An Important Speech Heard Too Late: Peter Breggin at Shock-Treatment​ Conference – 1985

I was 2 years old when this video was made. This valuable information existed long before this presentation, but thanks to aggressive misinformation campaigns by organizations like the Amercian Psychiatric Association (APA), these truths wouldn’t enter my consciousness 15 years later when shock was recommended for my so-called ‘treatment resistant’ depression.

The most important key points anyone considering shock should hear, made public, wrapped up in a concise 20-minute talk and also recorded in a few obscure books and scientific studies.

It leaves me speechless.

I’m only aware of it now, thanks to a fellow survivor, long after my brain had been iatrogenically damaged beyond repair.

A sentence in Linda Andre’s extraordinary book, Doctors of Deception, comes to mind at this lack of crucial information and the destruction its absence caused in so many lives:

white text on a black background quote: there is no way to make shock safe, there is no way to warn people that it isn't safe, and so it must be banned. green cursive text: Linda Andre, Doctors of Deception

My FDA Response and Some Afterthoughts

There are so many painful emotions wrapped up in this FDA submission. It brings everything I’ve suffered from electroshock, psychiatry and an indifferent medical system and society.

This reality usually sits below the surface of my broken mind, then something pulls it to the surface and I grieve all my losses all over again. which I describe in a previous post.

This situation with the FDA is even more painful because it reminds me of how little I matter to the FDA, the psychiatric organization and how undervalued my voice is them.

It terrifies me that this reclassification travesty can happen and what will happen to psych patients if it goes through.

After submitting my response, I wanted to curl up under my blankets and cry–being reminded of my pain, and pain this “treatment” has caused my family members as well is damn near unbearable.

This reclassification has been eating away at my peace for the last three months–no more. I sat down and wrote out what I have control over and what I can do about this issue and I will fight it in every possible way I can, but I’m not going to let this psychiatry or the FDA take any more of my head space than necessary.

I’ve lost half of my life to the horrors of psychiatric drugs and electroshock; they don’t get any more of my peace.

I wouldn’t have known how to interpret the docket or surrounding issues, let alone how to respond had it not been for Lauren and other people like Mindfreedom international, actively fighting this reclassification and advocating for survivors. Knowing capable people are fighting this issue with us, I can hang onto a little more of my peace.

Thank you for your tireless work.

If you haven’t signed the petition, please do so and share! It’s still open and we have a small window to submit responses.

Below is my FDA response, which has been successfully submitted, but so far, not uploaded to the government public dockets.

 
It’s not as concise as I would have liked and is probably riddled with errors, but, ya know, time limits.

Docket No. 2014-N–1210 for ‘‘Neurological Devices; Reclassification of Electroconvulsive Therapy Devices Intended for Use in Treating Severe Major Depressive Episode in Patients 18 Years of Age and Older Who Are Treatment-Resistant or Require a Rapid Response; Effective Date of Requirement for Premarket Approval for Electroconvulsive Therapy Devices for Certain Specified Intended Uses”

I do not support reclassification of the ECT shock device for any reason.

 The terms in question

The terms treatment resistant depression and “requiring a rapid response” are arbitrary labels with no scientific basis (Caplan, 1995,). Using them as a measuring stick to determine if someone needs an electrically induced convulsion is misleading and irresponsible.

Treatment resistant depression (TRD) is a term based on how many psychiatric drugs the patient failed to respond to. There are variations on what constitutes TRD, either number or failed drugs tried and sometimes the inclusion of number of psychotherapy interventions.

As for psychiatric drugs, they are proven to be minimally effective (Kirsch, I. 2010). These drugs are known to cause mental and emotional symptoms they are supposed to treat and can also cause health problems that can present as depression.

Another issue is drug testing gender bias. Men are primarily used in drug trials however, women tend to diagnosed depressed more than men, and therefore are more likely to be given drugs already shown to be ineffective, that were tested on male physiology, open the possibility to greater failed responses and subsequent electroshock referrals.

