There’s an interesting article in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of ECT. It’s written by Max Fink, MD, and is titled Celebrating 80 Years of Inducing Brain Seizures as Psychiatric Treatment. Dr. Fink is a psychiatrist and neurologist, and professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.
The article is short (approximately 400 words), and is essentially a tribute to Ladislas Meduna for his discovery “…that induced seizures alleviated severe psychiatric disorders…”, which Dr. Fink describes as “…a remarkable medical advance…”
Here are some quotes from the article, interspersed with my comments:
“When the Hungarian neuropathologist Ladislas Meduna found increased gliosis in the brains of epileptic patients and decreases in those with schizophrenia, he saw the illnesses as antagonistic and thought that inducing epileptic seizures might relieve psychosis.”
Glial cells are non-neuron brain cells. In other words, they are not nerve cells. Rather, they provide structure and support for the nerve cells. Gliosis refers to a condition of the glial cells that occurs in response to damage. The condition usually entails an increase in the number and size of the glial cells, and in extreme cases produces a scar. Gliosis is associated with epilepsy, but it is unclear which is the cause and which is the effect. What is clear, however, is that gliosis always has the potential to produce serious adverse effects.
In this context, there is an almost childlike naïveté to Dr. Meduna’s line of reasoning. Essentially he has two groups of people: those with epilepsy and those who have been “diagnosed with schizophrenia.” On post-mortem examination, he finds relatively more scar tissue in the brains of the former group, and relatively less in the brains of the latter group. He also had noticed that the incidence of epilepsy was low in people “diagnosed with schizophrenia.” So, apparently, he reasons: the induction of grand mal seizures in the “schizophrenics” will have a therapeutic effect. (Incidentally, given the low reliability of the label “schizophrenia,” the statement that the incidence of epilepsy was low in this group is fraught with problems. But that’s another issue.)
The fact that epilepsy is a devastating illness and that grand mal seizures are clearly not benign occurrences doesn’t seem to have entered into Dr. Meduna’s reckoning. He tried various chemicals to induce seizures in animals, and finally chose camphor. Then, according to Wikipedia:
“For a population with severe schizophrenia, he moved from Budapest to the psychiatric hospital at Lipotmező, outside Budapest. He began his dose-finding experiments on January 2, 1934.” [Emphasis added]
Dr. Meduna later switched to pentylenetrazol (Metrazol), a stimulant drug which produces convulsions at high doses.
Incidentally, here’s a description of a Metrazol-induced seizure. The quote is taken from Metrazol Therapy on the site fairfieldstatehospital.com.
“Metrazol produced an explosive seizure about a minute after the injection. Often these convulsions would result in fractured bones and torn muscles. For the therapy to be effective it would be given two or three times a week and a typical course of therapy would be thirty to forty injections. As the patient regained consciousness they would be confused and cooperative with staff which was seen as a marked improvement. Other times in this twilight state the patient would act in a more regressive manner, frightened and scared by the treatment. After a patient received one treatment they were resistant to subsequent treatment, resisting and pleading for it not to be done again and would have to be forcibly treated.”
And it is the inventor of this “treatment” that Dr. Fink wishes to honor!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“In 1938, seizures using household electric currents replaced Metrazol, not for greater efficacy, but wholly for ease of use. By the 1950s, grand mal seizures were being induced in thousands of patients in the main psychiatric treatment centers worldwide.”
ECT was first used by Ugo Cerletti, MD, in 1938, in Rome. Here’s a description, written by Dr. Cerletti himself, of the first use of this “therapy”:
“A schizophrenic of about forty, whose condition was organically sound, was chosen for the first test. He expressed himself exclusively in an incomprehensible gibberish made up of odd neologisms, and since his arrival from Milan by train without a ticket, not a thing had been ascertainable about his identity.
Preparations for the experiment were carried out in an atmosphere of fearful silence bordering on disapproval in the presence of various assistants belonging to the clinic and some outside doctors.
As was our custom with dogs, Bini and I fixed the two electrodes, well wetted in salt solution, by an elastic band to the patient’s temples. As a precaution, for our first test, we used a reduced tension (seventy volts) with a duration of 0 2 second. Upon closing the circuit, there was a sudden jump of the patient on his bed with a very short tensing of all his muscles; then he immediately collapsed onto the bed without loss of consciousness. The patient presently started to sing at the top of his voice, then fell silent. It was evident from our long experience with dogs that the voltage had been held too low.
I, bearing in mind the observations with repeated applications of the day before upon pigs, made arrangements for a repetition of the test.
Someone got nervous and suggested whisperingly that the subject be allowed to rest; others advised a new application to be put off to the morrow. Our patient sat quietly in bed, looking about him. Then, of a sudden, hearing the low toned conversation around him, he exclaimed – no longer in his incomprehensible jargon, but in so many clear words and in a solemn tone – ‘Not a second. Deadly! ‘
The situation was such, weighted as it was with responsibility, that this warning, explicit and unequivocal, shook the persons present to the extent that some began to insist upon suspension of the proceedings, Anxiety lest something that amounted to superstition should interfere with my decision urged me on to action. I had the electrodes reapplied, and a 110-volt discharge was sent through for 0.5 second. The immediate, very brief cramping of all the muscles was again seen; after a slight pause, the most typical epileptic fit began to take place. True it is that all had their hearts in their mouths and were truly oppressed during the tonic phase with apnea, ashy paleness, and cadaverous facial cyanosis – an apnea which, if it be awe-inspiring in a spontaneous epileptic fit, now seemed painfully never-ending – until at the first deep, stertorous inhalation, and first clonic shudders, the blood ran more freely in the bystanders’ veins as well; and, lastly, to the immense relief of all concerned, was witnessed a characteristic, gradual awakening ‘by steps’. The patient sat up of his own accord, looked about him calmly with a vague smile, as though asking what was expected of him. I asked him: ‘What has been happening to you?’ He answered, with no more gibberish: ‘I don’t know; perhaps I have been asleep.'”
Note how Dr. Cerletti dismisses as “superstition” the notion that the victim’s prohibition (‘Not a second. Deadly’) should be taken seriously. And when Dr. Fink writes that electricity replaced Metrazol “…for ease of use,” he probably was not talking about the client’s ease.
The great tragedy of all this is that the “improvements” noted following electric shock convulsions are similar to, and essentially instances of, the transient state of euphoria and compliance that frequently follows severe head injury.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Widespread belief that electricity caused brain damage and persistent memory loss stigmatized the treatment.”
Note the word “belief” and the suggestion that these “beliefs” were unfounded. In other writings, Dr. Fink has been more direct. On October 1, 2006, for instance, he wrote an article for Psychiatric Times called The Camelford Hysteria: A Lesson for ECT? In this piece, he states clearly:
“Complaints of persistent memory loss in otherwise well-functioning individuals after recovery from a psychiatric illness through ECT are best viewed as a conversion reaction or a somatoform disorder.”
In other words, if my readers will pardon the expression, the memory loss is all in their heads! Psychiatry is a great disrespecter of people, but this statement of Dr. Fink’s must surely take the proverbial biscuit.
Back to the Celebrating 80 Years article.
“For more than half a century, our research interest focused on minimizing electricity’s hazards. Electrode placement, electricity form and energy dosing were repeatedly tested, but no modification was without complaint.”
This strikes me as an interesting way to spend 50 years, if in fact the hazards were nothing more than the manifestations of victims’ neurotic imaginations.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Meduna’s hypothesis that seizures, not the method of induction, were the basis for remission was repeatedly verified”
“An alternative to electricity using the inhalant anesthetic flurothyl is of renewed interest.”
“Ladislas Meduna’s demonstration that induced seizures alleviated severe psychiatric disorders was a remarkable medical advance that developed despite universal fears of epilepsy and of electricity. Although little heralded, the remissions of the illnesses of many hundreds of thousands of the severely ill justify the celebration of this remarkable discovery.”
In fact, however, electric shock “treatment” is no more effective than sham ECT, in which the client is prepared and anaesthetized, but not actually shocked (Bracken et al, 2012)
When one considers the pains to which real doctors go to protect their patients from seizures, I suggest that the deliberate induction of grand mal seizures, often involuntarily, constitutes neither “a remarkable discovery” nor a “remarkable medical advance,” but rather aggravated assault by a person in a position of trust.
In September 2005, Dr. Fink was interviewed by Arline Kaplan Long, and the interview was written up in Psychiatric Times. Here’s a quote from the article:
“Asked what he wants psychiatrists and others to understand about ECT, Fink responded, ‘Over the 70-plus years that ECT has been around, we have learned to appreciate that something magical happens in the body when we produce an epileptic fit.'”
And here, dear readers, I have to confess that words fail me!
* * * * *
This article first appeared on Philip Hickey’s website,
Behaviorism and Mental Health
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
The Journal of ECT?
I cancelled my subscription to the International Journal of Bondage and Discipline when I found out about the American Journal of Psychiatry. Now I’ve got another difficult decision to make. (/sarcasm)
Macabre indeed Dr Hickey.
American Journal of Psychiatry – you mean the one which has been renamed from the CIA handbook Journal of Applied Torture?
At last, the acknowledgement of the obvious truth: psychiatrists believe in magic! Perhaps the more appropriate title to the article would be, “The Magic of Intentionally-Induced Brain Damage!”
How sick and pathetic that this human rights abuse, which is really violent aggravated assault on suffering, vulnerable people, primarily women, continues to exist, touted as a “real medical treatment”. The fact that “doctors” like FInk, Shorter, and Healy advocate for it, refer to it as magical, or as profound in usefulness as penicillin. Shorter recently write an op article suggesting Robin Williams would be alive today if he had just been given ECT. I really want to know how these people live in this state of denial regarding the damage this toxic intervention has caused and continues to cause as programs like “The Shock That Could Save Your Life” appear on the Dr. Oz show. A cute little blonde girl posts u tube videos about her positive and transformative experience, drawing in more victims. They say they are encouraged to go ahead with the “procedure”.
Books by Carrie Fisher, Kitty Dukakis, Carol Kivler, Julie Hersh, and Linea Johnson praise ECT and credit it with “saving their lives”. How do we put this in a context? They won the lottery.? They had very minimal numbers of “treatments”? The “treatments” were the “less invasive” unilaterals? They were spaced out once a week or more so the brain had time to rebound from injury? They have brains that are tougher? And, unfortunately, the TED talk by Sherwin Nuland has him giving ECT credit for “restoring” his sanity and well-being. I was unlucky enough to buy into these “testimonials” and suffered severe damage. I only learned later that I needed to google “ECT and brain damage” or “ECT destroyed my life”, instead of “ECT miracle”.
Every potential future patient should be given Linda Andre’s book “Doctors of Deception” or Wendy Funk’s book “What Does It Matter”.
So the assault continues, the damages escalate, even as the science reveals more damage and survivors tell their heart-breaking stories.
I confess that my injury has led me to send messages to people who post online about being scheduled to get ECT. I point out what can really happen, I warn in strong language, I forward links to “real” information about about the dangers. What happens? I am told to go away, to stop “harassing them”, that they “know” what they are doing, that they know how to make decisions.
They have read the poster child books and seen the videos praising ECT and they feel safe and secure that they are well informed. It breaks my heart. I WISH someone had warned me, shoved the articles in my face, sent me the links. It did not happen. But severe brain injury did. It is so upsetting to me that I did not find Mad in America and the stories of Loretta Wison and Mary Maddock till after I was harmed.
Please continue to inform and educate people.
Thanks for coming in. It really is heart-breaking.
In 1962, when I was 9 years old, my mother finally went to the cops about my father’s sexual abuse of me. I went to court to testify, but instead of jail he was remanded to a private psychiatric hospital. The docs said he was depressed and subjected him to ECT every day for months. Then they pronounced him cured of his pedophilia disease and sent back to my house. Whatever capacity he might have had to modulate his criminal acts was fried and so he immediately resumed his rapes of me and every vulnerable little girl he could get his paws on for the next 40 years. I sued him for incest (and lost, due to the statute of limitations) in 1984. I should also have sued the docs, but you know, “community standard of care” is an absolute protection for these arrogant bastards.
I wonder how much dear Dr. Fink would like to experience a little bit of this wonderful “magic” that he’s gushing about? I bet that he would quickly pass on accepting any invitations to experience something as sublime as ect!
That’s an interesting idea!
This barbaric relic of the Nazi era would make Dr Josef Mengele proud. Like Mengele, its practitioners view the hippocratic oath with the same contempt that they hold their victims in.
Thank you once again to Dr. Hickey for yet another cogent article about yet another of the unending abuses perpetrated by psychiatry.
As a client of the “child welfare” system, I was given shock treatment at the age of six and then given up for dead and sent to a state hospital for the rest of my childhood. Thirty years later I organized the ballot measure that led voters in Berkeley, California to ban shock there.
