As this article demonstrates, invisible disabilities are just as real and can be as restricting as visible ones.
The holidays can be brutal for ECT survivors with noisy, crowded family events and expectations of normal, engaged, happy, behavior.
Please be gentle with yourself this Christmas and every day in between.
Give yourself time-outs when you need them. Limit time you spend at events according to your needs. Fake an important call or another event if you have to! (I’ve currently excused myself from three events already.)
Remember that you have been injured and have suffered terrible losses from a pseudoscientific procedure. You are doing the best you can with what you have.
Share the neuro-fatigue article with open minded loved ones so they can better understand your limitations and needs.
As for the not so open-minded people in your life who don’t respect your limits–they can go choke on a candy cane 😉
I was 2 years old when this video was made. This valuable information existed long before this presentation, but thanks to aggressive misinformation campaigns by organizations like the Amercian Psychiatric Association (APA), these truths wouldn’t enter my consciousness 15 years later when shock was recommended for my so-called ‘treatment resistant’ depression.
The most important key points anyone considering shock should hear, made public, wrapped up in a concise 20-minute talk and also recorded in a few obscure books and scientific studies.
It leaves me speechless.
I’m only aware of it now, thanks to a fellow survivor, long after my brain had been iatrogenically damaged beyond repair.
A sentence in Linda Andre’s extraordinary book, Doctors of Deception, comes to mind at this lack of crucial information and the destruction its absence caused in so many lives:
A while back I shared the story of a delightful man, Oliver Swingler. (If you missed it you can read his story here and one of his poems here.)
I have some exciting news! Oliver has recently had a collection of his powerful writing published!
Mental Survival is a collection of articles, personal experiences, poems and songs, mostly centred around the theme of mental health. The writer draws on a wealth of experience to focus on psychiatry and counselling, the side effect of drugs and ECT, stigma and abuse, shedding light on much that is wrong with attitudes and care for the increasing numbers of people suffering debilitating mental distress. He also shows that despite an often daily battle against suicidal thoughts and chronic mood swings, it is possible to have a rewarding life, with moments of caring companionship, mostly winning the struggle to maintain a positive attitude and self-respect.
About the Author
Oliver Swingler was born 10th March 1948, and is currently actively retired despite physical disability and being a mental health survivor for 55 years. His working career has included 37 f different jobs, from factory labourer to Customer Services Supervisor, Sales Manager to Hospital Porter, Shop Assistant to Volunteer Co-ordinator, barman to Adult Education Lecturer – and over the years he’s done a variety of voluntary work, including VSO on island of St Helena, working with people recovering from head injuries, housing advisor with a Shelter Housing Aid Centre. Apart from 19 years semi-retreat from the world in the Emin esoteric cult, Oliver has been an active campaigner on a variety of issues, a student Socialist Society Chair, NUPE Shop Steward, Chair of Lifeboat mental health co-operative, and two Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations. As well as writing songs for a left/green choir, he’s most recently been active against fracking and global warming, as part of White Ribbon Campaign anti-violence against women, seeking justice for families of victims of the DWP, Atos, Maximus, Capita, and most recently re-joined the Labour Party after 50 years absence to support Jeremy Corbyn. A believer in social housing, Oliver has lived in a council flat in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for 26 years; he’s divorced and has one son.
Seeing his long list of accomplishments is such an encouragement– one can truly live a meaningful, successful life following iatrogenic brain damage, trauma and deep, painful, personal struggles.
Thank you for persevering Oliver, and showing the world what is possible, regardelss the circumstances 🙂
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.
Thank you to all who participated in the shock and suicide poll! Here are the results!
13 responders had this to say about their experience with electroshock:
Did you experience any of the following from shock induced brain damage and/or disability?
Do you have any other thoughts you want to share with the public about electroshock and suicide?
“My story already posted in after-shock!”
“If I was told how I would feel, five, ten, fifteen years after shock. I would have said HELL NO to shock, HELL NO, I’d rather you cut off my right arm. Seriously. Also, I would like to ask Doctors who prescribe Shock or perform Shock, “Would you recieve shock if you were depressed, or would you suggest it for a loved one if they were depressed?” There is not enough told to patients about Shock, the permanent amnesia, BRAIN DAMAGE. I was told I would lose three months, before and three months after. Whole chunks and blocks of my memory of my whole life are gone. It’s infuriating as well as I feel a deep deep sadness, worse than any depression I felt before I was given Shock. I feel suicidal, daily. DON’T DO IT! I so WISH someone said that to me!”
“It is disgusting that there are shock docs today still advocating for and administering this lunatic procedure. They must be stopped.”
“I have never been that suicidal ever in my life before. But electroshock triggered a mania with psychotic tendencies and I became deeply suicidal and was so for almost three years when it finally lifted by itself. I have never before or after in my life been in such a state. It was traumatising along with the electroshock itself. I was very close to not surviving. Electroshock is very popular in Sweden – where I live – and they shock about 4000 people yearly here with a small population of 9,6 million. Numbers are increasing with about 200 people yearly. And no one is questioning this.”
“I think ECT patients should be required to have an MRI and neuropsychological testing done BEFORE the ECT is started and every year after for the following 10 years. This would be the best research. I’ve noticed that when people evaluate the effects of ECT, sometimes they’re looking at patients 3-6 months after treatment. At that time, patients are still in the thick of it and don’t know the damage the ECT caused. As someone with memory loss, you don’t know what you don’t know. You learn how much damage you start trying to work and live like normal and other people tell you what you don’t remember and you start struggling with work. Don’t survey the patient, survey their family. The family notices when you don’t remember your own life. As the one with memory loss, you don’t know what you don’t know. ECT causes memory loss, but also disability. It’s humiliating being on disability. It’s embarrassing meeting people you knew prior to ECT and having to tell them you have no idea who they are. After ECT, you’re still depressed, but now you have PTSD and shame from having a dark secret that you don’t want anyone to know, that you had ECT.”
This type of informal data collection is an example of ways survivors can take charge by helping create statistics without having to go through mental health organizations and without the sway of the psychiatric industry.
The form is still open for those who want to contribute. Scroll down to access it. I will update this post in a few months.
If wondering what all this is about, click here to read the accompanying article.
Thanks again to all who participated! Lets do this again soon 🙂