FDA: Electroshock has risks but is useful to combat severe depression – The Washington Post

In December 2015, Dan Hurley wrote a glowing piece about psychiatrist and ECT proponent, Sarah Lisanby and the “new ECT,” in the Atlantic. Well, he’s at it again in his new piece for the Washington Post FDA: Electroshock has risks but is useful to combat severe depression

Survivors and allies have already begun injecting some balance into this article via the comments. Feel free to join the discussion on both articles 🙂

 

A Free Innovative Course on Memory

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Understanding memory is crucial for shock survivors to know what happened to them, identify their weaknesses, advocate for themselves and develop coping strategies.

Unfortunately, this aspect of human cognition is infinitely complex and grasping how it works is even harder with brain damage.

I would know, I’ve been trying to understand it for the last decade. Countless books and even a semester of psych 1101 and I still have trouble keeping the different types of memory straight.

I’ve mentioned the wonders of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for alternative education opportunities for shock survivors in a previous post . I’ve been fairly active with the Coursera platform. I got an email last week of courses starting soon and a class on memory caught my attention:

Understanding Memory: Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies

This course requires no psychology background. The instructor uses a clever method for explaining the many facets of memory by using something we are all familiar with: movies.

I’ve taken the first week and so far so good. The content is well designed and easy to follow.

If you’re a shock survivor or the friend or loved one of a shock survivor, I encourage you to take this course.

It’s easy!

  1. Go to Coursera.org and make an account
  2. search Understanding Memory: Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies and click ‘enroll button’

There are several options for taking the course:

  • watch the videos and take the quizzes for a statement of accomplishment (free)
  • just watch the videos (free)
  • do all the things and pay $49 for certification

Because shock damage usually requires LOTS of repetition to learn and retain new information, I enter in the key points of whatever course I’m taking into Quizlet; a free flashcard study program/app that I can drill myself with until whatever I’m studying sticks.

Happy learning 🙂

Waiting on the FDA

My comments to the FDA posted on the shock machine reclassification docket on April 25th. I have been struggling with PTSD since writing it and have been too triggered to check it to ensure my content is all there.

Today I finally gave it a once over and my statement looks intact.
I wish I could say I’m relieved, but I’m not.

The whole reclassification situation coupled with my regular encounters with brain washed doctors and lay people has sparked painful memories and fear for my safety and the safety of others should this reclassification pass.

I’m so freaked out, I’ve even decided to get an advanced directive that declares “no electroshock under any circumstance” should I, God forbid, ever get tangled
up in psychiatry again. However, I take little solace in this protection because it can be easily overridden by the opinion of two doctors, but what else can I do?

I’m not alone in this worry; now the dockets have closed, survivors who have responded to FDA have had to relive their own electroshock traumas, submit their thoughts and experiences to an agency with questionable motives and anxiously wait for the FDA’s next move.

A survivor recently shared her interaction with the FDA ombudsman about her concern over the agencies silence since the dockets closed via her email newsletter.

The ombudsman’s reply:


The world waits as well, as this decision will no doubt impact every country.

If you’re new to this situation, please check out the links below to catch up:

review the history and the law

The FDA’s failure to perform recommended testing in 2011

Only 72 Hours Left to Say #FDAStopTheShockDevice

The letter to the FDA ombudsman

And if you haven’t signed the Mindfreedom petition protesting this outrageous reclassification attempt by the the FDA, please consider giving it your John Hancock and sharing.

Thank you 🙂

BBC News | HEALTH | Shock therapy: ‘Ruined lives’

via BBC News | HEALTH | Shock therapy: ‘Ruined lives’


Electroshock is Still Used to Control Patients

some may argue that threatening patients with electroshock to control their behavior is a thing of the past. I call bull crap.

On the recent electroshock Facebook Q&A page a psychiatric survivor shared this information about the abusive and coercive treatment that was used against her and the backlash of her incarceration has had on her life have been devastating.

She was able to avoid electroshock, but her life and future has been turned up side down by her hospitalization and the powers that be seem to have little interest in recognizing the abuses she suffered and the discrimination that continues to create major barriers in her life.

you can read about her story here and follow her journey as an activist here.

 

Electroconvulsant Shock Therapy (ECT): Is it Safe or Even Effective? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

via Electroconvulsant Shock Therapy (ECT): Is it Safe or Even Effective? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization.

ECT Destroys Lives

When it comes to ECT, the only stories that matter to mainstream media are the “it saved my life!” ones. Those who have claim injury and/or abuse are ignored, discredited and disregarded in any ECT discussion.

“your imagining things, you are mentally ill, after all”

“your a rare case and don’t represent the majority”

“if doctors forced you to have it, you probably needed it”

This blind invalidation needs to stop.