My educated opinion is that the general public overwhelmingly sees electroshock as damaging and barbaric. But our movement, because of its virtual takeover by the “mental health” system, has not acted on this. I think a concerted campaign against shock, focusing on parts of the country most likely to respond, could lead to its abolishment.
I think the public wrongly thinks of ECT as banned. I was for most of my life convinced that it was in the museum of horrific medical misconceptions together with lobotomies – afterall everyone has watched “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” and things got better since then, right?
I think very few people are aware of the fact that ECT is still there just as few people are aware of how psychiatry really operates.
Yes. And it’s being used more on children. Dr. Fink is on record as saying that ECT is perfectly safe for children!
As long as psychiatry is a recognized medical practice, ECT will probably exist– as will many other damaging and debilitating abuses of children occur in the guise of *treatment for mental illness*, that can only be defined and rubber stamped by *psychiatry*.
I am puzzled by your statement that ECT persists because your movement has been virtually overtaken by the mental health field?? Are you saying that mental health professionals have infiltrated your movement and diluted the crucial message you could deliver to the general public, that would get ECT banned– for good?
Maybe you have a different take on the *general public* and what issues are viewed as crucial for immediate public action. Is seems as though you believe that the *public* is ripe for a campaign to ban ECT ? Do you think that Peter Breggin has eased up on his battle to ban ECT? He expected another victory after putting an end to lobotomies– It isn’t that the two don’t have much in common– it is the change in the climate of our society and some astoundingly stupid differences between ECT and lobotomy. And, undeniably, there is saturation point with ongoing exposure to atrocities coupled with a close to home perspective on what a real atrocity is these days.
ECT has poster patients. Lobotomy? Not so much. ECT has a market of satisfied customers. Lobotomy? Zero proponents. Most people think ECT is barbaric. They don’t plan to have it. Like it or not, it will be harder to convince the general public that banning ECT should be a top priority political agenda. Surviving in our declining economy seems to be at the top of the general public’s list of concerns– and psychiatry’s as well.
There are a good number of formidable authors on MIA that are in the mental health field. I don’t think any are less sickened by ECT than you are– or than I am. I think that it makes more sense to continue to dig out the roots that psychiatry has planted in our society– and present a realistic picture of compassionate, humanistic support for the people who are, or who are likely to get caught in the claws of psychiatry.
Sadly, you discount those in the mental health field who are waging a battle to protect people in their care and to confront the abuses they witness. I don’t think what started as your movement would have a chance of creating long term change without people in the mental health field listening to you and staying the course to help those not yet free of psychiatry’s influence over their lives.
I hope you recognize the infinite potential in all human beings to create value from the horrific abuses they have suffered, or witnessed. I know that many people recognize and have deep respect and appreciation for your capacity to truly help other victims of psychiatric abuse and lead by example, demonstrating what is possible when one dedicates their life to a noble cause. I am one of those people.
Just as I can hear your story and bear witness to your suffering, actually confronting the realities of the truth you tell, I hope you can appreciate that are very horrific truths about the power of the monster we are trying to destroy and the people, the *general public* that you are trying to rally for the fight.
I think I might have been unclear about what I meant by our movement being taken over by the mental health system. What I meant was the intervention by the NIMH, and later SAMHSA, to fund conferences and organizations in return for not rocking the boat. Please have a look at my recent MIA article “Our movement needs an alternative to the “Alternatives Conference.”
I have no problem working with mental health professionals who sincerely support our cause. I know that you are one of them, and that you have made sacrifices by speaking out against psychiatric abuse.
No, the general public doesn’t have shock treatment high on its list of issues. It didn’t have the civil rights of black people and other abused groups high on its list either. The people whose rights are being ignored have the job of making our rights important to others. When they do, they win many victories.
Thanks, Ted, for clarifying your statement about mental health workers– I did read your post “Our movement needs an alternative to the “Alternatives Conference”. (I read ALL of your posts)– am relieved there has been no change in your position, perspective.
Most people I encounter see the egregious human rights violations in psychiatry, to be ALL about the use of FORCE. Most of them believe that *informed consent* addressed that issue– even with the administration of psychiatric drugs–
The hard sell is demonstrating that there is NO actual informed consent obtained for ANY psychiatric treatment, because the risks and the REAL dangers are withheld form the *patient* and the *parent or guardian*.
The hard sell is proving the risk and harm– easier to those not invested in ignoring the truth– BUT, with ECT, we have the same obstacle-: celebrity poster people promoting psych drugging and labeling — claiming to be *living proof* of the miracle of psychiatry. There are more than a few high profile people promoting ECT.
The platform would have to be: “NO ONE is informed of the DAMAGE that IS called, treatment” and “People are STILL forced or coerced into having their brains damaged in the guise of treatment”
No different, really than the obstacles to *banning psych drug prescribing*.
Discrediting psychia-TRY, actually indicting, psychia-TRISTS is , imo, the best means for gaining widespread public support.
The growing community of psychiatric survivors combined with mental health professionals who have defected from psychiatry perform the two necessary for destroying psychiatry itself:
1) Giving credence to the absence of science and humanity– in this field , and equally important,
2) Demonstrating that there is a sustainable “alternative” to psychiatry.
You, have been a role model in both of these endeavors–
And continue to be an inspiration for me 🙂
So true. “informed consent” does not exist as it relates to psychiatric “treatment”. Patients and their families are not told the REAL truth about the RISKS versus the potential but largely unproven benefits of the brain disabling and toxic “treatments” these “doctors” ( ha, ha, ha) offer up to distressed individuals. IF they told the TRITH about the neurotoxins and brain injuries they are suggesting as
treatments, they would have pretty much zero clients.
So, to generate income and guarantee they can “practice”
in the field of imaginary medicine, they lie, misrepresent, or just keep silent about the dangers inherent in their “treatments”.
How many of them say: ” I have NO idea what the problem is! I really do not know what might help. We could try poisoning you with this combination of drugs never tested on anyone in multiples or we could give you several head injuries which could make you stupid and cause you to lose your memory and ability to learn. What
do you think? Want to try that? You may become suicidal or homicidal or hallucinate or become psychotic or grow a third testicle, but hey, WE could try it….”
The point needs to be made that desperation and illness negate the idea of consent being “free” and “force” not being an issue. People are subtlely and not so subtlely coerced into making choices because of pressure from family members or mental health “experts”. This means their decisions are often made under circumstances that take away from their autonomy…
Bottom line: psychiatry needs to be abolished. It is a cancer, a plague on humanity that contributes to countless deaths and un unmitigated suffering.
Thanks for telling the truth about informed consent. Fact is 99.9% of abuses and damage in psychiatry will continue, even without forced treatment orders. No one had to force me to take anything, I did so because I truly believed that I had a chemical imbalance and that these drugs were like insulin for diabetes.
I would further add, that I am from Australia, labotomonies or psychiatric surgery as it is now named are showing a massive comeback. Even being considered for inclusion in involuntary treatment legislation, since they are considered so effective!! The most ironical thing about it all is that in order to be able to have such a procedure, the person must be so profoundly mentally ill that they are at risk of death without the procedure, ALL other treatments, must have been tried and failed and the icing on the cake, the person must give fully informed consent. How on earth can anyone that is supposedly that profoundly mentally ill possibly give informed consent, let alone how can anyone with the bullshit they are told.
ECT is also on steady rise here, especially voluntary, but also on an involuntary nature, helped by a recent TV documentary, filming the most humane ECT imaginable and the person saying it saved their lives. From talking to psychiatric nurses, what was shown is not what happens at all, it all depends on how much electricity they put into the person, but of course that was not told. And it was also said to be a life saving treatment. It is effectively given the same status as CPR here, which is even more pathetic. It can be given in an emergency without consent, or a court order, as it can save lives!! Of course ECT is never given as an emergency treatment, it is only given on Monday and Friday mornings and not on public holidays. If a doctor is not capable of keeping someone alive without putting electricity through their brain they should not be allowed to practise medicine!!
I saw this article in the paper the day after they were discussing ECT part of the new Mental Health Act in parliament.
No criticism of the procedure at all. This was nothing more than advertising.
Bit of a worry when our Chief Psychiatrist who oversees the Act doesn’t recognise a burden of proof part of our Act. If a doctor wants to do it, then they can do it, no questions will be asked. Certainly the way he rewrote the Section of the Act when it comes to detentions. No accountability.
ECT for 14 year olds.
Patient rights are seen as ‘optional’.
Why? We have a Chief Psychiatrist who as the previous head of the Royal College is willing to look the other way when it comes to patients legal rights. Still looking after the interests of Doctors when his responsibilty is to patients. Good move on the part of those who want carte blanche.
boans, I’m in Victoria, and while I do not agree with the 14 year old bit, fact is it is the strongest bit of legislation against ECT in Australia and at present it can be given at any age. In 2008, it was given to a number of 2 year olds in VIC!! Within VIC it is routinely given to adolescents, although hopefully with our new laws that might drop down slowly. We had over 100 teenagers under the age of 18 given it last year, one as young as 11. Those things are not happening in other states, but then again, VIC has ECT given at 1o times the rate of any other state!!
Of course one cannot forget the true case from NSW. A woman was admitted involuntarily on a Monday afternoon. ECT was approved by the treating psychiatrist as an emergency treatment. On Wednesday the mental health board met at the hospital, but as it was an emergency treatment, they did not need to get their consent for the 12 sessions that were planned. She had of course not had her first treatment yet! On Friday, they could not give it to her, as it was good Friday, as a public holiday. Monday came, and being Easter Monday it was also a public holiday and so the emergency treatment again did not go ahead!! The mental health board again met at the hospital on the Wednesday, but as it was an approved “emergency” treatment, they did not need to give approval for it. On Friday morning, almost 2 weeks after she was admitted and after 2 mental health tribunal hearings, at which approval was not sought, because it was an emergency treatment, she had her first of 12 sessions!!! Still trying to find the emergency in that!
I’m also struggling to comprehend how they can still be allowing psychosurgery to take place and can in fact lower the age from the present 18 to 16! But within VIC we do about 25 labotomonies or psychosurgery’s every year, and they see that as something to be proud of.
Forced treatment is justified as a risk to self is viewed as the person might say something they later regret, and so they would be risking their reputation!!!
What amazes me about Australia is that within the rest of the world I see some consumer groups trying to change things, but within Australia, no such thing, they just endorse the status quo. The one in VIC approves of involuntary ECT without a tribunal order, as it apparently saves lives, and is a very safe and effective treatment, with very few if any side effects and they are only of short term duration anyway!! How on earth can anyone believe that killing of brain cells is harmless and good for someone and does no long term damage!
Victoria certainly has a reputation from the things I’ve heard. The case of Patient X seems to demonstrate how Psychiatrists feel about any oversight, flip them the bird and do whatever we want. It should be an indication of where we are at regarding the possibility of abuses occurring.
“What amazes me about Australia is that within the rest of the world I see some consumer groups trying to change things, but within Australia, no such thing, they just endorse the status quo.”
I don’t know about you but what I’ve noticed is the level of fear in people who are being abused within the system. They are terrified to say anything because of what they have seen done to others. I’ve written briefly about one young man I met who had put a pistol into his mouth and blew away part of his jaw because his psychiatrist refused to change his medication and forced him to continue with a CTO. That was the only way he could be heard.
I don’t know that the significance of what I’m saying is apparent but it was unbelievable what was done to this man, and now only half his face works.
Glad there’s another Aussie here, I’m sure that there are people questioning my sanity about how bad things are here lol.
Ted: Another positive trend that emerged from the Bay Area, a part of the country that has produced many such innovations.
Boans and Belinda: interesting to see things from a down under perspective. Our Congresswomen here in West Virginia, Shelly Moore Capito, the dAughter of one of two of our governors to go to jail, is apparently hooked up with congressman Murphy who is pushing for more stringent out patient laws. Also in the US Senate debate, which Capito is running for, her Democrat opponent concurs with the witch hunters on gun control debate. Though the Democrat candidate Secretary of State referred to the “Mentally Incompetent,” rather than the more correct legal term adjudicated with severe mental illness. That distinction is not trivial: I am for instance the executor of my mothers estate, even though I have been involuntarily committed. For what it is worth, I don’t own a gun. I feel that I can talk my way out of any jam or situation. However, I feel it is crucial that we we do our utmost to keep pseudoscience, eugenics, and scientism claptrap out of the law. P.S. Really admire Aussies John Pilger and Julian Ausange. Also, did either of you guys have any recollection of the Whitlam Administration?
Yes chrisreed, the terms that are used by people are many times significant.
