Oliver: A Suvior’s Poem

Oliver Swingler generously shared his powerful shock story with with me many months back. You can find that here here.

This is another piece of his work relating to his experience with electroshock.


Elephants don’t arrange to have memories wiped out
Larks don’t sing tunes that awaken chronic doubt
Electric eels don’t give shocks to others of their kind
Cheetahs don’t advise speedy cures that damage the mind
Tortoises don’t punish those who are a bit slower
Reindeer don’t stigmatise whatever they see as lower
Owls don’t manufacture darkness for hunting their prey
Crocodiles don’t submerge animals in terror for pay
Oysters don’t clam up if treatment is put to the test
Nightingales don’t wilfully disturb other creatures’ rest
Voles don’t produce the dependence on hibernation
Unicorns don’t pretend what’s real is an invention
Locusts don’t strip bare while announcing that it’s healing
Spiders don’t weave to confuse other spiders’ feeling
Iguana don’t make ugly innocent hope and belief
Vultures don’t pick at the bones of those suffering grief
Earthworms don’t aim to undermine the vulnerable naïve
Tigers don’t lurk behind caring postures that deceive
Hornets don’t sting to sell results in published research
Eagles don’t use old, weak ones to establish their perch
Rattlesnakes don’t have hidden agendas that cause fear
Ants don’t build nests that alienate every ant near
Psychiatrists and their drugs often do – they’ve done it to me
You may be the next to be raped by ECT

Oliver Swingler
October 2000


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.


(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


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?


(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…

The FDA’s Plan to Mitigate Risk of Injury and Death From ECT Machines: Put a Label on it

fda risk mitigation 1,


This is the protective might of our taxpayer-funded agency at work.

Labeling, bio compatibility, and other technical stuff.

There aren’t words for how disturbing this is.

You can read more about this pending risk reclassification and what it means by reading Lauren Tenney’s article here.

And you can respond to the FDA’s proposed change by clicking here.


Quick and dirty citation


screenshot retrieved from: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2014-N-1210-0001

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 🙂



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 2: The Two Sides of ECT

Trigger warnings: 
details of suicide relating to electroshock 
risks and details of effects of electroshock
pro-shock comments



In 2011, Psychiatrist and shock proponent Sarah Lisanby delivered an impassioned speech to the FDA for shock machines safety reclassification hearings.

She appealed to her authority as a credentialed, practicing psychiatrist as well as the authority and logic of scientific studies that form the foundation she based her claims of shocks safety and its “miraculous healing properties” on. (made available to those in attendance, but absent from the speech transcript posted on psych central website).

Lisanby pulled at the heartstrings with stories of hopelessly depressed people un-helped by drugs, on the brink of suicide. People that may be deprived of this “lifesaving treatment,” due to lack of access created by  safety restriction barriers, and archaic beliefs and prejudices against this “treatment” because of its dark, violent past.

Dr. Lisanby then went deeper down the emotional and authority appeal road by telling a first-hand experience with a loved one whose life she claimed was saved by electroshock.

Read the entire transcript, here

Every time I read this speech, besides stirring up a mix of anger, nausea and panic, I’m perplexed because the ECT she’s talking about is nothing like the ECT I, and countless other survivors have experienced.

The rest of the post will explore the two sides of ECT by highlighting the  contrast between Dr. Lisanby’s claims that ECT is life-saving and miraculous, with various experts and people whose lives have been destroyed or in some cases, ended by this supposedly “life saving procedure.”

The two sides of ECT

Depression kills while ECT saves lives. “

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11

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“Scientific evidence and peer-reviewed medical literature supports the safety and efficacy of ECT.”

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11

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“…the sham ECT literature supports the conclusions that: real ECT is no more effective than placebo, except during the period of time the ECT is being administered; even that difference is modest; a modest amount of cost is required for the overall cost-benefit of ECT to be negative; and, the effectiveness of ECT is overendorsed repeatedly in the psychiatric literature up to the present.”

