the use of ECT in children, such that ECT can be given to CHILDREN OF ANY AGE without personal or parental consent, if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed and apply to the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) for consent.
    The law also allows for 14-year-old voluntary patients considered to have the capacity to consent, agreeing to ECT if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed. No further consent is needed, including the child’s parents. If they refuse they are made `involuntary’ and face a Tribunal. Historically the Tribunal supports the doctors in 97% of cases.
    One of our own…Garry Walter is from NSW and is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is Clinician Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney and is Postgraduate Co-ordinator of research programs in the Faculty’s Discipline of Psychological Medicine. The subject of his PhD was ECT in young people…his research involves outcome measurement.
    ‘Recent studies have not detected long term cognitive effects following ECT’..‘There are currently no data to suggest that ECT damages a young person’s brain or adversely affects brain development…’.`..young patients received large numbers of treatments eg. up to 200 and/or very frequent treatments eg. 15 treatments in three days, reported no long-term problems in this regard.’ (??? he’s not looking)
    DID THIS MAN ELECTROSHOCK 55 CHILDREN UNDER 5 IN 2009?
    These amendments are for the benefit of psychiatrists. `…the biggest reason for the increased use of ECT. It’s economic.‘ Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
    Thank you, Deirdre Oliver. I am sickened and ashamed of my country.

    Reply

  47. Posted by Lisa Cappeta on April 12, 2014 at 5:46 am

    ECT should be illegal. It is not right especially to give to a “patient” whom has had no prior mental issues, except a one time incident. I am looking for a law actually do to a misdiagnosis that delayed my freedom to leave a hospital that I was not suppose to be in for more than 8 days. Instead by the over drugging of 17 drugs, and the forced shock treatment without my informed consent. Has cost me everything, now they say I am to late in putting it together? well..do to no disclosure, until 5 months ago from a out patient treatment that I was sent to after discharge from the inpatient (these were two diff hospitals!) The out patient told me they did not agree with the inpatient stay of 32 days, or what they were treating me for. I did not know they were treating me for what they thought was a recurrent episode, but in fact was only a first time and only time of bizarre behavior with psychotic “features” and this was caused by stress and a recent wean off a medication I WAS PUT ON IN 1996 FOR PAIN! Not depression or mental illness. Out patient now understands what had happened to me while locked in for 32 days, also as of 5 months ago. Everything is very clear now. To all of us, and in no way could anything been known any sooner that it was. A 1x incident is NOT a Recurrent Episode! I am a few months past the SOL in NY. however..with factual reasons why!
    also one being I could not find any attorney to Look over my medicals until March 2014.
    and was told..Yes gross negligence was done, BUT the sol in ny has ran. I’m sorry.
    I’m sorry also.. because of the inpatient “treatments” that were forced, I lost my marriage, my home, I suffer from memory loss,and unable to follow simple directions, or understand things that are told to me. All that has been done to me, and with continuing “treatment” was given to a person NOT with a mental illness, but a person who was going through the withdrawal of a medication (zoloft) she was given for PAIN. – OFF LABEL USE IN 1996!
    OUTRAGED!

    Reply

  48. Posted by Kathryn on April 12, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I’m so sorry for the treatment you received. I too was hospitalised for comolicated gried, drugged up and bullied into ect even though I fought not yo have it. Yes I was poorly, depressed but it was lifestyle changes I needed help with not drugging up and electrocuting. Worst is, my husband, the nan I’d supported through alcoholism for over twenty years refused to support my decision not to have ect and drugs. He was guilty of bullying me into both too. I feel violated, my autonomy was taken away from me. They may as well of told me to kneel down and hit me on the head with a baseball bat. The ect gave me a brain injury from which five years on I am still struggling to recover. The so cslled professionals have no idea I’m sorry to say. My trust is destroyed. I lost my home, my children, my self respect, everything. Subjecting the brain, the nerve centre of your entire body to an electrical charge when they don’t even know how it works is criminal. They stun animals this way before they cut their throats and that’s his it made me feel. I am bitter and outraged too.

