(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…



Talk with Tenney: Comment on complaint: FDA Ombuds Office #FDAStopTheShockDevice 03/17 by Lauren Tenney | Current Events Podcasts

“Tune in March 17, 2016 from 9-11 eastern time (267) 521-0167 to hear and comment on the Final Draft of Official Complaint to Ombuds at the FDA concerning the processes FDA has taken in the proposed down-classifacation of the shock device”


ECT Sham Studies

Psychiatry seems to greatly overreached in their claims a ECT efficacy, and patient consent remains inadequate.

via .http://www.ectresources.org/ECTscience/Ross_2006___Sham_ECT_Literatures.pdf 

40 Days to Tell the #FDAStoptheShockDevice – Mad In America

The latest status update on the FDA/shock machine issue, a petition to sign and how to circumvent FDA censorship.

Please read and sign the petition. Understand the the issues. Send docket comments, screen capture and save them.

Share FDA articles like this and hashtag with #FDAStoptheShockDevice

.   via 40 Days to Tell the #FDAStoptheShockDevice – Mad In America.

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

Photo Jan 05, 7 26 32 PM

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

Longtime Psychiatric Patient Sues Hospital for Excessive Restraint Use and Forced Electroshock

Trigger warnings:
Footage of unmodified electroshock
Forced electroshock
Forced hospitalization
Pro shock comments

This video is an excellent find by kiwijustice2blog.wordpress.com. View story in the link below.

Is it ever acceptable to apply electro convulsive therapy against a patient’s will?

Garth Daniels is a 40 year, long time mental patient who has been subjected to forced restraint, lasting up to 60 days.

He is also been given 31 electrically induced convulsions in a ridiculously short four month timespan.

All without Garth and his father’s consent.

His psychiatrist plans to shock him 12 more times.

If you’re new to researching this topic, pay attention to the introductory explanation of the “procedure.

The news host states “ECT has been much more safely administered with anesthetic.”

This comment is false. While a person is less likely to break teeth and bones when they convulse, anesthesia raises the seizure threshold, requiring a stronger dose of electricity to induce a seizure. No mention of death rates.  No mention of devastation cognitive consequences. Or the risks of anesthesia. Take their word for it.

To the show writer’s credit, they made no token “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” reference.

It’s interesting– they don’t give many details of Garth’s condition but they do mention its onset: cannabis induced psychosis. They also allude to him being dangerous.
This brings many questions to mind:

  • How was this psychosis treated?
  • Did that lead to a label of an incurable condition?
  • Did that get him a life-long pass on the drug merry go round?
  •  Did the drugs he was put on worsen his mental state?
  • Was this worsening seen as, not a drug side effect but, progression of his mental illness?
  • What’s really going on with Garth?
  • What outcome is th psychiatrist expecting with this many shocks?

Garth has been assessed by an outside psychiatrist who has deemed the 40 year old competent to refuse more treatments.

Time will tell if his lawsuit will have any impact on the kind of “treatment” he receives.


ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). (2015, December 17). Is it ever acceptable to apply shock treatment against a patient’s will? – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved December 17, 2015, from http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/is-it-ever-acceptable-to-apply-shock-treatment/7039058#transcript

Andre, L. (1991, September). Electroshock as head injury. Retrieved December 17, 2015, from http://www.ect.org/effects/headinjury.html

Frank, L. R. (2006, June). psychiatrized.org. Retrieved from http://psychrights.org/Research/Digest/Electroshock/LRFrankElectroshockQuotationary.PDF

kiwijustice2blog | kiwijustice2.blogspot.com. (2015, December 17). Retrieved December 17, 2015, from https://kiwijustice2blog.wordpress.com/

Time. (2011, August 4). Under the Knife: Study Shows Rising Death Rates from General Anesthesia | TIME.com. Retrieved December 17, 2015, from http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/04/under-the-knife-study-shows-rising-death-rates-from-general-anesthesia/

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.