I was told by a psychiatrist last week that I use such strong terms when I referred to being ‘incarcerated’. She preferred the term ‘hold’. We were both wrong, the term used in the Mental Health Act is ‘detained’. Incarcerated is too strong, and hold sounds so caring and compassionate. Its what you do to a child in distress. Medication/drugs, treatment/torture depends where you stand lol.
I’ve seen a lot of Pilgers work and admire it, though have also seen a critique of it that was quite damning. I think Assange has done the world a favour with wikileaks, by putting some ethics back into journalism (that’s if what is being published in the MSM could be considered journalism anymore)
And who could forget Gough Whitlam. I was a teenager at the time but I have fond memories of this country heading in the right direction.
Paul Keating was quite a laugh in Parliament. Worth a look if you have time.
“Give him a Valium Mr Speaker” lol
The illogicalness of so many laws never cease to amaze me, and of course how politician’s of all sorts talk about people. Of course laws are only as good as those that implement them and when they are given free rain to do as they want and interpret them as they see fit, then nothing can change. Can’t have stronger outpatient laws than we already have here, our Community Treatment Orders usually last for 25 years and the only reason they end is because the person has died from side effects of forced treatments!!! We have more people on CTO’s than anywhere else in the world, it has not changed one thing at all about anything, but everyone wants them. It has also not even stopped the revolving door, even though over 99% of CTO’s require forced injections, as one cannot trust them swallowing the pills!! But even then they still do not stay well, and they say it is because they were not taking their meds? How did they not take them, when it was forced up their up arse, did they put a needle in later and pull out what was just forced into their arse? Everyone who is now readmitted to a psych ward is given a blood test and in 99.999% of cases they were fully complaint with medication at the time of admission, but they still cannot accept that they have become unwell for anything other than not taking their meds!! There is no research, even pathetic research, which supports CTO’s, but everywhere wants them, believing it will work,
The Whitlam administration ended some 40 years, at which time I was only an infant!! I did however study it in depth when I was at university. It never ceases to amaze me how little those that were voting adults at the time know of anything that occurred, but even I still have much to thank for what he achieved, even though every government since has tried to take it away, they have never fully succeeded.
I don’t think the real reasons behind CTO’s have been explained Belinda.
It’s another weapon in the Psychiatrists belt, to ensure those who commit thought crimes are stopped before they become a danger to self or others.
I think back to the Whitlam era and police, who did have firearms but were much more likely to deal with situations through tact and reason. I had an interaction with a police officer much more recently and he was dressed ready for Helmund Province in Afghanistan, and didn’t know which of the weapons he was wearing to go for first (pepper spray, tazer, pistol, night stick). I think the steroids may have been effecting his behaviour as well.
I guess that’s what comes from being suspicious all the time. Don’t they have drugs for that? lol
Thanks for coming in. It is definitely a weak spot in psychiatry’s armor.
“My educated opinion is that the general public overwhelmingly sees electroshock as damaging and barbaric. But our movement, because of its virtual takeover by the “mental health” system, has not acted on this.”
I’m sure you’re right about that, but there’s more to the story (I’m sure, you well realize).
You know as well as anyone what I’m going to say here about psychiatry and the current resurgence of its widespread use of ECT, but I say it anyway:
Psychiatry is a global cult led by thousands of physician-psychiatrists who are all fully dedicated to battling so-called “mental illness” (which is actually a metaphor suggesting the existence of more or less seemingly ‘serious’ and/or relatively ‘disturbing’ psychological and/or emotional issues).
The vast majority of those physician-psychiatrists view human life and its problems neurocentrically (i.e., generally speaking, they see our own brains as the prime directors of each one of us, so a ‘mal-functioning’ or ‘disordered’ or ‘diseased’ brain must be what’s causing most of our problems).
Hence, countless problems of life that are addressed by physician-psychiatrists tend to be perceived, by these physician-psychiatrists, as organic problems, of their “patients'” brains; and, yet, these physician-psychiatrists do not truly understand the brain.
Few of them examine the brains of any “patient”; indeed, there are no ‘biological markers’ — let alone neurological markers — which can definitively prove the existence of any “mental illness”; and, really, the human brain, generally speaking, is mainly a mystery to most psychiatrists.
In fact, most of them have only a very basic — even crude — working knowledge of the brain; for, few amongst them are trained neurologists after all.
(And, really, even neurologists have only relatively limited understandings of the human brain, as compared to other physician-specialists who concentrate on the ‘disease’ of other organs — because the brain is such a complex organ, far more complex than any other.)
Those who seek answers to problems of life through Psychiatry are usually perceived, by their psychiatrists, as most likely having some form of so-called “mental illness” that is also said to be a “brain disorder” — regardless of these facts, that: The brains of psychiatric “patients” are only very rarely examined, and no official diagnosis of “mental illness” is ever proven, as originating in the brain.
What’s going on here? Well, it’s really a faith-based cult — Psychiatry is. Its faith being in the notion that countless problems of life are, indeed, neuro-centered.
Increasingly, for the past half-century, its practitioners have come to push ‘medicine’ in the form of psychotropic drugs, which act directly on the central nervous system generally and the brain specifically; usually, these drugs are delivered by pills… sometimes by syringe (when the claim is made that application of force is necessary).
But, also, there’s ECT.
ECT ‘providers’ represent a relatively minor cult within the Psychiatry cult.
It’s relatively minor, as, not too long ago, there were movements that largely discredited the use of ECT.
But, as psychiatry has come under increasing fire for its ‘overuse’ of psychotropic drugs, ECT ‘providing’ physician-psychiatrists have become emboldened, pushing ECT as “in a sense, the penicillin of psychiatry.”
[That line is from David Healy and Edward Shorter’s book, Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness (2007) — the writing of which, was, according to ECT.org, financed by Max Fink. (“Public records show Fink’s foundation paid the authors $34,000 to write this book.”) http://www.ect.org/?p=796 ]
Were it not for KOL psychiatrists such as Healy and Shorter taking their lead from Max Fink, promoting his views and following in his footsteps (Healy directs an ECT clinic), I am certain that ECT would not be making the resurgence that is making…
I believe that Healy (along with his cohort Shorter) paints himself as such an undying critic of Big Pharma and as the ultimate psychiatrist-man-on-a-mission rooting out distorted research results, he becomes an incredibly popular writer amongst so many critics of Big Pharma, within the ‘mh’ field, his promotions of ECT automatically take on a sense of legitimacy.
I know there are a number of frequent MIA commenters who greatly appreciate Healy’s books; but, most have not read his ‘history’ of ECT.
In my humble opinion, those who wish to abolish ECT should seriously consider picking it up and studying at a library (as I did, because I would not at all wish to pay for such garbage); they should study it and then decide whether or not it doesn’t make sense to boycott his writing altogether. I suggest, those who wish to boycott his writings (as do I) can come together and have a small bonfire, burning any and all of his books that they’ve come to collect…
And/or, they could each have their own small bonfire, of that kind — recorded on video — uploaded to Youtube.
After all, certainly, there are other books by writers whose styles of writings are just as good or better (truly, I feel there are far more entirely credible and compelling writers), who likewise write critically of Big Pharma and the many problems of applied psychopharmacology.
.” I suggest, those who wish to boycott his writings (as do I) can come together and have a small bonfire, burning any and all of his books that they’ve come to collect…”
BOOK BURNING !! ???
Great idea. That will surely urge our up and coming young rebels into a frenzy to get their hands on THOSE books.
People who rarely read a book cover to cover may feel an irresistible urge to scour underground book stores for one of THOSE books.
I think you may want to revisit your thinking on this one, Jonah– you could start by trying to refute any of the facts in any one of Healy’s books.
Cults around a personality come and go– but the TRUTH will stand even when the books are on fire!!
Something magical…indeed. The authors of the Journal of ECT (WTF?) are highly delusional (apparently the condition is transmittable and had been around fro 80yrs) and maybe should be treated with some electricity induced seizures in order to cure them from their delusional thinking.
I know a family (siblings and parents of my school friend) who are all affected by epilepsy to various degree. The whole family, including my friend are cognitively impaired and have clear learning disability and low IQ which is most likely a direct result of the frequent seizures. They are perfectly lovely people but their condition has caused difficulties in school and finding well-paid employment. Inducing such debilitating impairment on people, regardless of whether they are “mentally ill” or not, is criminal. ECT should be abolished and the fact it’s still practiced is mind-boggling to me.
Very basic questions are avoided by those who stay content with ECT by telling themselves it’s therapeutic–but always of course, for someone else. Not for them, not for spas and hotels and not for the black market. No one is interested for their own sake but the lemmings and the conspicuously coaxed, already desperate persons–all but helpless and faced with the problem of cooperating or paying the price for doubting. That’s the set-up and that’s what’s sold and commended, and it’s obviously that it’s done and calls for training and certification, and not that it’s healthful or reliable when done, that keeps anyone trained defending it, who won’t undergo the procedure themselves so as to present authoritative testimony and denounce the stigma of it all…from experience.
Worse to get information from than drug pushers, less help in difficult times than cops– congratulations again, doctors.
Being forcibly taken to a mental institution as a minor for no real reason but that the Authorities found out I had spent time in one before and could easily convince my parents that it was what I needed and once having me inside could further convince them to sign giving them permission to deliver totally against my will 15 bi-latera electro shock “treatments” to my brain one every other day. It was more horror and terror than I could bear. When the 14th jolt was received without anesthetic and I still was forced to get number 15 .I was sent into a new realm of the senses.
They broke me I was terrified and it was ongoing with no one to understand what I went through or believe me. I only knew this could happen again . When I got out my dad took me deep sea fishing . I look at a photo of myself with him and the fish I see in the photo that I don’t remember we caught and the expression on my face of dazed shell shock. We flew back home from Florida to Illinois . Soon after with much arguing I told my dad I don’t remember stuff that I wanted him to fill in some gaps the holes in my memory where there was nothing (an unsettling sensation) reluctantly he did some and I was able to discuss what happened in the lead up to the hospitalization with him but he insisted he did the right thing for me. I always did know my parents were just fooled and meant the best for me and always believed every word any health “professional ” ever said . Thank G-D I don’t. Some time later I went into my dad’s closet stole $100 in silver coins took a bag of clothes and when I got to the airport got on a flight to California . Years later when he was 90 years old he said to me that he found out I had been telling the truth and the authorities were wrong that he made a mistake and was sorry he signed for those “shock treatments “.
“They broke me I was terrified and it was ongoing with no one to understand what I went through or believe me. I only knew this could happen again…”
Thankfully I never experienced ECT, and I’m sorry you did….
From all I’ve read of what it is, I realize ECT is an utterly inane form of ‘treatment’; and, forced ECT is surely the worst abomination now being practiced by psychiatrists; I am so glad I’ve never been subjected to it myself; but, actually, what you’re describing there (in the lines I’ve quoted, above) is familiar to me, for it’s a fair description of how I felt, upon being forcibly ‘treated’ with psychiatric drugs (four times in the course of two years).
If you’ve read my comments previously, you know: that way back in my early twenties (going on nearly three decades ago).
I hope you can forgive me, as I’m going to recount some of those experiences here, because something about your story is leading me to explore my own, once again; I guess it’s reading about how your dad came to apologize…
I can’t reasonably blame my parents for what I went through in the first “hospitalization” I experienced, because they had good reason to be worried about me (I was the “easy kid” in the family, who’d suddenly thrown a stack of plates, one by one, at the garage door, in my parents’ backyard); they had perfectly good reason to think I’d gone totally nuts, and they could not have anticipated the sort of ‘treatment’ I’d receive through the ‘courtesy’ of their health insurance plan (it was purely horrendous ‘treatment’).
I was perceived as ‘psychotic’ — not only because I was reported to have broken all those plates; but, also because the psychiatrist had been told that I believed I was Bob Dylan.
You see, I’d been listening to a lot of old Dylan music, and I was feeling rebellious, like Dylan… And, a trusted relative came to me after I’d broken those plates and asked me, “do you feel like anyone else, not yourself,” and I had answered, “I feel like Bob Dylan.”
(That relative, I noticed, spent a long time with the E.R. psychiatrist, making sure I’d be well ‘cared for’ — surely with the best of intentions. Then, years later, I’d find out from him, that he’d thought I had actually come to believe that I was Bob Dylan.)
In the course of being “hospitalized,” that first time, I was massively ‘medicated’ — put in restraints and forcibly drugged by syringe (twice on the first day — and would spend that night tied down, on a bed, in seclusion) and was eventually fed a variety of pills, until… a bit over a week’s time passed, I’d be released from that place… utter messed up, as the direct effect of that ‘treatment’ I’d been receiving.
I cannot possibly explain, in few words, how totally screwed up that place was and how messed up I was when I came out of there. Only, I can say, my experience there felt as though, all along, that of having my brain literally cooked in a pressure cooker.