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  49. Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Lisa Cappeta… THIS IS MONSTROUS! HOW DARE THEY? HOW DARE THEY? How dare they claim that this is TREATMENT? How dare they claim that 0VER 70% of ECT are HAPPY, even GRATEFUL for this? How dare they lie, bully, threaten, even physically manhandle people they’re supposedly trying to HELP? I have written posts on this site and many others so I won’t repeat myself but I think it’s time to look at the legal recourses we DON’T have. In Australia we have the right to sue, BUT, how?

    1) It can take months/years to find out what the damage is, thereby pulling any legal rug out from under us time wise. (How can we tell that our memory has gone, because it’s gone.) Even obvious early damage (6 months) is unlikely to be believed.
    2) We have to PROVE that what the doctor is was negligent or liable. (If he was operating under the law as HE sees it – forget that. He just has to say it.)
    3) We have to somehow PROVE that we aren’t making it all up, that our opinion is NOT the result of our ILLNESS. It is presumed that if we make a complaint we are clearly SICK! After all, doctors are educated and respected, they don’t tell lies.
    4) We have to PROVE that we didn’t NEED ECT in the face of a government that permits a certain sub group of its citizens to be forced to have treatment, has removed our human rights, and does not support us.
    5) Even if a person realises in time, how can they, with limited means, (which may well be BECAUSE of the drugs/ECT), face a lengthy court case with no guarantee of success, in the face of being humiliated and destroyed in the process. The defence team, (and it will be a team), will be stacked with `mates’, authorities’ reps (RCP, RANZCP). I doubt there would be any law firms that would take this on. They like to have a `chance’ of winning.
    6) Any scientific evidence that we present (and there is a huge body of it that supports our claims), will be ignored, their’s, often altered from the original, will presented as fact. In one case (US), an `expert witness’ made up a `diagnostic’ phrase, never heard of before, presented it and won.
    ABOUT the legal issues – here in Aus, we have a Royal Commission about child sex abuse in orphanages, the Catholic church is in the gun right now – my point is that we are talking about incidents from 40+ years ago. Previously no act, no matter how bad, could be prosecuted because it was too long ago. COULD THIS BE A PRECEDENT FOR US?
    I am going to try to talk to a human rights lawyer.
    There was also a Royal Commission in the 1980s about a private clinic that destroyed
    hundreds of people’s lives and actually killed quite a few. ANOTHER PRECEDENT?

    BUT, right now I am trying to organise a project to tell the general public what’s going on. Hardly anyone I speak to knows that ECT not only exists, but is increasing in use as we speak. This project, which began in Canada will be aimed at giving us a voice. I intend it to be a very loud voice. Part of it will be 2 public `panel’ meetings with expert panels, another will be to organise a `Mother’s Day’ protest, (too late for this year, sadly), but it will be set in motion from 2015 until ECT stops. (70% ECT is females). There are many ways of organising noisy protests and we the numbers and organisers.
    Back to the laws of our lands that don’t protect us. They only protect the psychiatrists who, because of what we pay them, have the money to destroy us. Their claim, when the media even hint at how dangerous and destructive ECT really is, it is publishing lies and misinformation about ECT (`One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’), is tawdry PR/Spin without ANY scientific basis.
    Unfortunately VERY naive journalists, who rarely speak to any anti-ECT people because the doctors assure them that we are `sick’ therefore not credible, and why would the doctors lie, become part of the endorsement campaign. Mental health issues don’t attract the more experienced journos because it is very low on the totem pole.
    We hope to remedy that and may well be able to let them destroy themselves via the diagnostic bible DSM V. This `document’ has shot psychiatry in the foot by calling an amazing amount of human behaviour, `sick’. The word is out, and many respectable institutions like our own Monash Medical School, are so embarrassed and disgusted by it, stating that they will not teach it, or use it at all. They say that it has been compiled for the drug companies and the courts!
    We need to get these guys to answer for their profession and patients!
    Now, what to do. PUBLICITY, PUBLICITY, PUBLICITY! The kind of attack on public perceptions that led to `equal rights’ for women (half the population), blacks (Martin Luther King et al), `gay’ rights, among others. We need a Mike Moore kind of documentary movie re ECT as it really is. Stage plays, comedy (yup, if you ridicule something people will remember it and these cowboys take themselves VERY seriously – after all they are DOCTORS! Except most real doctors consider them cowboys); protests in the streets, picket `shock shop’ hospitals, sit-ins etc, etc.
    When what happened to you is so recent, they can’t hide behind, `Oh, it’s different now”. I am collecting `voices’ for a document that will be published, may I use your experiences, ALL OF YOU? No real names, or contact details will be used. It will also include some of the most stupid, silly, contradictory, venal voices of the docs as well. This info may form part of the movie in the future but only with the informed consent of the individual.
    If any of you have any ideas on all of this, please post it. It is time to stop complaining (Psychiatrist’s words) and ACT. They MAY NOT INJURE PEOPLE PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ANYMORE!
    Oh, and there are programs, especially in the UK, where you might find support and help to get through the horrible aftermath of ECT, and the drugs. The Icarus Project, `Hearing Voices’ are two I can think of. Look up `alternatives’.
    HOW MANY MEDICAL TREATMENTS HAVE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GOING PUBLIC TO TRY AND STOP OTHERS BEING DAMAGED? ALL OF YOU ON THIS SITE ARE STANDING UP TO BE COUNTED. NOT EVERY SURVIVOR CAN SO WE MUST WORK TO HELP THEM.
    GOOD ON YOU, MAINTAIN THE RAGE!
    DEIRDRE
    PS: I work at being a happy granny, a fair tennis player, a dedicated searcher of the truth, a agent for the welfare of my fellow man, an implacable enemy of hypocrites, liars, and those who use people’s trust to harm them. Go in peace. DEEEO

    Reply

  50. Posted by Sharon Racklyeft on April 13, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Hate email & text, but have lots to say against ect.anyone can email me there phone no racklyeft1@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply

  51. Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Sharon, I know computers act like our enemies but they can make it easier to communicate. I’m in Australia so a phone call could cost you your food bill for the week. Would you like to write and post it to me. I am getting a new Post Office box this week and can let you know the address. When the meetings, which I may call `Your Voice’ get off the ground we will have spots in the proceedings for the experiences of survivors of ECT/drugs who cannot be there in person, for whatever reason, to be read out. If you can just keep a lookout on this site we will try to get your voice out there.

    Reply

  52. Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Sharon, Sorry. I mean write your STORY out and post it as a letter. It must be heard. Just a little `senior’s moment there.

    Reply

  53. Posted by AllinMyHead on April 14, 2014 at 8:48 am

    After reading the horror stories on this board, I’m grateful that I didn’t find this until after my recent treatment was completed. I am not here to negate the pain of others, but since I’ve had this treatment, I can only tell you that it probably saved my life. I’m lucky enough to live in an area of the USA where I have access to a world class psychiatric facility. I had 10 RUL Ultrabrief treatments. After my 10th, I experienced some cognitive difficulties and my doc and I agreed to stop the treatments (I had two left). The cognitive problems went away immediately and I feel great. I’m working on a plan with my doc to find a way to stay well and in remission, and I know that involves me taking care of myself while I’m well – diet, exercise, good sleep hygiene, and taking care of business – stay busy.

    I guess I’m lucky that, although I do suffer from sometimes debilitating depression, I don’t hear voices. I’ve had multiple failed med trials and after years of family leave and having to take short term disability, I felt the need to take the risk and go through ECT. Before I agreed, I did research about how it’s done and it became clear that one of the biggest problems is that the procedure and training to perform it are not regulated in terms of standards. For example, I ran into some who comes to the USA to get her treatments because in Canada, only bilateral is available (and a lengthily waiting list). She comes here to get Ultrabrief which is described in Dr. Sackeim’s study as the type which results in far less cognitive side effects.

    I can only hope the future brings better treatments for mental illness. My family has been deeply affected by this illness. Instead of fighting to get this treatment banned, I’d like to see more education of the lack of standards across the globe. Patients in third world countries are still subject to treatment without consent. They are treated without sedation and they are treated using draconian methods that should be outlawed EVERYWHERE.

