(Revised Version) Brain Damage Therapy

If you saw the original incarnation of this video, you know all about the style and timing issues. I got help from the app designers and was able to fix all the little pesky quirks and also add a TON of polish to this video.

In two days this video got 84 views and several comments! This activity makes me hesitant to take it down.

While I figure out what to do with the old version, you can help me get the truth out about electroshock by viewing, liking and sharing the new one.

If you already have, thank you! I hope you will consider doing the same for the revised version as well.

Thank you!


Video References

Andre, L. (1991, September). Electroshock as head injury. Retrieved July 22, 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. (1979). Electro-shock its brain-disabling effects. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…

Breggin, P. R. (2010). The FDA should test the safety of ECT machines (International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 22 (2010) 89–92). Retrieved from http://breggin.com/wp-content/uploads…

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

Breggin, P. R. (n.d.). Electroshock: scientific, ethical, and political issues. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://www.stopshrinks.org/reading_ro…

Corry, M. (2008, June 25). Barbaric age of electric shock ‘cure’ must vanish. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/bar…

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.

Hartelius, H. (1952). cerebral changes following electrically induced convulsions. acta psychiactrica et neurologica scandinavica. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…

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

Janis, I. (1950). Psychological effects of electric shock treatment. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 3. Retrieved from http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscienc…

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

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



Read Peter Breggin’s First Medical ECT Book for Free

I’ve started collecting old electroshock books before they disappear and/or their prices skyrocket. Last year  I bought a copy  Electro-shock and its Brain-Disabling Effects, originally published in 1979.

This book is a vital read. It shows how far back shock induced brain damaged evidence was available, how this information was softened, skewed or ignored by the industry, provides patient accounts, detailed descriptions of physical and cognitive effects and its wealth of citations serves an additional research resource.

Recently I was poking around Peter Breggin’s ECT Resource Center and found that he made the complete book available free via PDF–yay!

Even though I already own the book, it’s hard for me to process because it’s highly technical and  I struggle with reading and retaining new info after ECT wrecked my brain.

But with a PDF copy, I can run it through my screen reader and can easily highlight and review points I want to remember.

You can download the PDF here.

And if have the same reading/retaining troubles I do and are interested in using assistive technology, check out VoiceDream.

It’s the best screen reader I’ve ever used. It’s easy to add content, there’s a ton of realistic voices to choose from, and the app is customizable.


Petition update · Garth still being electric-shocked against his will! · Change.org


I’m pissed. Really pissed.

Garth Daniels is still receiving forced electrical head injuries ala electroshock and forced drugging.

He has been shown to be mentally competent to refuse electroshock by an outside psychologist.

I must add that is the most absurd sentence of all time–that someone has to be deemed ‘competent’ to say no to having multiple electrically induced grand mal seizures, but this is the world we live in.

It should be added that competent really means ‘agrees with the doctor.’


His father has also adamantly rejected the electrical destruction of his son’s mind and body, but his psychiatrist persists in this barbarism, sometimes shocking Garth multiple times in one day.   

If you believe that this sort of practice is rare or a relic of the darker days of psychiatry, news flash! It’s not.

In the recent Q&A on electroshock, the APA parroted the ‘no one is forced mantra’– but sometimes in certain cases if the person is deemed incompetent, a guardian or family member can decide to have their loved one electrocuted, or panel of docs and a judge may decide for them as well.

Read Doctors of Deception and the APA ECT Q&A transcripts or this post to learn more about what psychiatry says and does when someone doesn’t consent to having their brain damaged for their ‘benefit.’

Garth’s situation shows these safe guards to be utter rubbish. He has been deemed competent.

His next of kin is against this.

Garth is still being shocked.

If you question whether the softer sounding electrocution therapy or ‘ECT’ or ‘brain stimulation’ which it increasingly being called, has anything to do with the violent ‘procedure’ seen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest electroshock watch this video.

It’s as damaging as it ever was, just dressed up in non-threatening lingo.

If the FDA has its way in reclassifying the shock device, it’s likely these abuses will only increase because hullooo! The FDA says the shock device is as safe as eyeglasses for the right dx and they are SUUUUCH a reputable and ethical organization, it must be true.