In that last day or two, I was being drugged less heavily; but, I figure, considering how heavily I had been drugged, there must have been some ‘meds’ in my bloodstream…
And, in any case, I wound up, quite unexpectedly, experiencing myself as somehow emotionally ‘uncorked’ as I was leaving that place; indeed, within minutes, I’d begin raging at my mom (as I had never done previously nor ever again afterward), because, I discovered, my parents (who’d arrived precisely as I was exiting) were, in fact, perfectly certain that I needed to be immediately “re-hospitalized,” in that house of horrors.
That is to say, they wanted me put back in; and, so they were doing everything possible to have the night ‘orderly’ take me back in.
But, he wouldn’t (apparently, he couldn’t). It was late at night, and the psychiatrist was gone; no one in that “hospital” could or would take me back in; so, somehow, by phone, my parents located another “hospital” that would receive me…
My parents called some friends of mine, who had helped them in getting me into the first place; they rushed to the scene, I got into their car, and off we drove, to a new venue…
(I can still recall the sense of feeling ‘uncorked’ during that car drive; it led me to prattling on, about my various observations of the “hospital” I’d just left — and the “patients” therein…)
In the new venue (the new “hospitalization”), I’d be yet again restrained, forcibly drugged by syringe, put in seclusion and let out of seclusion the next day — again, to take pills… but this time not just for days, for weeks on end — nearly two months…
(I.e., the ‘treatment’ in the 2n place was little different from the 1st place, but it went on for a much longer period of time…)
It was during that 2nd “hospitalization” I’d receive my official ‘diagnosis’ (note: I have never known which doctor gave it to me; I was told of it, by a nurse); my parents and I were told, my ‘diagnosis’ indicated the existence of a “brain disorder” a “serious mental illness” requiring a lifetime of psychiatric ‘care’ (you know, so-called “medications”).
Now, in retrospect, more than ever, beyond any shadow of a doubt, I’m absolutely certain that there was never any good reason for me to have been “medicated” at all, ever — let alone forcibly.
Simply, that’s how “patients” are broken down and kept under control, when being “hospitalized” against their will, upon having first been perceived as (theoretically) ‘psychotic’.
Really, I don’t think “psychotic” at all well-described my state of being, until after my first days of being ‘treated’ by medical-coercive psychiatry.
That is to say, I believe the restraints and the forced drugging of that first “hospitalization” were making me crazy, in way that could well have led me to be perceived as ‘psychotic’; I really was not well-described as such beforehand, I think; but, I do understand why my parents thought I needed that first “hospitalization” …and then “re-hospitalization,” as I had broken those plates and was not at all myself, seemingly; and, they could not understand that the horrible shape I was in…
The raging I did, at my mom, when I found that she and my dad were striving to get me put back in… (my dad was off trying to find a pay phone, as I raged at my mom) was all due to my having been literally tortured with massive doses of absolutely mind-twisting psychiatric drugs.
After the second “hospital” experience, which lasted nearly two months, I’d be totally broken down, in every way. Completely demoralized.
A couple of years later, as an ‘outpatient,’ I’d stop taking the pills I was being prescribed…
I would flush them down the toilet in my apartment; and, despite the fact that I was bothering no one, I’d wind up “re-hospitalized” then …because, very naively, I’d told the same relative whom I’d told that I felt like Bob Dylan (I really looked up this relative), that I’d thrown ‘my meds’ down the toilet, as they were, I felt, slowly killing me; I told this trusted and well-meaning relative that — and, also, that, if I had gone on taking any more of those pills, I might wind up taking all of them at once.
I was being entirely honest — and, thus, incredibly naive…
It truly seemed to me, that I could no longer stand to take any ‘meds’ — and would rather be dead than go on taking them. I should have kept that information to myself entirely.
But, I was not in any distress whatsoever, and I wanted to my friends and family to understand, I was much happier now than I had ever been in the past two years, since first being “hospitalized”.
As I explained, to my relative, that I’d flushed the ‘meds’ down the toilet and was feeling certain that such was for the best, unfortunately, that did not sit well my relative — nor with the relatives (including my parents) with whom this relative subsequently spoke…
Nor would any of my friends relate well to these facts concerning my new found autonomy from psychiatry and ‘meds’.
Considering they all knew me now according to this psychiatric label, which indicates “serious mental illness,” of course…
Soon, everyone I knew was confronting me, urging me to go consult with a psychiatrist (they were considering that maybe I needed to see a new one); and, sadly, I eventually did so, because, naively, I thought I could effectively assure him, that I was OK without those so-called medications…
You write about your dad, “Years later when he was 90 years old he said to me that he found out I had been telling the truth and the authorities were wrong that he made a mistake and was sorry…”
I was “hospitalized” against my will four times altogether — each time as a result of one psychiatrist or another gathering false information and/or twisting the meanings of my words, in order to described me as someone supposedly at serious risk of harming himself (“a danger to himself”).
From what you describe of your ECT experiences, I guess you were a minor; so, all it took to get you “hospitalized” was a parent’s signature.
Of course, it was a terrible ordeal that you went through, having been forcibly ‘treated’ with ECT.
As I say, I never received ECT, but I was broken down with ‘meds’ repeatedly; and, I can certainly relate to your having been “hospitalized” on false charges.
But, imho, you’re ultimately really fortunate to have had a dad who was, in the end, so fully willing to admit his own error, as you indicate he was. (I envy you that aspect of your story, really.)
My mother (may she rest in peace) was, after all, a good listener, so she’d eventually allow me to tell her of the “hospital” ordeals I suffered, including my having been put in restraints and forcibly drugged, and I could tell she understood me when I told her that those assaults had felt like being raped.
She was clearly sympathetic with my sense of having been deeply traumatized by those experiences, so she eventually acknowledged, that, obviously, the psychiatrists had been wrong — at least, in the sense that they had insisted I could not survive without their so-called “medications”.
I know she never meant to have any harm come to me. She truly loved me and was taking action in ways that she believed were in my best interest. I am very fortunate to have had such a genuinely well-meaning mom.
But, no one in my family — not my mom nor my dad nor my siblings nor any of my other relatives nor either any of my friends who’d all participated in getting me repeatedly “hospitalized” — ever apologized to me.
(And, I highly doubt that any of them ever will.)
So, I must constantly remind myself, that: In choosing to break those plates as I did, I was acting ‘crazy’ in a way that seemed to warrant “hospitalization.”
Afterward, all the further seeming ‘craziness’ came from my being tortured with psychiatric ‘treatments’; that would, quite inevitably, appear to observers (family and friends) as though the effects of “serious mental illness.”
And, no one would much care that psychiatrists had lied and/or twisted my words in order to claim I was supposedly a danger to myself, because, really, they all truly believed I was in desperate need of the ‘care’ of those psychiatrists.
Thank you for sharing your story…
Thank you for sharing your story as well. I can relate to what you said as I also have experienced being released from one forced hospitalization relieved to be out of there glad to see members of my family only to have them rehospitalize me immediately in another hospital instead of welcoming me home. It’s a real heartbreaker . My mom who was a Holocaust Survivor did say to me ” you went through a lot .” And it’s tough when the ones you love don’t have any real confidence in you and you are always wrong . Even though you know they love you and you them .Mine have both passed on and they are still the main hero’s in my life . They taught me a lot. I don’t expect people to not make any mistakes in life .
Forced PsychDrugs and injections and confinement are also a special kind of HELL as well as psychiatry itself. I’m thankful to be able now to see and be among people brainstorming on how to best fight them .
And just because I’ve been broken more then once in life I realize that a person can have their underpinnings pulled out from under them as if in midair even more then once and still live to say as (Arnold in his movie the Terminator) “Im back”. And by your writings I’ve read here at MIA so are you.
Yes, Fred, In Solidarity.
As I have stated previously, it simply seems bizarre that something so evil and destructive continues
Would it not be a great idea to create television ads that address the truths about ECT with survivor storied attached? The script can be: ” I had ECT. I lost 30 IQ points. I lost 10 years of memories. I lost my sense of self and identity. I have PERMANENT brain damage. Ask your doctor if ECT is right for you or your loved ones.” there have been wickedly cutting u tube videos on seroquel, abilify, and cymbalta. How large an audience do they reach? It is hard to say.
Has an ad campaign or video commercials ever been used to educate, inform, and warn the public that this human rights abuse exists and continues to injure thousands of poor, vulnerable and unsuspecting individuals, many of them driven iatrogenically insane through toxic polypharmacy??
How much better would my life be if I had seen an ad of this nature or watched a sitcom break warning me to avoid brain damage voiced by a “survivor”?
Is the cost of such an educational campaign prohibitive??
It also amazes me that doctors, nurses, and family members are sometimes on the same page, judging compliance or euphoria as signs the patient is “better”. The irritation they express when the patient starts crying again, in a few days or a few weeks, exhibiting worse symptoms is such a betrayal. Instead of an awareness that ” hey, this made things worse; hey, maybe those were signs of brain injury”, they start insisting “you obviously need MORE! You need another series; you need “maintenance” ( because, of course, they SAW you were BETTER”. And, since you start to question your ability to reason and have brain damage now, you sign up for more. The ultimate betrayal comes from family looking for the quick fix, the magic bullet, the place they can send you to “fix you”. This is when an impartial advocate well versed on iatrogenic drug injury and familiar with organic brain syndrome caused by ECT needs to talk to the family and the patient. But does this happen? Nope. The PR machine has done its work. Obviously this is a “safe and effective” procedure or the doctors wouldn’t be allowed to offer it, right? Well, not so much.,.
Actually, but granted- RARELY, an advocate (or employee on an inpatient psych unit) well versed on iatrogenic drug injury – and appalled by the mere thought of ECT, DOES talk to the family or the patient. It’s risky for anyone employed on the unit to do this, but it is definitely possible. But because of the rarity of encountering an advocate at the crucial time AND the risk that prevents most staff from doing the right thing, there have to be other ways…
I, too, have thought about an educational ad campaign. I like the zing of your script better than any I have come up with– (2 thumbs up)
Maybe the cost is prohibitive, or perhaps mainstream media would never run a TRUTH ad about psych drugs or ECT– ? So, perhaps a documentary format of the ads that put the INFORMED in the consent form you will be asked to sign–
MIA Film festival in full swing– wheels are turning—
I hate to say it, but fear seems to silence even the kind or well-meaning. Who will do the “ethical” thing if it conflicts with keeping your job? How many nurses who must know the truth tell their patients they are being poisoned or risk brain damage with ECT?? When I tried to warn two female patients (one young, shy, tentative, no esteem; the other older, calm, but told she was bipolar and drug resistant) the REAL risks a nurse got in my face and red-faced started ranting; “How DARE you scare them and tell them their brains will be fried! You aren’t a doctor! You don’t know what’s wrong with them!”
I am afraid I was less than polite. I replied: ” I can say whatever I like; it is a free world. And, you know what, they aren’t real doctors and they have no clue what is “wrong with” or more likely “what happened to” these women. AND, I don’t either, BUT, I DO know that giving them brain injuries, traumatizing them, and destroying their memory and ability to learn is not a healing modality!! AND, I know you should be educating them and protecting them and advocating for them!” I did not make a friend… I got into more trouble when I told the wife of a man if she knew the little “sleeping meds” they were giving her husband were antipsychotics with serious side effects never approved for insomnia, which was his major problem… Am I to assume the majority of staff want to hide the truth and just keep the doctors happy,?
On a side note, I am not sure about the films, but thought the following three u tube clips were quite good:
1. Depression Hurts, Cymbalta Hurts More
2.Pot versus Abilify
3. Abilify Kills- ( and yes, Andy Behrman did turn his back on being the company’s spokesperson when they wouldn’t up his pay, so his motives may not be pure, but love the result…)
I think these clips should be played every second hour on the major tv networks… Along with ECT clips like the one I mentioned above. Could that happen?? Why not?? I want someone to explain why this is not reasonable? Censorship? Mainstream media bias? The fact a 30 second spot on BIG Bang Theory costs $250,000?? Please provide me with an answer of you have one!!
The documentary idea sounds good. I know just watching Mary Maddock’s video on CEP was so upsetting and instructive. But how many people watch these documentaries. I say mainstream media and ads. Fund-raising should start now…
First of all, I will say this (and I hope you can take it to heart):
Your contributions to this discussion are incredibly valuable; each and every one of your comments is full of priceless, purely instructive first-hand observations, concerning ECT.
But, now I add this:
I can’t help but disagree with a couple of thing you’re saying….
1. You say (in your comment on October 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm), “Bottom line: psychiatry needs to be abolished. It is a cancer, a plague on humanity that contributes to countless deaths and un unmitigated suffering.”