    Reply

  54. Posted by Cheryl Prax on April 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Unfortunately Allinmyhead you will find that this apparent happiness is temporary and the depression will come back and then they will suggest maintenance ‘treatments’. Once or twice a month. The more you have the more the damage. There will be memories that have been erased that you do not know about yet. If I deleted some of your old emails you would not realise until you went looking for them. In fact with ECT you won’t even look for them as it will be as if they never existed. If you have extensive cognitive tests you will find that you can’t think as well as you could before and your IQ will be down. Meds don’t work because there is nothing wrong with your brain and the same for ECT. I am sorry you have been hoodwinked but don’t preach here until you get tested and ask your family if they think you are damaged.

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  55. Posted by DeirdreOliver on April 14, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Allinmyhead, I am so glad you found relief for your depression. However, that you are discussing other options with your doctor indicates his awareness that those good results are unlikely to last more than a few weeks. The injuries caused by the ECT brain injury, (organic brain syndrome), which can be assessed by an EEG, that measures brainwave activity, and would, almost certainly, show that you still have tracings that are far from normal. (Ask your doctor if he could check you out). As Cheryl says, it can take weeks and months to discover what kind of damage has been done. It was 6 months after my first 66 ECTs stopped, before I got the first clue that something was badly wrong with my memory.(13 years, wiped). It took more than a year before I realised that much of my sculpture and writing abilities had gone, and even then I didn’t know they were gone for good. They were.
    There is so much information out there that doesn’t back up ECT, so many poorly designed, misleading, downright dishonest (Janicak and others) studies/mega-studies. There is also so much info that is suppressed, not published and ignored because it doesn’t support the views and the pockets (lots of dollars – $15,000 ++a week), of the bio-psychs. Your guy would be doing well if he’s fielding international patients! The pro-ECT docs ($$$) have stacked the professional journals’ editorial boards, bribed all kinds of authorities, and garner big bucks to carry out some of the worst, silliest, bits of reasearch you’ll find in ALL SCIENCE, not just in psychiatry. Some, if presented as a year 7 student (12-13 years old) as a science project, the teacher would rip it up, stash it in the bin and make the kid do it again.
    You may have to take precautions. YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR TREATMENT. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR FUTURE. Make sure your doctor gives you the scientific justifications for `maintenance’ ECT – AKA the `road to dementia’. I also query the use of anti-depressants following ECT to try to prolong the effects. Haven’t you had those for years? So now, why are they going to be any more effective than they were before? There are a vast number of these logic lapses in psychiatric circles. I’m recording them as it shows that psychiatry is a belief system, NOT science or `evidence based’ as they claim!
    Check out research from various sources. I’ve listed some below.
    If your doctor is reluctant for you to read scientific papers, ask him why? If he recommends the following studies, be very careful. The West `sham’ ECT (placebo) trial 1981, and the 1978 Freeman `sham’ trials are actually invalid studies. Both of these are trotted out as ECT friendly BUT neither of them actually DID a complete `placebo’ study, rendering their findings, fiction. Another mega-study by Janicak (1987) also published a series of dishonest manipulations of the truth. He listed a group of trials but re-invented most of them. He changed the figures, failed to mention that one study only had 4 subjects, and in the Ulett study, he rather spectacularly totally altered the findings of the original study so that it supported real ECT as far, far better than the placebo. In fact it was exactly the same, and he couldn’t add up either. (to me, 21 x 4 = 84 but he said it was 83). Anyway have a look at the ones I listed.
    I’m not sure quite what you meant by `cognitive’ ?? that immediately resolved when ECT was stopped?