Requiring a rapid response

Requiring rapid response is code for forced treatment. No one needs a forced electrically induced convulsion.

The terms treatment resistant depression and “requiring a rapid response” are arbitrary labels with no scientific basis. Using them as a measuring stick to determine if someone needs an electrically induced convulsion is misleading and irresponsible.

Additionally, many people who undergo shock, myself included, find out later they were misdiagnosed and their emotional distress was caused either by psychiatric drugs or other treatable causes and these very diagnostic labels the FDA is using to justify this reclassification may make this may delay understanding the underlying issue and receiving correct treatment, and leads to unnecessary injury.

The argument could be made that ECT is more cost effective, but that’s an erroneous one for several reasons. The fact that patients will have to resume taking medications and various therapies following ECT and the short lived effects of ECT themselves. The financial cost of those dependent on government welfare after being permanently disabled by ECT and unable to work. The rate of patients with actual treatable symptoms that were ignored because of unscientific labels such as treatment resistant depression when an in-depth assessment could undoubtedly save tens of thousands of dollars per patient by identifying real causes and appropriate treatments instead of using a catch-all term, throwing pills and electroshock at the problem and hoping for the best. In my case, I can only imagine the amount of insurance money could have been saved had taken the time to do a comprehensive look at my situation.

My experience with shock machines at class III

I was given shock treatments at age 17, without any legal hindrance for the arbitrary “treatment resistant depression,” for which I was labeled due to misdiagnosis and doctor negligence. No amount of electroshocks could have cured these underlying conditions creating my “treatment resistant depression.”

With shock machines at class III, my brain was permanently damaged in ways I wasn’t informed of.

I was only given the list of the risks once when I signed for consent. Any time after that I signed an abbreviated consent form.

My consent became void after my first treatment as I could no longer remember what risks were listed in the first consent form, nor was I capable of making informed, intelligent decisions after this time. I have no recollection of this information ever being presented to me again, even when I changed shock doctors.

With shock machines at class III, my life and future was destroyed by this procedure. Now I live out my days unable to work to support myself, get a college education, have meaningful social relationships and enjoy my life.

With shock machines at class III, I was denied any acknowledgement for my brain damage, and was only able to get help for requesting testing for an unrelated reason.

I was never offered before or after cognitive testing as I continued ECT.

Psychiatrists act as though shock is viewed as a last resort, and shock doctors are brave, heroic people who are willing to do anything to help ease their patients suffering. This is not what happened when I was referred to a shock doctor. He did not explore every avenue, did not critically look into my health’s role in my depression or consider the ramifications of these conditions or medical therapies effect of my mental state or consider if this heavily drugged, depressed 17-year-old was capable of making the decision to risk her life and mental capacity with his “remedy.”

No, I was there to be shocked. He simply followed the notes of my referring doctor without any real inquiry, and began shocking me.

When I relapsed after about a year and started maintenance ECT, I began to experience horrible fear and panic, in part from the procedure itself and also from the cold turkey off anti-seizure meds a few days prior to ECT, causing withdrawal symptoms I was never informed could make me feel this way. One particular session, I told my doctor, I was scared and wanted to skip this treatment. His response? Threaten to stop treating me. Thinking shock was my last hope, I complied, and never brought the issue up with any doctor again for fear of treatment denial of any kind.

During my last series of shock treatments, I felt strange. I told my doctor. He did not perform any tests. He did not suggest holding off on shock treatments until I recovered or questioning whether they should be stopped completely. Instead, he told me to come back for my next treatment.  Dazed, I did. After that, it felt like my brain had been scrambled and I could barely function, think or feel.

I spent years trying to get recognition and help from my brain damage. I was stone walled with “ECT doesn’t do that.” This denial and isolation left me deeply suicidal for years. I could barely function, take care of myself, process information, or communicate clearly.  Any expression of concern over my new impairments to my doctors were met with flat out denial that anything was wrong with me or shock treatment was the cause. It would be several years later when I would actually receive any cognitive testing. Not because my doctors finally decided to take me seriously, but because of an unrelated reason.