Imho, psychiatry does not need to be abolished, nor can it be abolished.
Here I will say just a few words about that…
Much as I agree, generally speaking, psychiatry is doing far more harm than good in the world (and, that means, in fact, I believe most psychiatrists are doing far more harm than good), I don’t believe that literally all forms of psychiatry practice are bad. (Most of them are, but not all of them are.)
I can count on only one hand the number of living psychiatrists whom I’ve heard of, who I think might be practicing in really entirely efficacious ways.
So, to be sure, I think the profession is mainly populated by quacks.
And, yet, really, I don’t believe there is even a snowball’s chance in hell that psychiatry is going to be abolished.
Psychiatry will not be abolished, ever — at least, not in any democratic, pluralistic society.
(Note: I can remotely imagine the possibility, that psychiatry could eventually be abolished, in some non-Westernized country — that would be either a dictatorship or a autocracy — as the result of the edict of some dictator or group of elite leaders coming to oppose it, on religious grounds. Meanwhile, I challenge anyone to offer me even one reasonable hypothetical scenario in which psychiatry could be abolished here in the U.S. or in any other established, functioning democracy. I’m sorry, but I don’t see that happening under any circumstances.)
2. You begin your latest comment (above) by saying, “I hate to say it, but fear seems to silence even the kind or well-meaning…”
Again, I want you to know, I find your comments highly instructive — including this one (on October 11, 2014 at 2:27 am). I appreciate very much the points you’re making… including the point, that fear rules many people, effectively silencing them.
However, there is another factor in play, which should not be ignored, that is: In the course of attempting to hopefully solve problems, most people are quite willing to make certain ‘compromises’ that they well realize shall entail a substantial possibility of creating harmful outcomes — and maybe even a certainty that some amount of harm shall be created…
People are often willing to accept that some amount of ‘collateral damage’ will be created as a result of their actions.
They allow for such possibilities, in many instances, not because they are being ruled by fear; to the contrary, many people (perhaps, most) will choose to make such ‘compromises’ while very sincerely believing, that their ‘compromise’ shall ultimately guarantee the creation of considerably more good than harm.
I will give you just one example, here, of what I’m talking about, as it relates to this MIA website (you are probably aware of this already):
On the bottom right-hand corner of this web page is promotion for RxISK.org, an organization founded by David Healy, that’s aiming to solicit personal account of adverse reactions to prescription drugs.
On the RxISK.org website “About” web page (under the heading “Our Medical and Research Team”) one sees — below David Healy’s profile — amongst others, the profile of Robert Whitaker (who is, of course, the founder of this MadInAmerica.com website).
Whitaker well knows the history of ECT and knows the harms it causes — and does a superb job of summarizing the essence of these matters — in his book, Mad in America; and, yet he chooses to ally himself with Healy, at least to the extent of agreeing to become an integral part of that RxISK.org “Medical and Research Team” and then placing that portal to RxISK.org at the bottom right hand corner of every web page on this website.
In fact, I’m willing to bet there is no one on planet Earth (nor then either is there anyone in the Universe) who’s currently doing more to promote RxISK (other than Healy himself…) because this MIA website gets a lot of daily views, and most of those views are from people with certain complaints about ‘meds’ of various kinds, and this site is highly regarded by plenty of folk who are fairly serious critical thinkers.
Healy, though he heads an ECT clinic (and, of course, Whitaker is well aware of that) gains a lot of credibility this way; indeed, that RxISK.org signia, link and search engine, at the bottom right hand corner of this page, all lend Healy tremendous credibility, in the eyes of countless MIA readers, I’m sure.
So, my point…
While I don’t claim to know Robert Whitaker personally, I have met him briefly, and my impression of him (including the impression gained from reading his writing and watching and listening to his talks that are posted online) is that, in his career, he’s not being ruled by fear, at all.
Nor, by the way, do I believe he is a particularly ‘selfish’ or ‘self-serving’ person.
Rather, I think he’s a very bright guy — and a well-meaning guy — who has made a calculated decision, in teaming up with a prominent shock-doc (Healy).
That is because, besides being a shock-doc, Healy is a popular critic of Big Pharma.
I believe, Whitaker most likely made that decision to become a part of RxISK (and to promote RxISK.org prominently on this website) while sincerely believing it would lead to the creation of considerably more good than harm.
Is it a decision that I know for certain I would not have made, had I been in Whitaker’s shoes.
No way would I have done so.
I think it was a very poor decision, on Whitaker’s part, and I would hope that there could, at the very least, be an additional portal created, next to the RxISK.org portal, that would lead to the collection of adverse reactions to ECT. (Of course, I would not trust Healy or his organization with the task of collecting of such data.)
Where you stand, depends on where you sit…
If you need clear, scientific evidence from which to build a CASE against the development, testing and current practice for prescribing psychotropic drugs , David Healy’s work is the best place to start.
If you burn with a sense of mission– need to make a CASE against trusting psychiatrists these days, the work of David Healy is vital.
If you cannot separate personal feelings from fact, you won’t get very far with either building or making a case that in actuality is about saving lives .
Investigative journalists are focused on verifiable facts and credible sources– Bob Whitaker’s writing is so powerful, because he laid out the most compelling, and to psychiatry itself, the most threatening case against their practices. David Healy’s work and his own courage to speak directly to his colleagues, continues to rattle the *criminal element* that Bob Whitaker has exposed, which in turn, was grounded, to a large extent, on David Healy’s CASE.
Having a personal experience with psychiatric abuse gives you credibility to speak to an audience that includes people like me. I care deeply about the truth– from the most important perceptive in these matters, *the patient’s* experience. I did listen to patient’s– beginning with my first encounter with psychiatry in 1988. I failed to make any real progress advocating for patients in any arena until I was armed with Bob Whitaker’s and David Healy’s well documented CASE supporting what I already believed to be true–. I BELIEVE and trust patients– first and foremost. I sought out scientific truth– to validate, what I agree should have been respected, should have been the MOST important *finding* when any of the so-called *psychiatric treatments* were rolled out, -because, where “I sit”– the audience is hostile to common sense and human, rational thinking, and they are the most powerful in our society.
In ALL other medical specialities I had worked in for 14 years, the patient’s perspective was the place to start– for diagnosing and prescribing treatment.; the patient was the EXPERT and if he did not feel *better* or was not in agreement with treatment– adjustments were made, etc. I had real difficulty with accepting ANY reason for discounting what the patient was telling me, when told by psych *experts* that the patient could not be trusted.
You, Jonah, do not need any scientific evidence to validate what you went through, and call it ABUSE. I cannot begin to give you an exact number of *psych patients* whom I have met, and known from the first encounter, that they were the best source of information about themselves– and FELT abused, that would be counting nearly ALL the patients I met for over 20 years. I don’t bother trying to validate my own view of these *patients* as victims of psychiatric abuse, by tabulating statistical– anything. For me, it only took ONE to set me on the path I am on— . The first ONE, whom I will never forget–. And BTW, I lost my job advocating for him in 1991.
Maybe I should have cashed in a few years as a nurse in residential care of adolescent boys– a new job for me, that started out as a medical nurse on campus and morphed into a PSYCH nurse in 1988, when Prozac hit the market. Emotionally/ behaviorally dys-regulated boys, were given the requisite psychiatric diagnosis for magic bullet drug — right before my eyes– poof! transformed into the *market* for a deadly business– that has morphed into something, I could never have foreseen. Why was I so blind? Because I also believed in the medical model– that was supposed to be at the root of all this, fool, that I am–. I could not just cash in this riveting new experience, and forget it.
So, Jonah– are you wondering what I did back in 1991, when after three years of residential *psych nursing * experience, I was NOT allowed to keep my job after claiming that a 12 year old boy was being ABUSED there? ( You need to know that with only medical nursing behind me, I believed that my professional opinion carried some weight.) What do you think I should have done?
You may well disagree with I decided to do–
I spent a few months thinking about it– reviewing the journals I kept– and then I applied for a child psychiatric nursing internship at a renowned academic medical center in Baltimore, Maryland. I vowed to keep my mouth shut and LEARN the mystical underpinnings of this block buster new medical specialty. That’s what got me in the door. Between you and me, I was just determined to *solve the mystery*– about the specialty I had laughed at in nursing school. It was concern over all the other kids I left behind at that first job– and worrying about the others bound to get caught in the net that helped me change my basic nature to just say, “You’ve got to be joking– this is NOT treatment”. That straight up comment failed to persuade—, that much I already knew.
One young *former psych patient* that I actually sprung right out of the system– at least had the diagnosis removed and the meds seen as *not necessary*– one of my very first real, true victories, whom I owe so much– STILL makes the valid point that I am an *asshole* by association– working for and with *assholes*. This individual’s opinion, I totally respect. Can’t dispute the logic. I would just like to assert, that EVEN an asshole can be helpful– in certain circumstances, that is.
Where you stand, depends on where you sit.
If I were to remove David Healy from my tool kit, I am just another *asshole* who should go back to being a REAL nurse, and leave the saving of the next generation to the EXPERTS who have experienced the abuse , first hand.
I think we humans are capable of overcoming attachment to personal feelings when lives are at stake. (As an ICU nurse, I did that as a matter of sheer necessity. ) Now, I’m of the opinion that THIS is the really the next frontier, the next human evolution, that is required if we are to survive as a species.
Feel free to call me an *asshole* for sounding so grandiose– I probably have it coming—
“EVEN an asshole can be helpful– in certain circumstances, that is.”
hahaha lol 😀
I haven’t time now to respond completely — will almost certainly attempt later to formulate a response that’s more fully meaningful than this one, but I will say that I’ve read over your comment a couple of times, in order to hopefully understand you more fully and must say, that line of yours (quoted above, in italics) made me laugh out loud, each time.
Because imo it’s such a good line (really tickles my funny bone) and seems such an obviously useful truism, I cannot help but wonder why I’d never heard it previously? Did you think it up yourself?
I tend to figure it’s virtually impossible to come up with any really clever new truism that’s not actually already in use, because an Internet search can typically prove that others have used every conceivable turn of phrase before us.
So, I wound up Googling “an asshole can be helpful” and came up with only 5 results.
From that point of view, I congratulate you, concluding you’re amongst its earliest of users; and, really, it’s not just those five words in succession, it’s that entire line of yours, with the additional five word phrase at the end (the entire ten-word line) which is so funny and perfectly true, imo…
Of course, persistent contemplations and/or convo on matters of psychiatry and its usual methods, can all-too-easily become sadly dispiriting.
Today, fortunately, after posting my preceding comments, I was able to make time for a long hike, and that was really necessary, to clear my mind…
Thanks for giving me something to laugh about, afterward; I deeply appreciate the moments of levity.
Perhaps you’re right – that psychiatry will never be abolished. But it could, under an intense barrage of criticism and marginalization, fade away.
“Compromise is mediocrity. Compromise is cheap.” (Unen Ameji)
So people are often willing to accept some amount of “collateral damage” will be created as a result of their actions. How much is acceptable when that damage is done to living, breathing human beings?
So all the “good” Healy does cancels out the “evil” he does by promoting shock, which is a violent assault on largely vulnerable women that destroys their lives and the lives of their families? I guess, since the drugs are so toxic and dangerous, shock shoould be used instead?? At this point in time, as a researcher, he KNOWS the reality of the destructive nature of shock; the science piles up every day. He is aware of the testimonies of Loretta Wilson and Mary Maddock and Linda Andre. Since he writes articles for this site he has read the work of Bonnie Burstow and Phil Hickey and the comments of many victims of shock, but he stands ignorantly firm in his position, promoting shock, which, in my opinion, does more harm than the neurotoxic drugs being prescribed. He is willing to defend this torture and in articles babbles about memory loss and cognitive dysfunction in ECT victims likely being caused by benzos or antipsychotics. That is absolutely outrageous.
Yes, Robert Whitaker is an amazing man. His books and this site have done nothing but contribute to educating and attempting to protect the innocent and disadvantaged from harm. It is clear he has chosen to do “good”, but unfortunate he is in a position where he must ignore or accept the “evil” to
achieve his goals.
And, you say “the majority are quacks” and “MOST psychiatrists are doing more harm than good”?
Yes, good reason not to abolish it. For the ” ones you can count on one hand”?
People have integrity or they don’t. They are ethical or they aren’t. Healy is sadly lacking in both areas. I am sick of hearing his example of the miraculously cured catatonic patient. I would like him to write an article on ECT giving us his 2014 update on how brain damage is a “treatment”. But he won’t; he is busy being honored and feted for his work attacking psychiatric drugs. ECT is a rape of the soul and the mind and this stellar “doctor” promotes it.
That is pathetic.
Surely, you must understand that nothing I’ve said has been to defend David Healy’s work.