*sarcasm emphasized*

You can read more about Garth here.

If you haven’t signed his petition, please do so now and share. This must stop before they  kill him!

TRIGGER WARNING! The news story regarding his case shows footage of unmodified electroshock, and restraints.

And if you haven’t singed the FDA petition, click here.

Thank you.

photo courtesy of http://www.auntiepsychiatry.com/Auntie%20Psychiatry.html#garth

American Psychiatric Association.Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2016/facebook_q&a_on_ect_summary_152424.pdf

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

Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.auntiepsychiatry.com/Auntie%20Psychiatry.html#garth

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

Petition update · Garth still being electric-shocked against his will! · Change.org. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from https://www.change.org/p/help-save-garth-daniels-from-brutal-electric-shocks-and-toxic-brain-chemicals/u/16398929?tk=bKE1xHPa5ikwrOACKOWGlL35jMY2bjKywPQG24WkN6I&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

Petition · FDA: Stop FDA from Down-Classifying the Shock Device to a Class II Device Stop shock treatment. · Change.org. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from https://www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment

Reed, J. (n.d.). Appealing to our Elected Representatives – Mad In America. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/appealing-to-our-elected-representatives/

Reed, J. (n.d.). Foxes Guarding the Henhouse: the Role of the Chief Psychiatrist – Mad In America. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/02/foxes-guarding-the-henhouse-the-role-of-the-chief-psychiatrist/

Reed, J. (n.d.). The Curious Case of over 50 Consecutive ECTs in Melbourne – Mad In America. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/02/the-curious-case-of-over-50-consecutive-ects-in-melbourne/

Reed, J. (n.d.). The Mental Health Tribunal – Mad In America. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/the-mental-health-tribunal/

The Myth of Shock Treatment Consent 

There’s this belief that forced electroshock is a thing of past–something rare or nonexistent in enlightened, modern-day psychiatry.

Recently, there was even a change in Irish law that seemed to protect a patient’s choice to refuse shock.

But, turns out it’s utterly useless. The article below explains how this patient refusal can easily be overturned by psychiatrists.

All they have to do is declare a patient incompetent.

Irish Examiner: Electroconvulsive therapy is still given to patients who don’t want it 
This articles statistics of people who had shock against their will is stunning.

Clearly forced electroshock is far from rare, and psychiatry, still in the dark ages.

Quick and dirty citation

retrieved from: http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/yourview/electroconvulsive-therapy-is-still-given-to-patients-who-dont-want-it-377065.html

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

The Power of Being Heard

An awesome survivor recently shared this poignant quote with me the other day and I had to pass it on.

I can only imagine how many of us suffer “secondary wounding” when we reach out for understanding and empathy for our psychiatric injuries.

In my case, people’s responses to my experience did more long term damage than the initial trauma. This secondary wounding affects me on every level from how I talk to myself, how I view my struggles and how I respond to other people’s distress to my ability to relax enough to fall asleep every night. Trauma + secondary trauma is hell. Nuff said.

The same person who shared the quote expressed sympathy for my experience and it took a few days to let it sink in. I regularly get invalidated by people ignorant to hidden disability, to experiences other than their own or they just think they know what I’ve been through so feel entitled to dish out thoughtless advice. I’ve developed a thick shell, in response– so it’s always it’s hard to hear these desperately needed words.

In a recent Peter Breggin podcast, psychologist Paula Caplan talks about veterans who were able to get over their war trauma just by being heard.

This really speaks to how we’re wired as humans to need our experiences to be seen, mirrored and empathized with by others. Being heard and understood is not a luxury–it’s hardwired into our biology.

If you’re an ally or looking for a little healing yourself, I highly recommend the book the Power of Validation.IMG_7965

While this book’s target is parents, its principles can apply to any relational situation from how you talk to yourself, approach your own feelings to how to understand and empathize with someone else’s experience.

If you want to understand the nuts and bolts of connection, check out A General Theory of Love.IMG_7964

Aside from waxing poetic about drugs and psychotherapy, it has solid info on why we love and the importance of connection. You’re not weak for needing it- you just live is a society that’s misunderstood and trivialized it.