~Colin A. Ross, MD, The Sham ECT Literature: Implications for Consent to ECT 

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“1975— In former times, “classical” shock treatments commonly caused bone fractures among those racked by the violent physical convulsions. Although roughly 10 percent of today’s patients still get such unmodified ECT, most now first receive a sleep-inducing barbiturate like sodium pentothal, and the muscle-paralyzing agent succinylcholine, or Anectine. While an electrical storm rages unabated in the brain, these drugs suppress its outward manifestations, sparing witnesses the terrifying spectacle the body’s violent spasms.

These “improvements” are like the flowers planted at Buchenwald. Besides, they create their own risks, and don’t always work. The muscle paralyzer can cause prolonged

failure to breathe and cardiac shock. The paralysis may also intensify the horror of the patient’s experience….

While barbiturates make for a smoother trip into unconsciousness, they also increase the chances of death by choking. Although they do produce sleep, they do not bring a complete loss of feeling. Among former ECT patients I interviewed, many could recall the instant of shock itself, even though unable to recall surrounding events. One young man reported: “That pain went right through your head. All you’re aware of is this jolting pain going through your mind like an electric crowbar”

~John  Friedberg, MD, Shock Quotationary


“Informed consent is an important part of the [ECT] process.”

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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“A basic principal of medicine, the principal of informed consent, is missing in psychiatry. This is certainly the case with what we have politely referred to here by psychiatry’s chosen name, electroconvulsive therapy. It should be evident now that this practice does not deserve its euphemistic title.

The brain is being shocked. The result is a grand mal seizure, memory loss, and brain damage. Psychiatry has not been simply negligent in researching and reporting these primary effects. It has pursued a policy designed to lead away from the truth, often avoiding study designs that might produce results unfavorable to shock.

It has made false claims unsupported by published 37 research. It has deliberately deceived. It has looked away and remained silent while millions have been harmed.”

~Shock Treatment: Efficacy, Memory Loss, and Brain Damage – Psychiatry’s Don’t Look, Don’t Tell Policy Richard A. Warner 

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“When depression goes untreated or when it is ineffectively treated, it can cause extreme suffering and even death by suicide.”

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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“ECT is rapidly effective against suicidal impulses. Without ECT, suicidal patients would have few effective options left.”

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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“If ECT were to disappear tomorrow, those who are suffering already and who have no effective alternatives are precisely the ones who would suffer the most. Their families, their children, their loved ones, their friends, and their communities would suffer. “

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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“Until a safe alternative that matches or exceeds the therapeutic spectrum of ECT comes along, threatening or restricting its availability would only serve to take away the last hope from those who are already suffering from hopelessness. “

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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Sarah Lisanby closes her speech with a plea on behalf of patients,

“People whose lives have been affected by severe treatment- resistant depression deserve the best that medical science has to offer, and today that is ECT.”

~Psychiatrist Sarah Lisanby, FDA shock reclassification hearings, 1/27/11, psychcentral.com

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No, Dr. Lisanby, ECT is not the best treatment available for people suffering from severe “treatment resistant depression,” or any other condition its designated for.
Electroshock is a violent, destructive act dressed up as a medical procedure.
Having experienced shock myself, and witnessed how it’s destroyed countless other lives, one would think ECT would be reserved for, not vulnerable hurting people, but the most evil of criminals– those who deserves to be destroyed mentally, financially, emotionally and spiritually.
And even the worst criminals are protected from cruel inhumane treatment.

A side note

The purpose of Dr. Lisanby’s 2011 speech bears meaning today because there is a renewed push for shock devices safety to be downgraded from high risk class III to the same risk level as glasses and wheelchairs (class II). If you’re unfamiliar with this situation, click here to read more.
Survivors and allies have less than two months to speak out and stop this appalling safety downgrade.

my use of this information is my opinion and not intended to infringe on any copyright or trademark expressed


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

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

Lisanby, S. (2011, January 27). psychcentral. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/dr-sarah-lisanby-on-ect/

Riikka’s Story | aftershock. (2015). Retrieved January 5, 2016, from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/riikkas-story/

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

90 Days to Tell the FDA No to Down-Classification of Shock Device

Action is needed now, survivors! The FDA is pushing to downgrade shock machines to class II devices that puts it on equal level risk to a wheelchair.