Imo, his promotions of ECT and his practice of ECT and, above all else, his consistent denial of the harms caused by ECT, are ultimately indefensible — especially, as he aspires to paint himself as one of the world’s top experts on how it is that adverse effects of other ‘medical’ treatments (specifically, drugs) tend to be denied by those who profit from peddling them.
And, about psychiatry: Simply, I don’t believe it can be abolished, so I conclude it needn’t be abolished.
I presume there are ways its standards of practice can eventually be legally ‘regulated’ such that its practitioners are more or less restrained, by law, against doing harm; but, that is a long road to hoe.
I do agree with Ted Chabasinki (on October 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm) as he says “a concerted campaign against shock, focusing on parts of the country most likely to respond, could lead to its abolishment.”
Finally, as I’m on the topic of ‘truisms’ (having just mentioned my appreciation for one that was offered by Sinead, in a comment, above), I feel I must say, to you, I can’t see your quote from Unen Ameji as being an example of an entirely realistic truism (maybe it is a difficult quote to translate precisely from her own language?), because I do believe that the ability to make compromises is a necessity; even the most ethical people compromise, in ways, at times. They must.
But, they do not compromise their own most deeply held values.
Along those lines, I wonder if Robert Whitaker has not, perhaps, been somewhat compromising his own deepest values as a dedicated science-journalist, as he’s doing so much to support shock-doc David Healy’s work, as a researcher of adverse drug effects.
I say that because, frankly, I do not find Healy to be a credible researcher of adverse psychopharmaceutical drug effects, as I do see a considerable (imho, quite blatant) conflict of interest, in the fact that he runs an ECT clinic and promotes ECT as being, in many instances, the ideal alternative to psychopharmacology.
Really, I see him as being completely incapable of being objective, considering his consistent denials of the damage done by ECT and his consistent blaming of all complaints of such, as being mis-attributed adverse drug effects.
I believe Healy is (for whatever reasons, I really don’t know) literally incapable of admitting that ECT causes lasting harm. I think it’s unnecessary for me to belabor that point any further here, especially as I’ve recently expressed it in various comments under Pat Bracken’s recent MIA blog post.
Suffice it to say only, that Healy and his ECT ‘history’ book co-author (Shorter) call ECT, “in a sense, the penicillin of psychiatry.”
That’s absolutely outrageous, imo.
I would be very happy to see Robert Whitaker addressing this issue; imho, he might need to raise it at some point, should more MIA commenters begin challenging Healy directly, under his MIA blog posts, regarding his consistent denial of the harms that ECT causes.
You PRESUME there are ways EVENTUALLY to “legally” regulate or “restrain” lunatic psychiatrists from “doing harm”?? What about the fact these idiots supposedly pledge to “first do no harm”? That means they should not legally be permitted to administer ECT since it has been scientifically proven OVER DECADES TO CAUSE BRAIN DAMAGE.
PRESUME and “EVENTUALLY’?? How about tomorrow, before several hundreds of thousands more victims are brain damaged. Perhaps people needed to compromise with the Nazis and hope that “eventually” they would shut down the gas chambers? One evil resulted in physical death, ECT results in mental death and, often, through the suicides of its recipients, physical death.
Interesting point about Mr. Whitaker addressing this issue. When will this happen? Eventually? What would be wrong with tomorrow or later this week? OH, can’t rock the boat? Can’t step on toes? Can’t challenge someone “doing so much good work’?
Robert Whitaker is brilliant. He was nominated for a Pulitzer for “Anatomy of an Epidemic” was he not? This suggests he KNOWS, given his medical-scientific research background, what ECT is and does. Why is he not writing “ECT: Anatomy of Brain Damage”?? And, I guess that book already exists in “Doctors of Deception”, doesn’t it? S
So, how does one choose to be “selective” in choosing what harms need to be eradicated?
Excellent reply. I love everything you’re saying here, in your latest comment (on October 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm); but, to be clear, I must state, your first paragraph suggests to me, you may have misunderstood me…
You’ve apparently taken my wording as indicative of some kind of wishful thinking. (?)
Please know, I do believe that laws can be passed, which will effectively restrict psychiatrists against doing harm.
I do believe that is a long road to hoe (as I said).
But, really, I do not advocate waiting around in hopes that such laws shall pass.
I think we should take action, to find capable people who can help us to craft such laws (Ted Chabasinki is one such person, he has the expertise and experience, and from his commenting, above, I think he may be ready for a new campaign…). Once those laws are crafted, we should together take action to gain popular support for them, so they can be successfully passed.
I agree with Phil Hickey, in his simply put comment reply to Ted Chabasinski (on October 12, 2014 at 11:41 am), as he said: “Ted, Thanks for coming in. It [(ECT)] is definitely a weak spot in psychiatry’s armor.”
And, I agree with the over all gist of your comment.
Therefore, as you conclude by asking, “So, how does one choose to be “selective” in choosing what harms need to be eradicated?” …the first thought that comes to mind, is this: ‘Let’s eradicate ECT.’
I believe in the rule of good laws, ultimately.
I believe good legislation could eradicate ECT.
Crafting such legislation requires, of course, requires lawyers.
As far as I know, here in California, there’s no better lawyer than Ted for this sort of thing.
Educating the public (including but not limited to key legislators) is ultimately necessary.
Non-violent direct action may be needed.
I don’t know what I personally can do, because my responsibilities at home significantly limit my ability to travel. (I’m a single dad, currently living on a relatively limited income — and am caring for not only my daughter but also my elderly dad.) Most of what I can do is whatever I can do from home and/or in my local area.
You or anyone else who’s interested in discussing non-violent prospects for eradicating ECT, please feel free to contact me: [email protected]
Thanks for your pointed comment replies…
You seriously believe that laws can be passed to stop psychiatrists from doing harm, from disabling and causing the deaths of many of the poor people unfortunate enough to engage their services??
And what kind of “laws” would these be?? Seriously?
Perhaps: ” It is illegal for psychiatrists to prescribe medications for the “mental illnesses” they have “voted” into existence?”
” It is illegal for psychiatrists to prescribe any of the poisonous neurotoxins being touted as “medications to treat mental illnesses” without a videotaped discussion and the signature of a consent form outlining the risks of drug treatment ( suicidal ideation, homicidal thinking, akathisia, depression, hallucinations, tardive dyskinesia, …..) , the risks of withdrawal syndrome and its effects ( big long list as previously plus nausea, brain zaps, insomnia, etc.), the risks of the “illness” becoming chronic, and the acknowledgement that no studies of “long term” treatment have ever been done.
Note: this proposed consent form by Cohen and Jacobs is found on this MIA site in a post by Copy_Cat.
I believe the only law that would effectively stop the carnage would be:
“It is illegal to practice ‘psychiatry’ as a “medical” profession.
What “weak spot”?? Celebrating 80 years with advocates like Healy? With PR about “new improved unilaterals and ultra brief pulse”? With Dr. Oz’s show “The Shock that May Save Your Life”? With books from Kitty and Carrie and Eddie and Dave?? With many articles with headlines like “the rebirth of shock”?? These all suggest a resurgence and aggressive marketing campaign that is succeeding!!
SHOCK is a 6 BILLION dollar BUSINESS looking to retain and recruit more “consumers” (usually those driven iatrogenically insane by the 35 BILLION dollar drug industry). The financial rewards for countless doctors and hospitals helps keep the economy going. Do you think they want to give up this income?? There is ZERO incentive for them to do this simply because it is the right and ethical thing to do. They point to the celebrity success stories, the Kitty’s and Carries and their books!! Proof!!
Who cares about those crazy “mental people”?? They are probably dangerous and NEED that kind of “treatment”? What legislator is going to align himself with this cause?? Do crazy people even Vote??
As I posted to Bonnie Burstow’s article “Problematizing the Problematic”, what had been accomplished through 40 years of marches, protests, conferences, survivor testimonies, books, dozens of research articles, protests from neurologists and doctors like Peter Breggin?? Nothing of any consequence whatsoever other than a few “stricter” consent forms, not one of which lists “brain damage” as the outcome and the mechanism of action behind “treatment”.
Only one or two lawsuits have been successful regarding damages from ECT. In FORTY years!!
So, what might work?? I posted a few thoughts on the article Bonnie wrote. I suggested “stealth terrorism” aimed at the machines in the “hospitals” and the factories producing these brain damaging devices ( avoiding all physical injury or loss of human life)…
So what COULD work?? Sorry to be so jaded, but, nothing I can think of, even multiple class action lawsuits hitting these slime where they live, in their bank accounts or in the medical license that earns them income by allowing them to maim and injure other human beings. I have asked if there are any lawyers up for this. I received zero responses.
What might work?? A press conference called by Healy, Shorter, Fink, Lisanby, and any other prominent SHOCK docs stating: “OOPS, we were wrong!! We FINALLY learned how to read! We read the scientific research, we listened to the survivor testimonials.
We have finally figured it out!! We are SO sorry for your loss!! We F*** U*… But we want to make it right, so we will testify before Congress and get this banned, NOW, before some other poor depressed pregnant girl or grandma is permanently injured!”
But, I guess they would only figure this out if they agreed to having a few rounds of this “safe and effective” magical “penicillin themselves…
Want to REALLY make a name for yourself, Dave? Do the moral and ethical thing. Protect the innocent and vulnerable, people like YOUR mom or granny. Recant and demand a ban on this human rights violation/torture/abuse.
@ Jonah 10/12/2014 10:29
I always appreciate and read your comments which I find logical and well reasoned. And as a result of your comments I look forward to hearing a response by Dr Healy about his position. I wanted to say something about this comment though.
“I do believe that laws can be passed, which will effectively restrict psychiatrists against doing harm.”
There is a problem. At present in my State we have a Mental Health Act which provides legal protections for consumers, carers and the public. The person responsible for those protections is the Chief Psychiatrist.
Our current Chief Psychiatrist was previously the head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and as such was promoting the interests of psychiatry and psychiatrists. What better way for him do do this than to become the person who protects the rights of consumers, carers and the public, and then through negligence by omission ensure that they no longer have any rights?
I have a letter from our Chief Psychiatrist where he has reworded the law and removed any burden of proof for Mental Health Practitioners so that they have carte blanche to detain anyone they wish, with zero accountability. Of course given absolute power they would never abuse this right?
If you can imagine putting the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in charge of Equal Opportunities, and imagine the outcome for racial and ethnic minorities you will get the picture.
Our laws are not as strong as I would like, but do contain protections. But by appointing a person willing to overlook those protections Doctors are being given absolute power, with no accountability. And it continues to look like the community is protected.
So what I’m saying is that the laws will only be as good as the people who are appointed to enforce them. And at present in my State, the cat is on vacation, and the mice have turned to Rats.
Thank you for your further reply (on October 13, 2014 at 4:03 am).
And, @ boans, thanks for your kind words.
I’ll be responding with another comment or two, as soon as I have a moment to gather my thoughts and write one. (That’ll be some time later today.)
You’ll find my further comment(s) at (or near) the bottom of this page; I’ll post them there, as I think we may be running out of comment reply buttons up here.
A gentler way of treating catatonia.
The great Canadian orthomolecular psychiatrist Abram Hoffer wrote in his memoirs:
” We deduced from our biochemical theories that large doses of vitamin B-3 and vitamin C might be therapeutic. We obtained a large supply of pure crystalline niacin, niacinamide, ascorbic acid and riboflavin. Our first patient Ken was a catatonic schizophrenic in the mental hospital run by Dr Osmond. He had had insulin coma and also ECT and had been left in a coma and was dying. We decided that he must be our first patient to be given niacin and hoped he would not be our first victim. We used a stomach tube and gave him a large dose of niacin and ascorbic acid. He survived. The next day he sat up and drank it and thirty days later he was well. He was discharged and remained well. We were very fortunate. It is essential that the first patient one treats with any new treatment responds and he did. We then knew that we had something but our conviction was not great. After six double blinds, thousands of patients I have treated since then, and dozens of open clinical studies, I am convinced that what I saw in 1952 did represent a new way of treating these patients. ” ……….
“The adrenochrome hypothesis has been a map that we have followed since then and it has been remarkably effective in directing our investigations in to fruitful areas of research. These include the discovery of the mauve factor, psychedelic therapy, special clinical tests for schizophrenia such as the HOD and EWI test, the discovery that niacin lowers cholesterol levels, better housing for patients, better and more humane treatment of patients and more. Our research, and the use of mega doses of vitamins led to Linus Pauling’s formulation of Orthomolecular Psychiatry and Medicine. And I now know a lot more psychiatry than I did when I first started so many years ago.”
Hoffer died in 2009 at age 92 and worked up until two weeks before his death.
“The first and only requirement for genius is, a love for TRUTH.”