My testing showed severe deficits usually only associated with a head injury.

Continued blanket denial that ECT was to blame.

I later had more testing done that showed what looks like the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s for which I’m annually monitored in case it is progressive.

A career is out of the question; I am unable to go to college. I’ll be lucky to work a few hours a week.

I get mentally exhausted from doing the most basic tasks and often require help.

I’m socially ostracized because I can’t follow along in conversations or communicate effectively in real time and I get so confused and disoriented when talking, it’s often not worth the effort.

I become easily confused and disoriented.

With shock machines at class III, I was never told I could get dementia from ECT, lose emotional capacity to feel and connect with others, suffer cognitive problems I didn’t know were possible, or that no one would believe me if said I had problems, or that there were no rehabilitative services with for to address them. Nor was I told other people have experienced these problems from shock for as long as it’s been inflicted on humans—even in its modified form. I was never told of alternative explanations for ECT’s mechanism, or that treatment resistant depression is an arbitrary label based on lack of responsiveness to medications that have been proven little better than placebo and carry great risks.

All of this happened to me with shock machines at the highest risk classification, and continues to happen to countless, unsuspecting, desperate, hurting people who implicitly trust their doctors to recommend scientifically sound, safe medical treatments and to inform them the associated risks and the FDA to test and ensure appropriate protections and guidelines.

My mental and emotional devastation from shock is not an anomaly; I have met hundreds of shock survivors who are grappling with the same losses. The average shock survivor experiences drastic cognitive impairments that don’t clear up months or even years after they were shocked.

Most of us are unable to work and struggle with the basics of life management. Few are able to get anyone to take their brain damage claims seriously, and get appropriate testing or help.

Many additionally suffer other devastating ECT induced physical symptoms.

The lucky ones who are tested have proof of the cognitive devastation caused by electroshock.

Important memories are erased as though they never happened, along with skills, autonomy and dignity. We are shells of the people we once were.

We were not informed of these risks. We are permanently damaged and are actively being denied help. Many of us were misdiagnosed to begin with, and the “last great hope” of magical healing seizures, was completely unnecessary, a waste of insurance expenses and the life cost is incalculable.

And the FDA wants to reclassify shock machine for conditions like “treatment resistant depression” and “requires a rapid response” that are already the gold standard for shock treatment? All without conducting any safety testing?

The FDA’s risk mitigation plan is to put a label on a machine these patients will never see is an insult and beyond disturbing.

Can you imagine being told a procedure was “lifesaving, safe, that it wouldn’t cause permanent memory loss or cognitive impairments” and “definitely doesn’t cause learning problems,” that everything will come back after six months” only to find out it was all a lie?

That there has been clear, unequivocal evidence of brain damage available for decades as shown in animal studies, human autopsies of people who died FROM electroshock as well as carefully conducted cognitive tests that show clear, permanent cognitive impairments?

That psychiatry, an industry that purports to help hurting, desperate people went to great efforts to cover up or skew any scientific information that reflected poorly on its beloved electroshock? Cover-ups that kept me and countless others from knowing the truth before it was too late?

Misinformation that led to me not getting proper testing and rehabilitative services for over a decade? Lies that make people scoff and call me crazy when I say shock damaged me? Lies that continue to mislead more hurting people into thinking shocking their brains and bodies into grand mal seizures and brain damaged induced euphoria? Euphoria that will fade as the brain heals and will require more electrical assaults to maintain?

An organization that has actively sought to prevent data collection ECT’s use numbers as well as related deaths, and pre-market approval testing that would settle once and for all, safety concerns about ECT?

Or what about the Food and Drug Administration’s role in this? An agency created to protect American citizens from hazardous drugs and medical devices, never puts shock machines through testing, but allows it to continue to be used on unsuspecting people, who, are uninformed of the all the dangers and even at the highest risk classification is still damaging brains and destroying lives.

An agency that has heard countless testimonies and read letters of lives devastated, and suffering unimaginable, and still feels it appropriate to reduce the already minimally effective class III shock machine status to the same benign risk level as glasses and wheelchairs?

An agency that was advised to conduct animal studies in 2011, but never followed through (FDA Panel Recommends Testing of ECT Machines, Breggin 2011)?

An agency that has taken advantage of recent executive changes and declared, no hearings are needed because the committee already discussed shock machine reclassification, even though the committee pushing for shock machines as class II is not the same committee that ruled shock devices remain at high risk class III?

One can only imagine the scale of devastation this reclassification will unleash on our society, and the rest of the world as our country has global influence if this device is treated as safe as a walking cane.

Dear FDA committee members, history will remember you in one of two ways by how you rule on this issue.

You will either be known as the people who endangered countless more lives than ever by recklessly declaring shock machines as harmless as a pair of eyeglasses because of special interest influence, providing patients with nothing more for protection than a device label the patients will never see, or you will be remembered as the people who finally listened to voices of countless people disabled by the shock machine your organization regulates and maintains shock machines as class III and following your own rules to either put the device through rigorous PMA testing and ensuring patients are finally given truthful consent.

I hope you will choose patient safety and complete informed consent over special interest.

References

(2002). Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.ect.org/resources/consumerperspectives.pdf

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.html

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. (2008). Brain-disabling treatments in psychiatry: Drugs, electroshock, and the psychopharmaceutical complex. New York: Springer Pub.

Breggin, P. R. (2011, January 1). FDA Panel Recommends Testing of ECT Machines. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/fda-panel-recommends-test_b_815668.html

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

Breggin, P. R. (n.d.). Electroshock: scientific, ethical, and political issues. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://www.stopshrinks.org/reading_room/ecb/docs/breggin_riskandsafety.htm

Bustle. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.bustle.com/articles/136476-the-one-thing-to-know-about-medications-and-the-female-body

Caplan, P. J. (1995). They say you’re crazy: How the world’s most powerful psychiatrists decide who’s normal.

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/LeonardRoyFrank/FromTheFilesOfLeonardRoyFrank.htm. 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.

  1. A Sackeim et al.Retrieved from http://www.breggin.com/ECT/2007NeuropscychopharmacologyonElectroShock.pdf

Hickey, P. (2006, November 21). http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-effective/. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-effective/

Kirsch, I. (2010). The emperor’s new drugs: Exploding the antidepressant myth. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Ross, C. (2006). http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Ross_2006___Sham_ECT_Literatures.pdf. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Ross_2006___Sham_ECT_Literatures.pdf

Tenney, L. (2015, December 30). . Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/12/shock-device-safe-as-eyeglasses-89-days-to-say-no/

Tenney, L.Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://laurentenney.us/files/113651456.pdf

Warneron, R. (n.d.). http://akmhcweb.org/ncarticles/RichardWarneronShockTreatment.pdf. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://akmhcweb.org/ncarticles/RichardWarneronShockTreatment.pdf

 

Talk with Tenney: Special Update on #FDAStopTheShockDevice Campaign 03/22 by Lauren Tenney | Current Events Podcasts

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/talkwithtenney/2016/03/23/talk-with-tenney-special-update-on-fdastoptheshockdevice-campaign

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…

FDA Shock Machine Reclassification Petition

“We have 41 days to #FDAStopTheShockDevice — Please help us make this real. It is very important to understand that this petition will go to the FDA, but the FDA is only accepting original comment, not mass-mail campaigns. If you want individual comment submitted through MindFreedom, please post your comment in this section. We will routinely update comments to FDA website. Also, in the petition, there is the information for you to directly submit your comments to the FDA. Please sign this petition to show your support.”