An FYI to those who don’t know, shock machines have never been tested by the FDA. Shock survivor or no, you should be outraged at the government entity charged with protecting American citizens from harmful drugs and devices is so eager to reduce protection for a device that has been shown to cause death by complications or suicide and brain damage and permanent disability, that has never been officially tested. This is inexcusable.

“Are you over 18?  Treatment Resistant? Require Rapid Response? Watch out! The FDA as a proposed rule under public inspection[1], just for you! During this public inspection period, tell the FDA NO to the down-classification of shock devices. Tell the FDA exactly how subjective “treatment resistant” and “require rapid response” are as concepts.”

Source: 90 Days to Tell the FDA No to Down-Classification of Shock Device

Voices of Shock: Oliver’s Story

Oliver is a delightful fellow I met a few months back who has generously agreed to my republishing of his powerfully written story and other works which I will share in a series of posts. 

This guy is an inspiration; he’s survived the legacy effects of abuse his parents suffered as children, psychiatry and its inhumane and disabling “remedies” including Freudian psychotherapy, drugging, electroshock and all the devastating memory loss and impairments that come with, including the sometimes suicidal depression that comes with electroshock damage. Oliver didn’t just survive, he became an activist, found ways to meaningfully live his life in spite of severe brain damage and trauma, and also encourage others. I’m so glad to have met him 🙂

ECT after-effects – a survivor’s story

What I didn’t know until I was 39 is that I was brought up in a family affected by sexual abuse, both my parents had suffered childhood rape, and being the youngest I bore the brunt of sibling bullying, a ‘juvenile delinquent’ survivor of psychiatry from 1961 getting the usual Freudian ‘you’re jealous of your father and want to have sex with your mother’ plus told that I had strong homosexual tendencies, and fancied my first psychiatrist – I was 12 at the time – a classic case of transference – all of which made me uncooperative with psychiatrists – a big mistake!!

In 1971 I was in a grieving process and exhausted from running a summer play scheme, so they sectioned me, diagnosed catatonic depression, filled me up to the eyeballs with drugs, and when I didn’t ‘get better’ quick enough, without any choice or mention of the after-effects, they gave me ECT – I don’t know how many shocks, or whether, as is common practice, the equipment was obsolete, the staff untrained, the voltage totally arbitrary, because, it seems, when I started to make noises about suing, they conveniently lost my medical records.

Soon after ECT, I was visited in hospital by someone whose face and name I didn’t know, although, I learnt in conversation we’d shared a communal flat, eating drinking, talking together almost every day of the previous year, and when I was despatched back with no after-care to the family home where problems had arisen, I discovered my current address book, and frantically phoned some strange names in it, hoping their voices would bring back glimmers of recognition.

Soon after ECT I realised I could [not] remember all of the alphabet, nor my times table although I’d As in maths GCE O and A level, and I often stayed at home, irrationally fearing I’d be asked to recite them – for weeks I didn’t know first names of my parents, older siblings – at the first opportunity I moved to a town where almost no-one knew me, to avoid the embarrassment of social situations, and I still have cold sweats in large groups when I might be called upon to introduce people I’d known for years, but can’t remember their names – every day I need to muster the courage to venture forth so as not to be trapped in lonely isolation.

For 6 or so years after my finals, sat just before ECT, I thought I’d failed, until writing about something else, with a vague ps, I was sent my degree certificate, which was useful, no longer having to explain away 4 years of my life – I’ve got 13 GCEs, 4 top grade, but no professional qualifications – since ECT I’ve sat only 1 exam, and despite it being 70% project work and continual assessment, I struggled to just pass, well bottom of the class – my memory and impaired concentration can’t cope.