It is a life long process, pursuing TRUTH. It is riddled with agonizing realizations, the worst being the punishment awaiting the one who tells it at the wrong time to the wrong person. This, I feel, accounts for why all of us, and I believe we are all born geniuses, are in the same boat– we stay in or jump overboard, depending on our capacity to forbear the punishment for meeting the first requirement of genius.
Anyone who stays the course into chronological adulthood, can stumble over the misperception that his truth, is THE truth, or a universal axiom.
Anyone can loose ground by discounting factual information because it came from an unsavory source. The Buddha admonished his disciples to revere even a *demon* if his words accorded with the Buddha’s teaching, the sutras,the TRUTH. (Some say– how arrogant, the Buddha !– I say, wait a minute– isn’t the Buddha just saying that the TRUTH trumps the teller?)
Motivation for telling the TRUTH? I could care less– it’s the TRUTH, I’m after.
“It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.”
You don’t get very far discovering TRUTH, without COURAGE.
Last night I dreamed I was in the shock room again. I heard them call my name and say: “They’re waiting for you.”
Only in my dreams do I remember what happened in that shock room. Only from my notes can I ‘remember’ what happened in that shock room. Twenty years of memory are totally missing. Memory of the last ten years is sporadic.
I look down at the gnarl of blood vessels on the back of my left hand as I type. Sometimes it hurts. It’s as if the tissue is frightened. That’s where the intravenous went in 25 times. Twenty-five anesthetics and 25 rounds of bilateral electroconvulsive therapy were forced on me during the 10 weeks I was held in a psychiatric institution. I went there for help in getting off drugs. I carried a copy of Peter Breggin’s book ‘Your Drug May Be Your Problem’ but that was dismissed. I was considered ‘an excellent candidate for ECT’ and I was seized.
I ‘remember’ the assembly line of gurneys. I shook from terror as I looked up at the cold, matter-of-fact faces around me. I wondered if there would be anything left of my brain when they were finished with me. I thought I was going to die. I ‘remember’ the stench of the rubber mask over my face, the IV going into my hand and then, as the anaesthetic hit, merciful oblivion. And later, the blood in my mouth and the violent headaches. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know why I was there.
When I was ‘released’ I could not find my way home. I could not find my way around the city I had lived in for 30 years. I didn’t know how to find nor open my mailbox.
I didn’t go back for the ‘weekly maintenance ECT’ that I was told would be required for the rest of my life and I tapered myself off all the drugs I was told would be required for the rest of my life.
I had no history of mental illness. I was exhausted and sleepless from caregiver stress and took a benzodiazepine for insomnia. Not one doctor recognized benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. They decided I had agitated depression and decided to medicate me to insanity.
Ten years later the ECT-induced legs tremors persist. The ECT-induced irregular heart rate is still with me. The ECT-induced parkinsonism has diminished. The vision in my right eye is still clouded — as it was when I woke up after one ECT session. The dental restorations which were broken have been repaired. I still can’t breathe properly. Post ECT I couldn’t run — I couldn’t breathe.
I can’t remember things. At home I have covered one wall with cork board so I can pin up the notes that remind me of what I am supposed to be doing and when. I used to have a fine mind, a photographic memory, and I multitasked with ease. Most of my friends are gone. I was too much for them, and they weren’t enough for me. Psychiatric labels stick. Mental illness has a stigma. ECT has a worse stigma.
If I met any of my doctors on the street I would not recognize them. They stole my memory. I live in terror of those who once took an oath to do no harm.
Every single day is an ordeal. I will continue to tell my story so others may learn.
Did you agree/consent to 25 ECT assaults?
I cannot reconcile the vast discrepancies between testimonials I have heard from *patients* I have known –AND what I read on this site– and elsewhere.
Forced treatment is wrong across the board– AND I would not recommend ECT. I would try to stop any one I knew to be contemplating it…
STILL– maybe more research needs to be done to explain the Celebrity ECT poster people– the *satisfied customers* I have met and the stories shared here (and elsewhere, too)
Maybe there have been big changes– ???
Sinead, ECT can be done on one side of the brain only and in those cases usually has less memory loss. It is also the level of the current used. They can give you very minor shocks to massive shocks. They will claim that in today’s safe treatments, we do not need to strap people down, as they are not shocked enough for that, but in many instances they still do. If people are not supposedly responding as they want, they up the amount electricity being put through the brain, like the up the dosages of drugs given.
And like anything, everyone will be affected differently. I took Zoloft and never experienced any side effects, that so many others have, yet I took other drugs and experienced the most horrendous side effects possible.
I consistently had all the side effects dismissed was contantly told how much better I was doing by anyone in contact with me, yet truth was, when I look back, I was loosing functional ability and I have never regained it. I still have long time side effects from medications I voluntary took, and I too at one stage would have stood up, even while having the most horrendous of side effects, because I was led to believe that they were minor in comparison to what things were like before. People say what they believe, people want to believe doctors and do not want to think of the damage that they cause. The other big reality is that many people are in absolutely desperate of situations and would honestly consent to anything at all, and any change is likely to be an improvement, of course what they fail to understand is that any changes that do occur happen because one naturally goes throughs ups and downs in life.
The other reality is that some people do not want memories and actually wan them wiped out, due to torture they suffered elsewhere, others view any feelings as bad and not being able to feel anything and being permanently numb as a good thing. for the simple fact that no one every taught them to cope with feelings.
There are and continue to be satisfied customers of labotomies in those places where it is practised and families who continue to rave about the positive outcomes. Families who claim that someone is so much better, when they are so drugged up they cannot walk, let alone feed themselves. Families who do want a zombie, who lies there, does not interact or communicate. It is abuse, but when defined as a mental health treatment, perfectly legal.
Consent? You think a drugged, emotionally ill and desperate individual is in any position to give consent? And, again, given that the REAL risks are NEVER revealed, there is no such thing as “informed consent”. NO ONE should be allowed to consent to something proven to cause brain damage.
Have you read Bonnie Burstow”s “Problematizing the Problematic” which is on this site? I would love to hear your thoughts on this article.
Maybe there have been big changes?? Yes, in the PR campaigns. In reducing the discomfort of those administering the assault.
The celebrity poster children? I would think low low voltage, smaller numbers, stretched out time frames, and LUCK, thicker skulls, or, as in Kitty’s case, (who cannot recall conversations, phone numbers, a trip to Paris) enough brain damage to not know she is brain damaged!
Points well taken.
I am advocating for what you wrote in an earlier comment:
“I believe the only law that would effectively stop the carnage would be:
“It is illegal to practice ‘psychiatry’ as a “medical” profession.”
Truth is, psychiatrists have clearly proven they aren’t practicing *medicine*–
very easy to back that up–
Now, where are the REAL doctors who, wanting to restore trust in their profession and show the integrity we expect them to have ? THEY can take care of this scourge in short order.
REAL doctors– can defrock psychiatrists–
Why not, ask your Doctor, if taking action to save vulnerable people [especially children] from brain damage and death might work for HER?
Interesting thing about REAL doctors. While I cannot speak for the US I know within Australia they are having trouble getting anyone to take on psychiatric training, most medical graduates are saying, that they are not sure that all mental illnesses are real and they do not have any treatments that work. They would prefer to work in palliative care, where they can at least alleviate a persons pain in the last few days and weeks of life. They say psychiatry doesn’t do that! All medical students are now required to do compulsory rotations in psychiatric wards during their degree, it only makes them less likely to enter the profession. The same is also happening to nurses. They are all required to do 2 placements in psychiatric wards, and again none of them want to work in it, saying it is not real nursing. The ones that are going into it are the ones we least need in it, as they would not be able to give the most basic compassion to anyone and nor are they capable of even basic listening skills. Having said that real doctors will not speak up against them, they are in more cases than not, too scared to. BUT they are not referring people to the local psych wards, instead doing all they can to refer them to psychologists or even attempting to treat them themselves with medication, as they think they are going to do them less harm. People say it is because the local psych wards are full, but if you talk to GP’s it is a very different story, they don’t refer them, because they do not trust them. They usually have one or two in private practise they will refer to as a last resort, but not the local fully government funded services. I’m not saying I agree with what anyone is doing, and I do not believe in psychiatry in its present form or in fact any form it has existed in. I do however believe that human distress can be incredibly real and profoundly distressing and their are people who truly do want and need help, just at present they do not receive anything at all, other than abuse, which results in brain damage, regardless of which of their arsenal they choose to use.
And while I would agree that psychiatrists are not practising medicine, fact is governments in every country in the world, believe they are, and in fact give them special pieces of legislation so they can have special privilege’s that no other doctor is given. All other doctors have to get informed consent and/or that of a family member if the person is truly unable to give it, ie, they are unconscious. Or there are court order guardians in place, but in psychiatry no such laws exist. In fact in most places mental health laws over ride guardianship laws, so even if someone has a guardian appointed by a court, they still cannot make mental health treatment decisions for someone!! Why would they need such legislation if what they were doing was so ethical and evidenced based?
LET THE DEFROCKING BEGIN!
They are now trying to re-brand it as brain synchronisation treatment (BST) – no kidding:
In the hospital where I work, informed consent exists as an idea that never materializes into fact. I heard one of the best psychiatrists in the entire hospital laugh when he was confronted by a med student about why the doctor didn’t inform his patients about the harmful effects of the drugs he put them on. He told the med student to go out into the unit and take a good look at the people that the med student thought should be given informed consent and then come back and they’d talk. The psychiatrist’s point was that he didn’t believe that any of the people on that unit were capable of understanding or dealing with informed consent. So, he never did it!
We play lots of word games with this idea of “informed consent” but rarely does it ever enter into a “patient’s” treatment and it’s a rare thing when they’re ever told the truth about anything that is done to them.
Thanks for telling your story.
So glad I made you laugh !
to answer: “Did you think it up yourself ? ”
Guess so– was just
sharing how I responded to my *grateful client*– who, BTW inspired many similar truisms from me. I stayed in the ring– and rode on the wave with this young individual over a few years– and never once thought of trying to talk my way out of the situation I was being shown that I was a part of— . Busted? YES!, but I fought hard to prove I still possess the inherent human potential for change… hopefully for the better.
Thank you for ALL of your sincere responses–
Now, I will take a break and work on my 8 year old grandson’s Zombie hunters Halloween costume- he just added night vision goggles and is requesting a custom designed weapons sash….
good to know that long range weapons are not needed to subdue a zombie—- a few pockets for nerf (stun)darts should work 🙂
In the prevailing circumstances at the time, being an *asshole* was very useful. I knew the WAYS of *assholes* and could , therefore, engage on a level playing field 🙂
Ergo: successful negotiations ensued–LOL
I refused. My husband was coerced into signing the form when he was told ECT was the only hope for me. He paid dearly for that signature. When he saw his formerly bright, articulate, energetic, trendy, slender wife return as a cognitively impaired, confused, lethargic, bloated amnesiac who frothed at the mouth when she had spontaneous seizures; he was hospitalized with takotsubo cardiomyopathy – better known as ‘ broken heart syndrome’.
And the others incarcerated with me? ‘A’ was a government policy writer. She fell in a dance class and was given an antidepressant off-label for pain. She reacted badly. As in my case, her doctors decided the antidepressant had unmasked a life long psychotic depression and proceeded with ECT. She no longer reads – she can not remember from one page to the next. She received brain remediation because her post ECT CT scan showed she’d had numerous mini strokes. She has become a recluse.
I am writing a book and I will tell the stories of the women in the psych unit with me. Several are now dead. Psychiatry killed them.
I am horrified by what you are saying— I have not been exposed to the realities you are sharing, and I honestly don’t know how to respond.
I didn’t think a husband could consent for invasive treatments unless he had obtained legal guardianship– in which case, the wife is declared incapable of making medical decisions via a court hearing. ALL of which may have no bearing on either the condition or what is best for the *wife*, I know–BUT, regardless, the effects of your agonizing ordeal are heart breaking.
SO–SOMEBODY please explain the celebrity poster people for ECT??– Shouldn’t a few of them hear THESE stories?? Address the disparity of responses
and keep their MISINFORMED mouths shut??
To Sinead and all,
Guaranteed 100% definitely beyond any shadow of a doubt . These “celebrity’s” never felt the center of the skull bomb blast moving rapidly to engulf the entire brain passing outward in every direction covering every square inch of the brain in its journey outward beyond the skull seen as whitish yellow in color felt as a 4 second pain in the brain from the center outward felt 10 times as intense as the worst toothache . Thats with a bilateral electro shock “treatment” given while subject is still wide awake before anesthetic has taken effect . It’s never to be forgotten , There’s some truth for you truth seeker’s out there. If I am lying or even exaggerating may G-d strike me dead if such a “treatment” was not forcibly administered on me in Jackson Park Memorial Hospital in Florida against my will when I was around 18 years old. The hit songs in those days were Sloop John B the Mama’s and Papa’s were a popular band in those days Monday Monday. Live and learn from the lived experience of Pysch-Survivors . As Truthfully as it ever gets,
I’d like to declare an international Taser a Psychiatrist Day the day the opportunity presents itself. Don’t be recognized and don’t get caught. Who was that masked person who just put the taser on that poor psychiatrist? STOP ELECTRO SHOCK NOW !