~Lauren Tenney

Follow the link below to view, sign and share this petition:

https://www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment

Also make sure to respond to FDA page on the following two shock machine related issues:

Docket No. 2014-N–1210 for ‘‘Neurological Devices; Reclassification of Electroconvulsive Therapy Devices Intended for Use in Treating Severe Major Depressive Episode in Patients 18 Years of Age and Older Who Are Treatment-Resistant or Require a Rapid Response; Effective Date of Requirement for Premarket Approval for Electroconvulsive Therapy Devices for Certain Specified Intended Uses’’

 Docket No. FDA-2014-D-1318 for “Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Devices for Class II Intended Uses: Draft Guidance for Industry, Clinicians and FDA Staff”

and be sure to use the hashtag #FDAStopTheShockDevice with any FDA/shock machine reclassification related posts or sharing you do 🙂

 

 

BBC Hereford & Worcester – Elliott and Toni at Breakfast, A Herefordshire woman’s experience of electroconvulsive therapy, and Dean Ryan on referees

“It really hollowed me out and it was impossible to feel any type of emotion and that lasted for quite a long time you couldn’t experience the feeling of loving your kids and when my brain injury kicks in that’s when I feel very dissociated–its like this curtain comes down you can’t relate to anybody or feel any emotion. You become very robotic.”

~Sue Cunliffe

via BBC Hereford & Worcester – Elliott and Toni at Breakfast, A Herefordshire woman’s experience of electroconvulsive therapy, and Dean Ryan on referees.

Or you can listen to the intview via YouTube.

There should be more interviews on Sue’s case coming soon.

Shock and Suicide: The Poll Results

Thank you to all who participated in the shock and suicide poll! Here are the results!

13 responders had this to say about their experience with electroshock:

Did you experience any of the following from shock induced brain damage and/or disability?

shock and suicide multiple choice responses

Do you have any other thoughts you want to share with the public about electroshock and suicide?

“My story already posted in after-shock!”
“If I was told how I would feel, five, ten, fifteen years after shock. I would have said HELL NO to shock, HELL NO, I’d rather you cut off my right arm. Seriously. Also, I would like to ask Doctors who prescribe Shock or perform Shock, “Would you recieve shock if you were depressed, or would you suggest it for a loved one if they were depressed?” There is not enough told to patients about Shock, the permanent amnesia, BRAIN DAMAGE. I was told I would lose three months, before and three months after. Whole chunks and blocks of my memory of my whole life are gone. It’s infuriating as well as I feel a deep deep sadness, worse than any depression I felt before I was given Shock. I feel suicidal, daily. DON’T DO IT! I so WISH someone said that to me!”
“It is disgusting that there are shock docs today still advocating for and administering this lunatic procedure. They must be stopped.”
“I have never been that suicidal ever in my life before. But electroshock triggered a mania with psychotic tendencies and I became deeply suicidal and was so for almost three years when it finally lifted by itself. I have never before or after in my life been in such a state. It was traumatising along with the electroshock itself. I was very close to not surviving. Electroshock is very popular in Sweden – where I live – and they shock about 4000 people yearly here with a small population of 9,6 million. Numbers are increasing with about 200 people yearly. And no one is questioning this.”
“I think ECT patients should be required to have an MRI and neuropsychological testing done BEFORE the ECT is started and every year after for the following 10 years. This would be the best research. I’ve noticed that when people evaluate the effects of ECT, sometimes they’re looking at patients 3-6 months after treatment. At that time, patients are still in the thick of it and don’t know the damage the ECT caused. As someone with memory loss, you don’t know what you don’t know. You learn how much damage you start trying to work and live like normal and other people tell you what you don’t remember and you start struggling with work. Don’t survey the patient, survey their family. The family notices when you don’t remember your own life. As the one with memory loss, you don’t know what you don’t know. ECT causes memory loss, but also disability. It’s humiliating being on disability. It’s embarrassing meeting people you knew prior to ECT and having to tell them you have no idea who they are. After ECT, you’re still depressed, but now you have PTSD and shame from having a dark secret that you don’t want anyone to know, that you had ECT.”
This type of informal data collection is an example of ways survivors can take charge by helping create statistics without having to go through mental health organizations and without the sway of the psychiatric industry.
The form is still open for those who want to contribute. Scroll down to access it. I will update this post in a few months.
If wondering what all this is about, click here to read the accompanying article.
Thanks again to all who participated! Lets do this again soon 🙂

Concussions, the NFL, Shock Machines and the FDA

I was listening to the latest Peter Breggin Radio Hour and learned about a new movie that chronicles the discovery a unique brain condition caused by repeated head traumas from violent sports like football and  the NFL’s attempts to cover it up.