It’s time these accounts are treated as valid.

It’s time people keep asking questions–even when someone throws down a Suzie Success Story.

All personal accounts matter- not just “happy” ones.

Asking honest questions must be allowed and encouraged.

What do doctors really know or not know about ECT?

Why do some people feel helped?

What research has been done and by whom? Is there a conflict of interest? How are these studies conducted? How do doctors define depression and improvement?

Why is only one state keeping track of ECT induced deaths? Shouldn’t all doctors want complete and accurate risk data so their patients can make a truly informed choice?

Why aren’t patients given full informed consent?

Why don’t doctors take patients who claim injury, seriously?

Why don’t they offer before and after testing?

Why haven’t shock machines been tested by the FDA, after the decades ECT has been used? Or when the FDA was recommended to do so in 2011?

If the animal studies conducted in the 50’s and 60’s were so inadequate, why were they never repeated?

Why does some in medical practice who speaks critically of ECT get black-balled?

What role has the media played in promoting ECT? Have they shown journalistic integrity in the process?

How legitimate are the diagnosis labels used to justify ECT?

Why is honest ECT questioning always shut down?

Why does my story count for so little, when it would surely be treated as credible and praised if it were positive?

I could go on and on.

People don’t ask these questions when the discussion is dominated by Suzie Success Stories. Who wants to be the a*&hole that questions a “treatment” that “saved someones life?”

Questions like these are often viewed as offensive.

But why? Shouldn’t we want to know the answers for ALL patients?

Shouldn’t the Suzie’s out there want to know the truth too? That maybe there’s more to their depression and it’s treatment than they were originally told? Maybe, like me, their “treatment resistant depression” is actually treatable?

References

(2007). Retrieved from http://www.breggin.com/ECT/2007Neurop…

Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…

Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Hartelius_1952___Animals___Brain_damage__Definitive_.pdf

Andre, L. (1991, September). Electroshock as head injury. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.ect.org/effects/headinjury…

Andre, L. (2009). Doctors of deception: What they don’t want you to know about shock treatment. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Breggin, P. R. (2015, April 8). Simple Truth 10: Electroshock is Brain Trauma [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOtac…

Committee for the Truth is Psychiatry. (n.d.). Electroconvulsive Therapy Causes Permanent Amnesia And Cognitive Deficits, Prominent Researcher Admits « ect.org. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.ect.org/?p=699

Frank, L. R. (2006). http://psychiatrized.org/LeonardRoyFr…. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.endofshock.com/102C_ECT.PDF

Friedberg, J. (1976). Shock treatment is not good for your brain. San Francisco: Glide Publications.

Further increase in the use of ECT without consent in England | ECT statistics. (2016, January 30). Retrieved March 12, 2016, from https://ectstatistics.wordpress.com/2…

Hickey, P. (2006, November 21). http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/e…. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/e…

Read, J. (2016, February 19). The Curious Case of over 50 Consecutive ECTs in Melbourne – Mad In America. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/02/t…

Ross, C. (2006). http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…

Woman died after NHS electric shock therapy was given without consent or second opinion – Mirror Online

via Woman died after NHS electric shock therapy was given without consent or second opinion – Mirror Online.

I read this and think, this could have happened to anyone of us when were were getting shocked.

It’s beyond disturbing to see how its viewed by the legal system and hospital. If I had died like this, it would just get brushed off as “extremely rare” circumstance so she, like other survivors who are injured or killed by shock don’t matter.

What we don’t hear is how the hospital “treated” her “mental illness,” everything they tried, because they’re doctors. And you sure as hell can’t hear Elsie’s side of the story, now that she’s dead.

At least Elsie Tindle’s death is getting media attention and someone is trying to do something about it via Electric shock therapy death: Sunderland coroner writes to Health Secretary in bid to prevent further fatalities – Sunderland Echo.

Poll: Did you know shock machines have never been FDA tested before undergoing ECT?

One thing that has come to light with the FDA shock machine reclassification is survivors’ surprise that shock machines have never been FDA tested. It makes me curious.

How many patients knew this shock devices aren’t FDA tested before getting ECT?

Would you have gone through with ECT treatments if you had known? Answer the poll and share your comments below.

If want to comment and remain anonymous, you can email me at aftershockrecovery at gmail dot com

I only learned about shock machines FDA status from Linda Andre’s book, Doctors of Deception, many years after I had electroshock.

It seems to me, this information should be included in the consent forms. In my case, that might not have influenced my decision because I implicitly trusted my doctor and his recommendations. Also, psychiatry talks a good game when they explain lack of FDA testing away.

Still, prospective patients should be briefed on the FDA aspect of electroshock.