Some years after ECT, I was approached by a Social Security inspector, who asked if I knew a woman, and was surprised when I didn’t, but insisted she was the mother of my daughter – having no memory of her, I was easily persuaded by my now ex-wife to deny paternity – years later again, I met old friends, who said I’d had an affair, and she’d just had her womb scraped – but by then I’d thrown away all the papers, and am told I can’t now trace her, and she’s unlikely to want to trace me, who forgot being her father.

I can spend all afternoon in deep, personal conversation with one other person, then, the very next day in the street cut her or him dead, walk away from the smile of, to me, a total stranger, which has lost me untold friends (I didn’t know I did that until a kind person told me), and I’ve long since given up on my life aim of writing a novel – my mind can only extend to brief, disciplined sections (like this is written) – even though at college my published articles got a special mention in an award-winning Observer Mace student magazine.

For 29 years I’ve lived a moment to moment existence, every day coping with an emotional yo-yo – I’m liable to cry in company for no apparent reason, leaving my flat is a major expedition, and I rarely go beyond a round of known people and places, partly because explaining to those who don’t know me why I reacted in a particular way is just too complicated, and for a long time my sleep was rare – like those twitching frog’s legs, I suffer from muscular spasms that jerk me awake when I lie down and try to relax.

Like many ECT survivors, I suffer from fear of doctors and hospitals, and a few years ago I had uveitis, but kept putting off seeing my doctor, until two friends almost dragged me there, and then to hospital, where I was told, another week and there’d have been permanent damage and blindness – I’ve had at least three ‘mystery’ illnesses, and perhaps like others a brain scan would show the same results as a stroke or epileptic fit caused by ECT – but they are serious medical conditions, whilst ECT is supposed to be a treatment.

I’m told ECT is given to cure suicidal tendencies, which I find very peculiar, because before ECT I was never suicidal, and when a friend killed himself, I was horrified by the waste of life and talent – but 3 years after ECT I almost did it, countless crushed up pills and my wrists still bear the scars, and every week, almost every day, my thoughts turn to suicide, my urge to live is weak, dormant – and it’s odd that if ECT is such a life-saver, why is the death rate for those who’ve had it so much higher than the national average?

Childhood family holidays were all over Europe, I did a year’s VSO abroad, then hitchhiked across South Africa, and when at college in 1968 from Rome to Copenhagen and home, but since ECT I haven’t ventured outside the UK, I’m not sure I could manage – after ECT and the suicide attempt it helped induce, I spent a year in a halfway house, but then, realising I couldn’t cope alone, I was easy meat for recruitment to a group I fooled myself into believing was honourable, learning 19 years later it was a cult with a guru motivated by greed – where had gone the independent free spirit I once was?

ECT is given by professionals who admit they don’t know what it does, except to say it’s localised brain treatment, yet the human body is 70% or more water, an excellent conductor, so how can they guarantee it’s just local – in a recent survey of ECT survivors, over a third said it had damage them, so every day doctors are breaking their Hippocratic Oath ‘do no harm’ – to me ECT equals Every Cell Traumatised, I’ve been tortured in civilised fashion, and all the time have to struggle against the victim mentality it’s helped produce in me.

At a recent kinesiology session, I was taken through the experience of having ECT, to help heal it, and whilst she gently held my hand, it was as if I was ejected into the air, and I was left with the feeling of pure, unadulterated TERROR – I don’t own a TV, it affects me too much, and go to the cinema about once a year – Schindler’s List left me shattered for about a month, and Jurassic Park gave me nightmares and daymares for weeks, as if ECT had punched a hole in my aura, destroyed protection from outside influences.

But I’ve been lucky, unlike the hundreds who die during treatment, written off as ‘heart attack’, or are paralysed, or have given up, their minds destroyed, or are forced to agree to yet more shocks under threat of denial of psychiatric drugs they’ve been made addicts of – an American philosopher once wrote ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’, and I’ve spent weeks vainly trying to recall lost months, but can’t fill the gaps – I often feel I’m going round in circles, and about all that keeps me going is anger at what was done to me.