Wouldn’t that be awesome if shock survivors had this kind of advocacy?

A fearless foreign doctor with a unique set of unshakable values who tirelessly fights to expose the truth?

Top that with a movie that chronicles this story, recognizes lives lost and communicates this truth the public?

That would be nothing short of a dream come true for me– the truth of what happens to a brain when it’s repeatedly electrocuted into grand mal seizures, exposed for all to see.

Recognition of deaths by heart attack, stroke, brain hemorrhage and suicides.

Acknowledgment of and reimbursement for destroyed careers, relationships, and the years survivors languished in poverty, isolation and despair.

Revealed cover-ups, conflicts of interest, the reprehensible behavior of the FDA’s multi-decade failure to protect patients and more recently, their own push to downgrade the safety classification of shock machines to the same risk level of eyeglasses or wheelchairs.

I see the Concussion movie trailer and I ache for something like this to happen for shock survivors.
Then reality slaps me. Hard, and reminds me waiting for a knight in shining armor is stupid and pointless.

And my hope and focus should always stay on self-advocacy​.

Still, I can dream–while I roll up my sleeves and prepare for action.

You should do the same.

If you haven’t heard about the FDA ‘s fresh attempt to downgrade shock machines to the same risk level as glasses or wheelchairs, please read the below articles and see how you can take action.

Shock Machines as Safe as Eyeglasses? 89 Days to Say No 

Protesting the FDA Just Got Easier

You can also join like-minded people in a larger effort to stop the FDA current play and plan future efforts to stop something like this from ever happening again.

Stop the FDA Facebook group 

Who knows, someday we might have success with this FDA, and abolishment of shock and maybe someday, our own movie 🙂

 

References

Breggin, P. R. (2016, January 13). The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour – 01.13.16 – Progressive Radio Network. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://prn.fm/the-dr-peter-breggin-hour-01-13-16/

Rice, J. D. (2015, December 31). Protesting Electroshock Just Got Easier Thanks to Electronic FDA Response Forms | aftershock. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/protesting-electroshock-just-got-easier-thanks-to-electronic-fda-response-forms/

Tenney, L. (2015, December 30). Shock Device Safe As Eyeglasses? 89 Days to Say No – Mad In America. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/12/shock-device-safe-as-eyeglasses-89-days-to-say-no/

Shock and Suicide, Part 3: Further Reading

Here are some of the resources I drew upon in organizing the shock and suicide posts and Talk with Tenney Episode. They are invaluable to understanding this topic.

I urge you to read up and form your own understanding on the issue of electroshock and suicide. There are more sources in my previous shock and suicide post bibliography.

Phil Hickey Mad in America  ECT efficacy analysis and critique

 

Peter Breggin Electroshock: scientific, ethical, and

political issues*

 

Hamilton depression scale

this scoring system is often used in rating a person’s level of depression in shock studies

 

Shock Treatment: Efficacy, Memory Loss, and Brain Damage – Psychiatry’s Don’t Look, Don’t Tell Policy

 

Doctors of Deception

The Leonard Frank Shock Quotationary

Shock Placebo Study 

 

References

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. (1998, January). http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Breggin_1998_ECT__Overview.pdf. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Breggin_1998_ECT__Overview.pdf

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

Hickey, P. (2006, November 21). http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-effective/. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/electroconvulsive-therapy-ect-effective/

http://healthnet.umassmed.edu/mhealth/HAMD.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://healthnet.umassmed.edu/mhealth/HAMD.pdf

Ross, C. (2006). http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Ross_2006___Sham_ECT_Literatures.pdf. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Ross_2006___Sham_ECT_Literatures.pdf

Warneron, R. (n.d.). http://akmhcweb.org/ncarticles/RichardWarneronShockTreatment.pdf. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://akmhcweb.org/ncarticles/RichardWarneronShockTreatment.pdf

I Almost Forgot to Pay for Stuff. Awesome.