    RUL ECT causes global brain injury as they all do. Your doctor claimed it was much less damaging than the other types.. This doesn’t mean it’s good, just that it’s less and that’s debatable. What they do is jack up the power and the duration until the power is just as damaging as bilateral ECT. There are neuropsych tests that will reveal quite marked problems that the person may not be aware of. Right Brain is the where our non-verbal abilities lie. It includes creativity, spacial orientation (sport, dancing, finding your way about, etc), organizational abilities, planning, intellectual processing among others. It is common for right brain injured people to be unaware of any changes to the point that they actually don’t see from their right eye and don’t know.
    Sackheim said ALL types of ECT, `even the most benign’, cause significant, permanent damage in 50%+ of recipients. If your doctor suggests that any brain damage you may have is likely to be caused by the chronic severe depression you have, suggest he take another look.
    There are some really important studies that `prove’ chronic, severe depression causes degenerative brain damage. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have noticed that there are NO chronically, severely depressed people who have NOT had medications, in these studies. Thus, all these `works’ can claim is that they’re documenting the long term dementing effects of psychotropic drugs. There is a lot of evidence that DOES show this bad news. You can lose 25 years of life due to the pills alone!
    Plus, if the damage has been caused by the `illness’, i.e. depression, why do people with schizophrenia, mania and `catatonia’ as well as those who are having their first episode of depression, have exactly the same cognitive and memory loss as each other after ECT?
    The saddest thing about this is that there are psychotherapy techniques available that are doing great things, even CBT, which has had some issues over the last few years, in the hands of experts, may be useful. But, I mean `experts’.
    Unfortunately psychiatry gets funded, but psychology/counselling doesn’t. Most of today’s psychiatrists have very little experience in ANY psychotherapy techniques. A nice half hour chat once a week/month isn’t going to cut it. A scrip and an ECT referral only takes 5 minutes so you can fit more paying patients in a day. Consults on ECT patients on ECT days can be a quick as a nod, and a smile. The doc knows you won’t remember.
    I just noticed the `official’ line – ?‘neurological realignment’. God knows what this means? Is it the same for ALL the diagnoses? Schizophrenia? Catatonia? (unseen since the 60s)? Mania (it can CAUSE that)? Or does the brain know/choose where to direct the 450 volts via 140 pulses per second for 8 seconds? Does the brain know, and how, which bits require some realignment? Oh, and it’s supposed to increase IQ – repair your memory * – enable psychotherapy – If anyone tells you this garbage, they are showing they have no respect for your intelligence whatsoever.
    Here are a few people’s feelings about the subject.
    Loretta Wilson
    April 20, 2013
    In July 2006, I wrote about Electroconvulsive Therapy and stated, “If I had the opportunity to have another series of treatments I would do it!”  I had been compelled to believe the shocks had saved my life.****
    Did electroconvulsive therapy save my life?  The destructive nature of electroshock destroys much of what makes people who they are now and will become in the years ahead.  No way, no how can electroshock be credited for saving one moment of my present existence!  If I had continued to believe the doctors’ reports that said I would need maintenance ECT and psych drugs for the remainder of my life, I don’t believe I would still be here. Today, I am alive and well and I believe it is only because I said no to the shocks in 2000.
    Another post:
    I know it hurt my memory but they swear it doesn’t. After the last ECT I told my doctor it was making me dumb….he said, “you are too intelligent to do more ECT’s”. I am a doctor what the hell would have happened if I was deemed normal?
    Mark: For depression treatment we have those who assert a treatment success rate of 80% – But, APA’s Psychiatric Services,(2010) “The problem is clinical depression treatment often is ineffective. Only 5.8% of patients with clinical depression have symptom remission within six months of treatment.
    Some others:
    “I miss the person that got away from me”;
    “ECT destroyed brain cells filled with memory”;
    “My social work career and law aspirations vanished.”;
    “My life as I knew it has been wiped out for me by ECT. … I don’t know who I am”;
    “They told me it would cure my depression. No one cared why I was depressed.”;
    “there would only be some minimal and temporary memory loss…ECT erased 20 years or more of my life”;
    “I am not living. I am enduring. I have a life of joyless striving.”[Since ECT]