Oliver Swingler

Written 28th October 2000 – slightly edited September 2015

And later …

Since writing and sharing my ECT survivors story, I got lots of support from others who’d been damaged by the mental health system, got out some of my anger manning a picket outside an ECT clinic (my picture was in the local newspaper!), had loads of counselling – about my dysfunctional family affected by sexual abuse, leaving the cult, near alcoholism and being an ex-offender, as well as psychiatric and ECT abuse. And, in the course of year, I tried 20 different forms of alternative therapy – using barter for those I couldn’t afford, and even found a sympathetic doctor who actually listened.

I still live moment-to-moment and have memory problems – but people pay big bucks to learn to live in now, when I can’t do anything else (!), and I’ve pieced together much of my life story, important names and dates, which is always nearby in case of panic attacks.

My anti-ECT stance helped me regain some of the campaigning zeal of my youth, and I’ve broadened out, been involved in anti-war and anti-fracking protests, as well as for a time joining a left/green choir, and writing two songs: ‘Bees are buzzing’ https://youtu.be/TwHZkY4UbfI and ‘Global warming’ http://youtu.be/s9g_Ucr4twQ both of which have been retweeted by hundreds of people to more than a million followers.

I still have problems in social situations, but I’ve two very good friends, have served on a committee or two, and even had the confidence to get back onto the dating scene, chatting away to others seeking friendship.

What I’m trying to get across is that it’s not easy, but it isn’t all bad news, there can be life after ECT, moments of joy as well as sorrow, and with my sights and expectations of myself set nice and low, the chance to have real self-respect knowing I tried, I did something I feel good about almost every day.

Best wishes,


14th September 2015

50 First Dates, the Strange World of Brain Damage, and a Little “Science”


originally drafted January 2015

Funny thing about brain damage– on some level, I know I have brain damage-I’m pretty much aware of it from the moment I open my eyes in the morning to when I close them at night– kind of hard not to as this damage frustrates every aspect of my life- from tying my shoes to having a conversation.

And yet at the same time, knowledge of my brain damage, along with autobiographical details of my life– my thoughts and beliefs, feel vague and intangible, like an imperceptibly faint song or a blurred image. It’s always there but disappears when I reach out to examine it.

This simultaneous knowing and not knowing my experiences and of the presence of my brain damage makes me incredibly vulnerable to confusion, usually exacerbated by the insistence from a family member, friend, teacher or doctor that “I sound fine,” when I insist that I’m not. My world has been torn apart. I’m confused and scared. This mostly good intentioned downplaying of my symptoms almost always leads me to doubt myself.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe I am exaggerating– my perceptions are off, and I’m making something out of nothing.

It’s hard for me to dispute-because the bedrock of my experience seems to have vanished from my mind. Doubt inducing exchanges like these usually lead to me feeling

1.) More confused

2.) Ashamed at complaining about problems I “clearly don’t have”

3.) Motivated to force myself to do things I’m no longer capable of followed by

4.) Embarrassment and more shame when I fail to follow through with the impossible

To combat this uncertainty, and gain a solid grasp of my story, I made a brain damage book. It was inspired by the journal Lucy on 50 First Dates made for herself to give her an explanation of her experience in her own words. Each reminder of her condition cause her grief, but her journal helped her come to terms with her inability to make new memories and helped her keep current on all the happenings in her life.

In my book, I copied survivor’s quotes that were submitted to the FDA, facts about the damaging procedure, and a pamphlet from Peter Breggin’s web site. When I read through this book, it reconnects me with a horrible reality that is always there, but I can never fully perceive.

Peter Breggin’s electroshock pamphlet

combined quotes from Peter Breggin’s Huffpost article New Study Confirms Electroshock Causes Brain Damage and Linda Andre’s Electroshock as a Head Injury

quotes from Peter Breggin’s Huffpost article New Study Confirms Electroshock Causes Brain Damage

quotes from Peter Breggin’s ECT pamphlet
And like Lucy, I grieve when I read it. Every time.

It’s real!

This is bad!

I don’t want brain damage!

 I have dreams and plans!

 I want my life back!

How could this happen?

Why won’t anyone believe me?