 

The other day I almost forgot to pay for my groceries. I was in the self-checkout line, had just bagged my chicken and juice and put the bags in my cart.

I somehow spaced the whole PAY FOR YOUR GOODS bit and started to leave the store.

I stopped about 6 feet from the checkout to call my dad– see if he was done with his shopping, and noticed the cashier and a shopper at my checkout station giving me a funny look.

Crap.

When I realized my error I hurried back, made some half-assed excuse to the bewildered teen manning the self checkouts about having a day,hastily paid for my groceries and left.

This was humiliating. It would have been beyond embarrassing if I hadn’t stopped to make a phone call and just strolled out of the store with unpaid for goods; A confrontation with a store security–possibly the police and some seriously awkward q&a would have been a likely result.

“If you weren’t shoplifting, why’d you try and leave without paying?”

“Huh? Uhhhh…I have brain damage- there was too much going on around me and I thought I paid.”

“You sound fine to me. Do you have documentation of this damage?”

Even after I paid, I had no recollection of swiping my card through the reader, and kept asking myself, “did I pay this time? Or did I only imagine I did?” The only way I knew for sure was by checking my receipt.

This isn’t the first time shock induced brain damage has caused a major slip-up. Not too long ago I forgot to take back my debit card from a 5 Guys cashier after paying for my burger.

Another time, I forgot the $20 cash back I requested along with another purchase and started to leave.

Then there’s the countless times I’ve forgotten to take my groceries right after paying from them. That happens a lot.

My dismal mental math abilities don’t help; I could easily be short changed in any transaction because all of my brain power is finding the correct cash/change combo in a timely manner.

The rest is used remembering to return any change to their respective compartments in my wallet and returning my wallet to my purse while pretending l know what’s going on around me, and talking slowly enough so I don’t weird the cashier out by my preferred method: say everything super fast before you forget what you are talking about.

All the above make me an easy target of any integrity deficiency person; they could easily have taken advantage of my mental lapses and pocketed my debit card, cash or purchases.

This mental dysfunction goes beyond me fudging financial transactions.
There was that time I cut off part of my thumbnail while chopping onions. Not the clipable crescent nail tip–the part that’s fused to my thumb–all because it’s impossible for me to focus continuously-even for the short time it takes to dice the small piece of produce.

Or the time I left the stove on. Or the oven.

Or the time I doubled back six or seven times to ensure I locked my sister’s apartment door before walking to the store, because I couldn’t form a memory of doing it. I finally started taking pictures of the locked door in case I had any doubts after leaving the apartment.

Or this summer, after an art festival, I tried crossing the street in open downtown Salt Lake City traffic. Only able to focus on one cue, in this case it was when the hoards of people stopped walking towards us from the opposite direction. I couldn’t take in the reason the change- people stopped because the lights changed and the idling cars resumed driving.

In my mind I was all “Ok! The people are finally out of the way- time to cross!” Luckily my sister grabbed me before my second step.

Oh, there was that time during finals when my brain was so fried I had to let my dad take over after I ran a stop sign on the drive home from school.
Then there was the time I walked away from someone who was talking to me. No warning. No “could you excuse me?” I just walked away mid conversation. I’m not sure why. Omg-embarrassing.

Last month I was given de-worming medicine for my foster kitten with two simple instructions the bottle:

shake well

repeat dose once after two weeks

Easy, right?

Yeah, I screwed both steps up; I failed to shake the medicine which could lead to an overdose, and thanks to having no sense of time and confusion over a calendar alert, I gave him his second dose the following week.