    Thousands of people going out there to save others having to go through what they’ve been through – where else in medicine do you see that?

    Read & Bentall 2010 -THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY: A LITERATURE REVIEW Conclusions – Given the strong evidence (summarised here) of persistent and for some, permanent brain dysfunction, primarily evidenced in the form of retrograde and anterograde amnesia, and the evidence of a slight but significant of death, the cost-benefit analysis for ECT is so poor that its use cannot be scientifically justified. i Implications for consent to ECT.”

    “The sham ECT literature: Ross, Colin (2006)

    “Electroshock: death, brain damage, memory loss, and brain washing”. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 489-512. Frank, L. (2006).

    Robertson & Pryor 2006 – Memory and cognitive effects of ECT: Informing and Assessing patients.

    “The cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy in community settings.” Neuropsychopharmacology, 32, 244-254. Sackeim, H., Prudic, J., Fuller, R., Keilp, J., Lavori, P. and Olfson, M. (2007). Based on numerous standardized psychological tests, six months after the last ECT every form of the treatment was found to cause lasting memory and mental dysfunction. In the summary words of the investigators, “Thus, adverse cognitive effects were detected six months following the acute treatment course.” They concluded, “this study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.”
     
    “After traumatic brain damage has persisted for six months, it is likely to remain stable or even to grow worse. Therefore, the study confirms that routine clinical use of ECT causes permanent damage to the brain and its mental faculties..”.
    Maybe one day I can write a short post but hey?

    Reply

  56. Posted by Allia on May 6, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I’m currently doing a speech in class on why ect is dangerous in looking this up I have found very little opposing the “treatment” it took me an hour and a half to find this one article

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    • Posted by DeirdreOliver on May 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Have a look at:
      `Electroconvulsive Therapy Causes Permanent Amnesia and Cognitive Deficits’, – Neuropsychopharmacology, (Magazine) in January 2007 by prominent researcher Harold Sackeim of Columbia University reveals that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities, which affect individuals’ ability to function.’ (Find this at Virtual Psych Center Website – usually a pro psychiatry website)
      `How have the shock doctor’s responded to the latest confirmation that their treatment destroys the brain and mind? Not a single one has expressed any caution following the publication of the study. As we now see, they have pressed harder to enforce it on children and involuntary adults.’ Peter Breggin.
      Cognition means `abstract thinking, judgment, planning, intelligence, among other things. The memory problems include remembering your past, (like your wedding day, your training, the birth of and memory of your children), plus learning & remembering new things. (This man spent over 20 years saying that ECT was the safest, most effective treatment there is until this study, when he said `oops, I was wrong)
      `Electroshock as head injury’, – Linda Andre;
      `The Sham ECT Literature: Implications for Consent to ECT’, – Dr Colin Ross
      `The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy: A literature review’, – Dr John Read & Dr Richard Bentall (One of the best)
      `Time to Abandon Electroconvulsion as a Treatment in Modern Psychiatry’, – Hanafy Youseff, Fatma Youseff.
      `Memory and cognitive effects of ECT: informing and assessing patients’, – Harold Robertson & Robin Pryor
      `ECT Anonymous – Research Information’, May 1999
      `Brain Damage and Memory Loss form ECT’, Peter Sterling, neurologist.
      `Electroshock’, Dr John Breeding
      `Psychiatry’s Electroconvulsive Shock Treatment A Crime Against Humanity’, Lawrence Stevens
      `ECT: Sham Statistics, the Myth of Convulsive Therapy, and the Case for Consumer Misinformation – Douglas G Cameron
      `A Shocking treatment?’ – Dr Lucy Johnstone. These are a tip of the iceberg, relatively easy to read, and mostly showing the physical dangers of ECT. Here are 2 of many looks at the phsychological effects.
      `Adverse psychological effects of ECT’, Dr Lucy Johnstone
      `Waiting for Oblivion: Women’s Experiences with Electroshock’, Prof Cheryl Leslie van Daarlen-Smith.
      Most of these are relatively easy to read. The reason you’ve had trouble finding this information is because the pro ECT doctors have control over what goes into the medical journals, but now, with the web, the real work that has always been around is at last coming through.
      For 75 years the psychiatrists have known how brain damaging ECT is. In the beginning they said straight out that it was the DAMAGE that produced the therapy effect.
      The `new, improved’ ECT looks a bit more acceptable, but the power going thru people’s heads is MUCH higher now than ever before.
      I’ll just give you some examples of what some of these old doctors said and how people who’ve had the treatment feel about it.
      As you can see, I’m against ECT- I have severe memory loss, my children going up & most of my writing & artistic skills are gone. But I was a psychiatric nurse, and I have seen ECT’s destructive results in large numbers of people.
      Human studies show that former ECT patients suffer from persistent loss of mental function and dementia (see Breggin, 2008; Sackeim et al., 2007).
      Doctors: The adverse effects of ECT on cognitive functioning, particularly memory, are typically more pronounced and have been known for some time (Janis and Astrachan 1951; Hihn et al 2006; Fujita et al 2006)
      Commonly, patients undergo several seconds after ECT in which their brain flatlines–zero detectable electrical activity–a sign of permanent brain death when extended for minutes. Next: You might be able to shortcut by reading these directions.
      The scientific papers that prove ECT is no good.
      To read or download the scientific papers which we are republishing as a contribution to the debate on ECT, please click on the year of publication. Most will open in an onscreen reader in ‘magazine’ format. Click the download button at top left to save a copy. You can also print or email the files from the onscreen reader. 
In chronological order, there are five papers:
      1. 1998: ECT — scientific, ethical, political issues
2. 2005: Patients’ perspectives
3. 2006: Memory, cognitive effects
4. 2007: Assessment & treatment
5. 2007: The cognitive effects
And the Quotationary: 2006
      None of these is an easy read. All are highly technical. For the general reader, we recommend in most cases close study of the Abstract and Conclusions. They alone testify both to the damage ECT causes and to the cover-up of this damage by the profession in Ireland. The files are in PDF form, so you will need Adobe Reader or some equivalent to open and read them.
      Summary:
      ECT does not work to relieve depression, schizophrenia, mania or `catatonia’ for more than a week or two in 30-46% only.
      ECT causes brain damage in every case – it’s not whether, but how much, for how long.
      ECT causes enormous long term psychological harm.
      ECT does not protect people from suicide and may increase the risk during and shortly after the treatment.
      ECT decreases life expectancy for the elderly & may kill 1:200.
      Psychiatrists have always known this. The claim of `new, improved’ ECT being `better’ is misleading. The power used is greater, there are few, if any, controls on how it is applied, there have NEVER been ANY safety tests on ANY ECT machines. All that is different is cosmetic. The writhing twisting, bone breaking ECT of old is usually no more because of paralysing drugs, but what’s happening in the brain is much worse.
      Good luck with your project, I hope I have helped.

      Reply

      • Posted by DeirdreOliver on May 9, 2014 at 12:20 am

        Sorry – left out the old, and not so old, doc’s quotes:
        1. “The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process… the fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia (feeble-mindedness).
        In 1942, psychiatrist Dr. Abraham Myerson
        2. “to cure these patients”, it was necessary to “destroy the more or less fixed arrangements of cellular connections that exist in the brain, and particularly those which are related to the frontal lobes”,[76] thus removing their fixed pathological brain circuits. Moniz 1938
        3. This induced, organic, psychotic reaction makes the patient forget his worries, breaks up introspection and obsessive thinking and reverses the effect, frequently changing depression into mental elation.” Psychiatrist 1950s
        4. “shock treatment was not harmful, and although it might cause some limited memory loss, it only eliminated unhappy or depressing memories, and that Mr. Akkerman’s full memory would be restored in a short time but that he would no longer feel depressed.” Psychiatrist, 2001((Mr. Akkerman lost his memory for most of the events of his life. He no longer recognised or knew his wife, his two teenaged children, his parents, his brother. Mr. Akkerman had not recovered these memories. Abilities lost included playing and writing music (he played professionally for years). After the shock treatment, he was unable to remember what he did in his job, how to perform the duties of his job, and no longer knew the people he formerly worked with.
        5. Early researchers: ECT worked by “abolishing pathological experiences,””total dissolution of brain function,” i.e. damaging the brain and/or erasing memories of painful experiences.
        6. Some doctors suggest that ECT, like head injury, artificially induces euphoria.(49) Noted by early researchers as “post convulsive euphoria,” this giddiness or high due to brain damage is interpreted by psychiatrists as improvement.
        7. 1996 — AccoPsychiatrists don’t make much money, and by practicing ECT they can bring their income almost up to the level of the family practitioner or internist.
CONRAD SWARTZ (U.S. psychiatrist)
        8. Re ECT (unknown author – possibly Max Fink) “It is necessary to damage the brain in order to cure it.”
        Now for a few ECT survivors:
        1. franam – it’s horrifying and has destroyed my memory.
        2. Tigerdragon – it was a nightmare!! It did not work…
        3. ThisClose – Worst experience of my life. I still have trouble dealing with the aftermath of this treatment 8 years later.
        4. kel5 – Was a horrific experience. Wouldn’t recommend to worst enemy. Have permanent brain damage.
        5. not4me2 – terrible, won’t want anyone anyone to do it
        6. Gyrovagi – it didn’t work and it wiped out a lot of my memory and my cognitive skills. I feel like I lost my life.
        7. Snowflake138 – Back in 1996. it almost killed me…had a stroke in the middle of one and that was that…it was horrible .
        8. bellanomore (Depression) – dont do this !!!!!!! i did and it ruined my memories and my life !!!!
        9. SheriW – it was an awful experience. My depression worsened and I sustained shortterm and longterm memory loss.
        10. chrisahx – absolutely AWFUL. All I got from this were a bunch of LOST MEMORIES and now my memory sucks! NO relief from depression at all!