It’s so obvious! Why did I let them make me doubt myself?!

I haven’t been reading my shock book, lately. Can you blame me? It’s not exactly a pleasant way to start the day. However, I’ve been refreshing my memory by doing research.

I’m currently taking a neurobiology course and have revisited a scientific paper that changed my shock research path several years ago. I hope to tease apart this study to better understand the impact of running an electric current through the brain. Like my ambiguous knowledge of my own life, I know this study well, I’ve read it numerous times, but my response is still the same; grief and horror. Every. Time.

a study on a small group of people that proves, in fuzzy language, that electroshock damages the brain
I see the dramatic brain alterations caused by shock revealed in the colorful brain scans used by the researchers. They refer to the areas permanently damaged by ECT referring to them as, not areas with a function or a purpose, but as “key circuits implicated in mood disorder.” With this belief, damaged is seen as a good thing. And hey, this gives credence to the “hyper-connectivity hypothesis” which absurdly claims that too much activity in these regions may be the real cause of mood disorders. This conclusions completely disregards the rich complexities of physiology and the human experience.

This study stirs up so many thoughts and emotions.


I’m terrified at what happens when smart people don’t think critically or question what they know. Reality is staring them in the face, and they are oblivious.


As I read this I’m incredulous as I consider the amount of education these researchers have had. The kind of intelligence they need to conduct, carry out and record this study. All of this skill, all of this knowledge, all this evidence of damage and yet they don’t see the awful reality that shock survivors and handful of enlightened physicians know. These researchers instead live a fantasy world of biological mental illness, magic pills and electricity that doesn’t damage, but instead heals.

In the first week of my neurobiology course we learned about the safeguards of the brain. This organ is so important and so delicate that it’s wrapped in three membranes, floated in fluid and encased in bone. That’s five layers!

Didn’t these doctors learned about this fragility of the brain and its understandable need for protection in med school?Surely they saw it first hand, even touched it while working with cadavers?

How is a procedure that slips passed all these barriers not invasive? How can it be considered a good idea?

A last resort for treatment resistant depression…

Safe and effective…


We don’t know the mechanism but it works…

Memories comes back…

Deeply Disturbed

I’m disturbed by how much respect and power a couple of initials after a name, MD, PhD, gives a person and also the unquestioned confidence people place in the “scientific method.” Many automatically assume because it has science in the title, that it’s an unbiased, unemotional process of cold, hard facts and is exact as 1+1=2.

It is not. Not even close. Sure, certain fields of science are very specific and methods of measurement are clear and precise and the subject of their research can be assessed without the need for abstract frameworks. However, when someone tries to measure things like human behavior, happiness, sadness, memory and how the human mind and psyche responds to pills, psychotherapy and electrically induced seizures and they’re on less concrete ground.

Scientific Reality

Scientific studies are a laden with financial, career and ego interests.The conclusions themselves are often ultimately hints of proof or disproof of a hypothesis, with numerous known and unknown factors. Methods of study are not rulers or scales, but arbitrary frame works, in the case of electroshock studies, depression rating scales, memory tests based on current theories of memory that may or may not be constructed to be sensitive measure the types of dysfunction caused by shock.  All of which are documented in complex mathematical/science-y language, and follow a complex processes researchers used to fetch their conclusion. All the above make it easy to hide, omit and flat out lie about results with the general public none the wiser. All they hear on the news, in commercials and around the web is a study proved such and such drug,  treatment or product is scientifically proven to cure acne, depression or leave you with a brighter whiter smile in six weeks guaranteed or your money back!

Just say a “scientific study” and the majority believe it by default.

Desperation and slowly suffocated hope

This deeply ingrained, ignorant mindset reminds me of my countless attempts to convince my intelligent, skilled, compassionate doctors my brain was damaged by electroshock. Their devastating, repeated insistence that “it was not possible,”  “I sound fine” at my claims.

As I replay this scenes over in my mind, I can hear and feel their growing irritation with each of my desperate attempts to gain acknowledgment and help. They never considered what I said was true-not once. Even after they had compelling evidence from an IQ test that showed my working memory was gone.