Non-judgmental listening, validation and empathy are powerful life changing forces. The world would be a better place of more people knew how utilize them.

For those dealing with secondary trauma,

If you’re a survivor of anything, shock, psych drugs, rape, physical or emotional abuse and have been judged, criticized or gaslit by the people you reached out to for help, your pain, your experiences are real and your feelings connected to the trauma are valid.

I’m sorry for your initial trauma and even more so for your secondary injuries you got when you bravely reached out for help.




Hall, K. D., & Cook, M. H. (2012). The power of validation: Arming your child against bullying, peer pressure, addiction, self-harm & out-of-control emotions. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Huppert, A. (2010, September 14). PTSD Cautions: Secondary wounding | Examiner.com. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://www.examiner.com/article/ptsd-cautions-secondary-wounding

Lewis, T., Amini, F., & Lannon, R. (2001). A general theory of love. New York: Vintage Books.

From The Lions Mouth: A Shock Survior’s Memior

I was browsing shock books on Amazon and came across a new survivor account, From the Lion’s Mouth: Healing from Trauma, Electroshock, Scapegoating, and Grief in a Dysfunctional Family and Psychiatric System.


Of course I bought it asap. There are so few survior accounts in print, each one is a precious commodity to me. I go all Pokemon ,”gotta catch em all.”


I promise it’s not some sick hobby. I feel a little more complete every time I hear this horror story of shock told from a different perspective…a little less lost, if that makes sense.

The book was well written and engaging–I blazed through it in a couple hours. If you’re a survivor or ally or a curious lay person wth little exposures of the dark world of psychiatry, I highly recommend this book. 

Also, I think it’s important to support those brave enough to share this unpopular reality of electroshock buy buying,sharing, their work and maybe even leaving a positive reviews on Amazon 🙂


psychiatric abuse 

Child abuse 

Electroconvulsive therapy 

Keep an eye out also a hefty dose of hope as well 😉

A side note to the author should I be so lucky to have her visit my site: Thank you for sharing your story, Julia. I promise to show you some love on Amazon soon 🙂


If You Call Electroshock by Any Other Name, Is it Still A Violent, Destructive, Pseudoscientific Procedure? Yes!

Sarah Lisanby is “Professor and Chair Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine
DIBS Faculty, Member, DIBS Chairs & Directors Advisory Council.”

She gave an impassioned speech to the FDA, why she thinks shock machines should be reduced to class II, effectively putting the dangerous devices on the same safety level as wheelchairs.

When I did some more research on her work I couldn’t help but notice the disturbing change in language from shock to stimulation.

It seems that electroshock is being grouped together with less invasive treatments like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), all falling under the banner of therapeutic neuromodulation. That makes it sound so scientific and medically sound, no?

I may not have Sarah Lisbany’s education or credentials, but I do have something she doesn’t: first hand experience with electroshock.      Survivors have more authority on what shock does and doesn’t do.

Don’t be fooled. And don’t let this language change stick. Call it what it is. Shock. Electroshock. Leave out therapy, because shock is anything but therapeutic.

Leave off life saving because that’s the opposite of what it does. Shock is a violent, abusive, destructive tool that destroys lives by creating permanent disability and also threatens lives by increased suicidalty due to unacknowledged shock induced disability.

And don’t forget those under reported fatal complications such as heart failure and brain hemorrhages.

I have a favor to ask, if see any spelling or grammatical errors, please let me know at aftershockrecovery at gmail dot com. Much appreciated 🙂


Duke Institute for Brain Sciences – Lisanby, Sarah H. – M.D. | Duke Institute for Brain Sciences | Brain Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dibs.duke.edu/research/profiles/146-sarah-h-lisanby

Frank, L. R. (2006). The Electroshock Quotationary. Retrieved from http://www.endofshock.com/102C_ECT.PDF

Psych Central. (n.d.). Dr. Sarah Lisanby on ECT | Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/dr-sarah-lisanby-on-ect/

Sarah Lisanby, MD-Neuromodulation in Psychiatry: A rapidly changing field [Video file]. (2014, May 20). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3vVINGBjaQ&feature=youtu.be

Transcranial magnetic stimulation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation