DBS: Electroshock Isn’t All We Have to Fear


picture of a surgeon looking up from the view of an operating table. The room is darkened and two large round lights can be seen above the surgeon on either side.

Peter Breggin, psychiatric reformer and veteran of the battle to end psychosurgeries, interviewed Danielle Egan, a free-lance journalist who has done an extensive investigation on deep brain stimulation (DBS).

The brain uses a wide array of functions to create our reality, our ability to carry out and control actions, feel and connect with others and make us who we are. In the patient cases Danielle discusses, you see this brain generated reality and personhood disintegrate into something terrifyingly. The effects of DBS for depression seem to belong more in a horror movie– not modern medicine.

Listen to the podcast here.

Read Danielle’s Mad in America article here

And check out her other insightful pieces on this and other topics, social media, etc. here.

Some DBS background

DBS is used for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and it looks as though brain surgeons are eager to apply it to other conditions.(Poke around google or Youtube if you want to learn more about the Parkinson’s application.) 

In the case of depression treatment, DBS is a procedure where electrodes are placed in the brains of depressed individuals in locations thought to be associated with the patient’s distress. The goal of this invasive procedure is to electrically stimulate the brain in a way that will supposedly relieve the recipient’s depression.

Mainstream media complacency

Not surprisingly, much of the media exploring DBS fail to disclose the disturbing side-effects of this procedure.


Money and a love of oversimplifying the brain and human experience seem to be major driving factors for modern day psychosurgeries. This selective view of reality combined with greed has devastating consequences for patients.

Questionable ethics

I’ve said before that doctors recommending ECT are encouraging desperate people into risk-taking behavior. It is the equivalent of a doctor inviting a patient to a game of Russian Roulette except with ECT every chamber is loaded; there will always be damage to the brain and body with the potential of death. Browse blogs and comment threads people undergoing ECT and you will often see death wish ‘I hope I die during the procedure‘ statements. I personally shared some of this mentality when I underwent shock.

ECT = masochism and suicidal behavior encouraged and facilitated by psychiatrists.

Its seems DBS is no different. Doctors eager to experiment have suicidal people willing to become their guinea pigs.

The last, last resort

ECT is often touted as the ‘last resort’ for severe depression. Now DBS and other forms of psychosurgery seem to be considered as the last, last resort. 

Please, PLEASE ask questions! Read critical information about any treatment you may consider. Don’t believe anyone who says you are treatment resistant without considering alternative interpretations of your diagnosis and treatments. So many of us subjected to drugs and electroshock had real, sometimes medical, conditions fueling our distress.These problems could never be helped with antidepressants or shock. We’re lucky we found our solutions but for many of us, it’s too late; we are damaged to the point of permanent disability, and while we may feel better our lives are in tatters.   

Always ask questions.

Other related resources worth your time:

The Lobotomists are Back!

Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience

Spot a typo? Contact me at aftershocklifeafterect dot wordpress dot com. Thanks 🙂


Breggin, P. R. (2015, September 30). The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://prn.fm/the-dr-peter-breggin-hour-09-30-15/

Egan, D. (2015, September 24). The Perils of Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/09/adverse-effects-perils-deep-brain-stimulation-depression/


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