        There are thousands & thousands of people, all over the world, who are banding together in 40 different (many linked), organisations to try and stop ECT being used at all, ever! There is NO OTHER part of medicine where this happens. When children and teens can be forced, under the law, to have this treatment, it is time to be afraid. Even if you and your parents both say no, the psychiatrists can go to a `tribunal’ (a supervising board), and overrule you both. Please send this message out to your friends and contacts. Public outrage is one of the few things that can stop this. It’s you guys who are the future, and it’ will be your world. Please help us make it safe.

  57. Posted by lisa gina on May 6, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I am a victim of ect if given when unwarranted like me’ the damage is irreversible

    Reply

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  60. Posted by JANA on September 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    IF I kNEW THE CONSEQUENCES OF 19 ECT SHOCkS I GOT AND MORE REAL INFO ABOT ENDING UP NON FUNCTONAL I WOULD NOT ALLOW FOR THAT MANY OR NONE AND WOULD SEEk FOR ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS.
    WHERE IS REAL FOLLOW UP AND CHECk FOR PATIENT STATE. IN MY CASE VERY TRICkY AND DAMAGING PROCEDURE.
    SUICIDE IDEAS STARTED AFTER USING PSYCHOTROPIC PILLS AND THE SHOCkS.
    NOW WHAT NEXT. I WANT TO GET MY BRAIN ACTIVATED. WHAT THAT WOULD BE?
    ECT IS VERY DAMAGING!!!!

    Reply

  61. Posted by JANA on September 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    PLEASE WRITE WHAT THE VICTIMS OF ECT CAN DO TO FIND SOLUTONS IN BETTER HEALTH AND AWERNESS TO THE PUBLIC AND DOCTORS OR LEGAL SYSTEM.

    Reply

  62. Posted by DeirdreOliver on September 22, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Therein lies the problem. The lies, by commission & ommission leave you with a sense of being alone and powerless. And right now you are, we all are. My rage about this was all consuming but after 13 years of psych abuse, I’ve done my homework, I know what they did, I know more about science than most of my docs do, and too much for the others, and I’m spreading the word. I’m re-writing the disgracefully misleading, even threatening “Information” pamphlet, looking at realistic ways of getting people to see “Informed Consent”. Have a look at Dr Bob Johnson’s recommended Consent form, he was a psychiatrist & Quaker, a kind & gentle man & nowhere near as rabid as I was. I’m about to publish a send-up of the ECT machine Ad I saw- using the REAL facts. Maybe ridicule is the way to go? Let’s face it, morals, science, demos, court cases etc haven’t stopped them, but let’s see these arrogant psychiatrists as the pompous, smug & venal people they so often are, standing up in front of us with their flies undone. It’s hard to taken seriously when it’s all hanging out. Good luck, all. Laughter and love, what more do we need?

    Reply

  63. Posted by DeirdreOliver on September 22, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Oh, and when I’ve finished it, i’ll post my ever growing LOGIC LAPSES in psychiatry list. If so many people weren’t being hurt it would be hilarious. But, there again, don’t look now, lads, but your flies are undone, and, lassies, you should have checked the back of your skirt BEFORE you left the loo. Oops!

    Reply

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  65. Posted by DeirdreOliver on September 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Hey, Randall, I’ve been thinking of doing just that myself. I was a writer and actor as well as a psych nurse, so I’ve been around production for over 50 years. I would love to be involved. Deirdre

    Reply

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