I think of my current work with a neurologist, another skilled and intelligent man, who, even in the face of staggering evidence of damage revealed by neuro testing that suggests at age 30, I’m in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, questions, not shock therapy, but my collection of ever present learning disabilities.

 “Maybe you were always this way…”  

 I’m broken hearted over everything I’ve lost, everything other survivors have lost, and the fact that our experiences are denied by the medical community and much of society.


I relive my own grief and trauma. I grieve for all the people who are duped into thinking shock would help, and they would return to their lives made whole by electrically induced seizures.

I experience grief every time a person stops by the shock support group asked us shock veterans how long it took before we started feeling normal again- for our memories return. Answer? Many of us never recovered. Were permanently disabled. And countless irreplaceable memories are lost forever. This person is on the verge of realizing a horrible reality; they were lied to. Their damage will likely be unrecognized. Help will be withheld. Cultivated skills, and capacity to learn and love, may be lost forever. Their most precious memories; walking down the aisle on their wedding day, their children’s childhoods, friends and all the other prized moments that tell them, this is who you are, these are the people who gave your live meaning.

The life they lived before and the world they knew are gone.

I grieve even more for those who never chose shock, but had it forced on them.

People who were aggressively coerced into shock like Linda Andre.

I grieve over those shocked against their will like Wendy Funk, children like Ted Chabsinski, Sue Clark Whittenberg and Julia Hoeffler Welton. People violently assaulted, many left to carry their trauma along with their damage long after ti occured.

They didn’t even have the illusion of informed consent like many of us did.

All of this suffering, all of this heart ache, and doctors like the ones who conducted this study maintain their willful blindness and enthusiastically promote this destruction assault to the brains of suffering people.

These people’s stories, their devastating losses, ongoing suffering and hardship haunts me.

I will continue to repeat this emotionally jarring process, day after day, until my reality finally sinks in, or I find a solution. I put myself through this pain because it’s better to be stung daily by this horrible truth is better than accepting an outsider’s insistence that my reality doesn’t exist, and live confused, ashamed and humiliated when I try to live as though my damage doesn’t exist.


 Along with my brain damage book, I made another called the Win Book. It’s an equally important frequent read for me; I plan to write about as well. Stay tuned 🙂

Also, if you’re discouraged by your current circumstances as a shock survivor, trust me, you have reason to be, but have heart; the survivors I mentioned all fought and survived and made some sense of various situations and went on to make major contributions to the psychiatric survivor movement. If you’re unfamiliar with these amazing people, I encourage to read their stories and look into their work. No matter how old you are, how many shock treatments you’ve had, there’s hope for all of us 🙂




Andre, L. (1991, September). Electroshock as head injury. Retrieved September 16, 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.

Applied Health Sciences (Mental Health). (2012). Electroconvulsive therapy reduces frontal cortical connectivity in severe depressive disorder. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/109/14/5464.full.pdf

Breggin, P. (2012, 9). New Study Confirms Electroshock (ECT) Causes Brain Damage | Dr. Peter Breggin. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/electroshock-treatment_b_1373619.html

Breggin, P. (2013). No one should be given shock treatment. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/Shock_treatment_brochure_June_8.pdf

Chabasinski, T. (2012, July 7). A Child on the Shock Ward – Mad In America. Retrieved from http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/07/a-child-on-the-shock-ward/

Funk, W. (1998). What difference does it make?: The journey of a soul survivor. Cranbrook: Wild Flower Pub.

Hoefeler Welton, J. (2014). From the lion’s mouth (1st ed.). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Neuroscientifically Challenged. (2015, April 19). 2-Minute Neuroscience: The Meninges[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIkgQcmv0Xs

Rice, J. D. (2015, August 12). An Outpouring of Love for Psychiatric Survivor and Activist, Sue Clark- Whittenberg | aftershock. Retrieved from https://aftershocklifeafterect.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/an-outpouring-of-love-for-psychiatric-survivor-and-activist-sue-clark-whittenberg/