It’s tricky to ask questions or get real answers about ECT due to the charged emotions and near religious fervor that surrounds it.
Patients, their friends, and family often become awestruck and become emotionally attached to shock after seemingly positive experiences. When a person feels relief from a remedy they chose out of sheer desperation, they often don’t care how it helped, what it cost them or it’s history.What they are told about ECT becomes deeply woven into their internal narrative.
I would know as I was profoundly impacted by shock and wouldn’t hear anything critical about electroshock and how it was harming me.
Also, psychiatry has made it near blasphemy to question or critique electroshock.
They point out the dire, seemingly hopelessly depressed states of people who according to them, will kill themselves without it.
That usually shames people into silence. No one wants to be the asshole that questions stuff they weren’t trained in or hurting people’s treatment choices.
Psychiatry repeats its ‘ECT is great’ mantras that are echoed from every level of medicine, mental health, and rehabilitative care as anyone damaged by shock can attest when they seek out validation and rehab.
Imagine you are iatrogenically brain damaged and you seek outside help only to hear this:
“Sometimes people have long-term problems, but that’s rare. Mental illness is a more likely cause. In spite minute side effects it’s still a safe and valid treatment.”
“Mental illness is a more likely cause of cognitive problems and memory loss. In spite minimal side-effects, it’s still a safe and valid treatment.”
Words can’t describe the horror and devastation of these horrible phrases cause.
This is how electrically induced seizures are seen through the lens of psychiatry.
But if you look at electroshock from a blinder-free perspective, how it ‘works’ less mystical and more disturbing.
Ask questions. Be informed.
Learn more from the following resources:
Barbaric age of electric shock ‘cure’ must vanish for a not so gentle walk through of ECT.
Watch 10 facts about ECT.
Peter Breggin’s first medical book about electroshock.
ECT as a Head Injury article for a short overview of ECT effects and the impact it has on lives.
Linda Andre’s Doctors of Deception for a thorough history of ECT, psychiatries efforts to avoid proper testing and informed consent, the FDA’s failure to protect Americans as well as the complicit actions of the media.
Shock Treatment: Efficacy, Memory Loss, and Brain Damage – Psychiatry’s Don’t Look, Don’t Tell Policy to see the correlation between brain dysfunction and ‘benefit.’
The Leonard Roy Frank Shock Quotationary for a broad history of ECT and collection of patient accounts and critic’s responses.
Questionable efficacy demonstrated in sham ECT studies.
Read Phil Hickey’s article on the cult-ish behavior and lack of quality ECT studies here.