My sister who knows a bit about cat drugs said it should be fine, but I was still so upset I could have done something that could have hurt my sweet little foster kitten and so embarassed that I couldn’t follow such basic instructions, I waited till his booster shot appointment three weeks later to tell a fellow volunteer my error and ask if I should dose him again. It wasn’t a big deal; the volunteer wasn’t angry, but experience has taught me I can only make mistakes like these so many times before people stop trusting me and/or start treating you like an idiot. Little I say or do after that point will change a person’s perception of me.

I get freaked anytime crap like this happens. You know that feeling you get when you misjudge a stair step and fall 5 inches? Like that.
I almost:

  • Shoplifted
  • Lost my money
  • Maimed myself
  • Burned the house down
  • Got run over
  • Caused a car wreck
  • Ruined any chance of friending that person
  • Overdosed and injured a creature I’m supposed to care for and protect

I also feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed.

All the above are no-brainers, so failure to do them correctly usually invites incredulous, angry, eye-rolling “omg wtf! What’s wrong with you that you can’t remember this simple thing or do it right?! Why would you do something so stupid?! Are you trying to get yourself killed?!” from people.

Being smart  and “sounding” normal only intensifies these responses.

“Clearly, you should know better” 

I don’t get why you can’t just bla bla bla” 

On top of embarrassment and humiliation, I also feel scared I’m losing my friggin mind. There was a time I remembered paying, locking doors, turning off the friggin stove after I’m done cooking, taking in all of my surroundings — not just one aspect of the world around me at a time, not needing to rush convos because I’d remember what so and so said along with my reply or the simple internal sense of how many weeks have passed.

These electroshock damage induced lapses and absent-mindedness bouts leave me in a near constant state of panicked high alert to avoid the above consequences and social ostracism.

This damage I’m told so often by doctors I can’t possibly have because

“shock doesn’t do that.” 
And because I “sound fine.”

I wish the doctors were right–that running an electric current through one’s brain was completely safe and any side effects are mild and temporary.

And I wish I was as intact as I seem.

What happened to me was anything but mild or temporary and my six month recovery time frame is long since passed.


It’s now been 4,293 days since my last shock treatment, and my brain is still a scrambled, dysfunctional mess.

If you’re considering electroshock, also consider that you could wind up like me; a permanently disabled 30 year old with dementia.

Your doctors won’t warn you this can happen–mine sure as hell didn’t, so I will.

Below are some honest, personal and scientifically valid assessments of of electroshock you won’t get from your doctor.
Read up like your life depends on it–it does.

Breggin shock info pamphlet 

Electroshock as a head injury 

Shock quotationary and other articles by shock survivor Leonard Roy Frank 

Paralegal speaks out 

Electroshock induced emotional trauma  

Inadequacy was of shock damage assessment methods

Doctors of Deception

As for me, the last few days have sucked royally.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be under a pile of kittens watching Netflix. Do not disturb.

References

Andre, L. (1991, September). Electroshock as head injury. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from http://www.ect.org/effects/headinjury.html

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.Retrieved December 8, 2015, from http://www.ectresources.org/Shock_treatment_brochure_June_8.pdf

Flaws in Assessing Post-shock Damage, Solutions and the Importance of Informed Consent | aftershock. (n.d.). Retrieved December 8, 2015, from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/flaws-in-assessing-post-shock-damage-solutions-and-the-importance-of-informed-consent/

From The Files of Leonard Roy F. (n.d.). Retrieved December 8, 2015, from http://psychiatrized.org/LeonardRoyFrank/FromTheFilesOfLeonardRoyFrank.htm

Ignored Products of Electroshock: Painful Emotions and Trauma | aftershock. (n.d.). Retrieved December 8, 2015, from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/painful-emotions-following-electroshock/

 (n.d.). A Paralegal Employed by Firm Representing ECT Survivor Speaks Out Against Shock | aftershock. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/a-parelagal-employed-by-firm-representing-ect-survivor-speaks-out-against-the-procedure/