I think that’s not a good joke, as someone could take it seriously, and that would only serve to discredit our movement.
I personally take responsibility for all my comments. Sometimes I joke this time I’m as serious as a supreme court judge. Nobody is going to torture children as young as 2 with electricity or brain damaging drugs let alone successfully continue to hold hostage an entire population of people with pseudo -science based torture techniques without being as they step it up opposed with stepped up counter measures to address the emergency which has been escalating.
Taser on a psychiatrist or psych drug manufacturer CEO is far less then a mosquito bite compared to the crimes against humanity they have carried out. I know this is all done with government approval manipulated by the upper minority in numbers within the 1%. If it were only possible to taser a Rockefeller foundation or Carnegie foundation Harriman foundation actual criminals that put Hitler into power in nazi Germany and continue their eugenic programs in America to this day. I once sent the Rockefeller Foundation an e-mail telling them they will one day be on trial in Nurenberg type Trials for their crimes against humanity. Almost immediately my administrator password on my computer no longer worked . It cost me $200 and countless hours to try and fix it . I never could.
Check out Russell Means the American Indian leader who passed on in 2012. in his interviews and videos on info wars on Youtube as he explains whats happening here in America today and what we are really looking at, please. Let me know what you think of his observations.
Honestly when someones torturing your children what is there to dialog about them with?
Saving even one child’s life is more important then being perplexed in a circular woe is me dialog circle .
I personally take responsibility for all my comments. Sometimes I joke this time I’m as serious as a supreme court judge. Nobody is going to torture children as young as 2 with electricity or brain damaging drugs let alone successfully continue to hold hostage an entire population of people with pseudo -science based torture techniques without being as they step it up opposed with stepped up counter measures to address the emergency which has been escalating.”
I am sincerely hoping you will reconsider what you’re saying there.
Please, think this through (i.e., take some time to contemplate your last two comments, including that one, above) and contemplate what I’m saying, as follows:
You wrote (on October 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm), “I’d like to declare an international Taser a Psychiatrist Day the day the opportunity presents itself. Don’t be recognized and don’t get caught.”
Ask yourself, first of all: Do I really wish to indict all psychiatrists equally because reportedly some psychiatrist(s) somewhere electro-shocked a two-year-old?
(I ask you that question because your proposal in your comment on October 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm seems to suggest that you’d call for a day in which all psychiatrist would equally become potential targets of taser attack.)
Now, ask yourself, specifically: Do I really wish to call for threats of violence (attack by use of tasers) against all psychiatrists?
And, if you answer ‘Yes’ to that 2nd question, then ask yourself: What harm would I do to my fellow psychiatric survivors by forwarding this plan?
I am dead serious, Fred, when I say this: Your plan is a very bad one, in all ways.
Your plan, which (as you put it) is “to declare an international Taser a Psychiatrist Day the day the opportunity presents itself. Don’t be recognized and don’t get caught,” to whatever extent it could be proved a genuine threat, being implemented by any number of activists, would only add to society’s fear of ‘mental patients’ and former ‘mental patients’ — thus driving many of us all the more deeply into hiding (because, indeed, many or most of us already feel, that we are forced to live largely in hiding, due to the inherent stigma of being ‘mental patients’ and ‘formal mental patients’). Do you wish to produce that effect?
Much as I feel the utmost sympathy for how you were harmed by psychiatry and much as it pains me to know that countless numbers of kids are currently being harmed by psychiatry, I am not at all “in Solidarity” with you, at this point — because you are advocating violence (indeed, violence against some who may be quite innocent of the crimes you’re aiming to deter); and, moreover, you are advocating utter irresponsibility.
(Oh, and, by the way, you suggest I should take a look at videos of the late activist, Russel Means. I have, in the past, studied some of the writings of Russel Means. Some of what he said made a lot of sense to me, but not all of it did…)
To me, it seems that psychiatric survivors (such as you and I) could do well to plan thoughtful campaigns of non-violent direct action.
I’m not sure, but maybe I would seriously consider taking part in some sort of non-violent direct action that required anonymity. (Maintaining anonymity is something that I feel benefits me and many other psych-abuse survivors.)
I think you may be using your real name here in your MIA commenting.
But, here you’re simultaneously promoting violence and saying “Don’t be recognized and don’t get caught”; in my view, that is a classic expression of cowardice, actually.
You begin this comment of yours (above), saying “Jonah, I personally take responsibility for all my comments.”
Well, if you think violence is somehow necessary to combat the harms of psychiatry, and if you are going to take action, violently, …then you take responsibility for your actions.
That’s what I recommend. Take responsibility from beginning to end.
After all, the biggest problem for so many people who are ‘mental patients’ or former ‘mental patients,’ is that society views us as (A) potentially “a danger” and as (B) incapable of being responsible for our own actions.
Please, don’t be encouraging the spread of such seemingly endless ignorance.
Rethink your proposition.
If you cannot imagine creative ways of fighting psychiatry’s violence with non-violence, then, at the very least, encourage taking responsibility — full self-responsibility.
Anything less would be %100 folly, in my opinion.
P.S. — Fred, I deeply believe, that each and every psychiatrist is an individual and should be treated as one — because, as a psychiatric survivor, I know the many needless harms caused by the ways conventional psychiatrists tend to depersonalize “patients” and their issues. Not all psychiatrists are monsters — which is to say, for instance, not all of them would approve of electro-shocking a two-year-old child. Probably, only an extremely small number of psychiatrists would approve of that…
Correction: Honestly when someones torturing your children what is there to dialog about with them?
I think it is good joke too – and it reflects the level of appropriate anger that should be directed at psychiatry. However it would not be a very good strategy.
There is a long history of evective campaigning in the USA and the UK. I suggest looking at that would be a good place to start. One tactic would be to take a leaf from the Ploughshare Activists – who take domestic hammers to weaponry and then get deliberately arrested. They then use the defence that they are committing a crime to stop a greater crime being committed. I know several people who have done this and got off – ie the courts thougt thier actions were justified. The science on ECT maybe enough to justify such an action. If people did end up in prison they might create a movement around them.
I am not prepared to do such an actoin at the moment but I do think such strategic thinking is needed.
Here is a history of Ploughshares actions
I survived 23 shocks almost four years ago and struggle daily with severe cognitive impairment, long term retrograde amnesia and serious short term memory issues. Doctor Fink is a very dangerous man. Thank you so much for this article.
I’m reconsidering and see your point that I need to be more clear because there is too much room to be misunderstood and in answering your concerns it gives me opportunity to refine with more clarity what I am advocating and to even fine tune the strategy I am advocating as one strategy among others already pursued and others evolving.
Many people do not realize that the strategy that Gandhi used to free his people from British rule, he was well aware would not have worked against Hitler’s nazi Germany.
I no longer believe America is the same as it was in the years of the on going civil rights movement in the times of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and besides the calibre of such men as Mahatma Gandhi , Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King , Abraham Lincoln,is rare the only one that compares and who I would follow living today if she was leading our movement is Ananda Shiva who’s literally backed off Monsanto company in India. Generally I believe what Dylan said in one of his songs ( don’t follow leaders watch your parking meters.)
You and anyone else of course including myself should have the right to choose a path in life that causes no harm .
Just to clarify I believe in a strategy that is flexible to the reality as it fluctuates in time .As for me capitulation to fascism is not an option.
I believe the people’s understanding generally including my own at times has fallen behind events and just as most all of us at one time or another were fooled by psychiatry, big pharma, big medicine, big agriculture, big communications media, big education, democrat/republican one party rule, all controlled by the owners of corporate cartels their assets hidden in trusts inside of trusts inside of trusts , that have managed to circumvent our Constitutional Rights including the Bill of Rights, culminating at this time in us realizing we are uncomfortably among the most vulnerable growing minority portion of an oppressed population living mostly confused by the razzel dazzel bullshit baffles brains strategies of an even smaller minority of powerful wealthy , individuals behind a corporate-state merger government (Fascism) who seek to lower the population of the world leaving it fewer by billions of people while this self chosen” elite” controls through managers an easily culled subservient worker slave population.
We are most directly proded by the point of the spear that psychiatrists and big pharma and government wield and it is actually astounding how such a crock of shit pseudo scientific bag of tricks has about done us in.
What would an outside observer from outer space conclude about whats happening here ?
Anyways I am using my real name . I’m easily found and consider myself to be responsible for my words and actions not looked at out of context. And am prepared to be judged by a jury of my peers. [email protected]
I see psychiatrists much like hitler’s ss. Were there any of them you would like to sit at a table with and break bread ? 40%of them were psychiatrists. These psychiatrists I have seen seem to me for the most part to be above average cowardly. They may back off when they start to get tasered . At least back off the children. Maybe the workers around them will identify the worst among them and will be more emboldened to sabotaging and undermining psychiatrists and big pharmas ceo ‘s multifaceted attack upon the vulnerable.
I declare an” International Taser a Psychiatrist Day ” that means any day or time the opportunity presents itself to also not be recognized and not get caught, Plan well .If they get you consequences could be severe and you are responsible for your own words and actions. You choose your own path in life as do we all. You must be prepared to be alone in your your struggle.We are all David against Goliath. Be patient plan and make your move with all the genius you can muster. There are a lot of ideas mulled over in the talking circles . Mix and match figure out your own in your best evolving wisdom. Join the actions and talks you see that make the most sense to you. Don’t let anyone tell you to endanger yourself or other peers. Somehow at least we must Remove the Boot Heel which has been getting heavier and heaver as we speak , of oppressive psychiatry and big pharma, embedded in government, from our necks. I believe to taser a psychiatrist or big pharma psych drug executive for this time 2014 and until they remove the boot heel from our necks is an appropriate civil disobedience action that realistically recognizes the urgency of the real on the ground circumstances we presently face. End Electric Shock forced injections ,forced druggings, and forced confinement ,lobotomies, get your hands off our children, and go fuck yourselves for even conceiving of these human rights violations.
Sincerely ,Fred Abbe
Bit unfair to tazer without anesthetic isn’t it?
Doesn’t look so much like ‘treatment’. Mr Spratt in the video is having trouble with headaches and memory loss now.
I love Bob Dylans Talkin World War 3 Blues.
Hold it Doc a World War passed through my brain, he said “Nurse get you pad the boy’s insane” lol
That’s Horrible,seem’s like Australia needs an old fashion ‘off the Pig’ demonstration like the Chicago 7 orchestrated in the 60’s in Mayor Daily’s Chicago to protest police brutality .I think 10’s of thousands marched down a main street holding the strings of a giant air inflatable pig . The slogan of the day was “Off The Pig” meaning get the pigs(the police) off our backs . They had been beating with batons and spraying with mace peaceful demonstrators . It may have been near or at the time of the Democratic National Convention to nominate a presidential candidate. Other’s who were there may better remember what happened there. It was my home town, I was going in and out of “mental institutions “at the time but I watched it on TV . The VietnamWar and the Civil Rights Movement was going on the same time as well then Kent State University in Ohio where armed national guard and police in cold blood shot and killed 4 students who were unarmed and demonstrating peacefully against the continuation of the Vietnam War. It was a painful event for millions of Americans 1968- 1969.
I was in Los Angeles several blocks from MacArthur Park sitting in a chair in the lobby of a run down hotel the Californian that at one time was owned by the famous heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey where I worked as a hotel clerk when I heard the news of the 4 unarmed students shot to death by the US government in Ohio . Crosby,Stills,Nash, and Young memorialized the tragedy in their song “4 dead in Ohio”.
I’m in total solidarity with the aboriginal people. Seems like you might have some kind of a police racism state over there in Australia as well.
Tazering a psychiatrist one time and making a getaway doesn’t compare to what was done to Mr. Spratt . And I doubt if Mr. Spratt was part of an organized crimes against humanity organization sanctioned by the government.
One of my favorite songs by Bob Dylan is “Just Like Tom Thumb Blues” his version and Nina Simone’s version on her album” The Essential Nina Simone “one of the greatest albums ever made. Hear for yourself. Fortunately I was able to see both of them perform live in Chicago. The songs are on YouTube.
I’d never heard of that interpretation of the phrase. You should know that there is a widespread alternate interpretation that is more sinister.
“What would an outside observer from outer space conclude about whats happening here ?”
Probably the same thing youth in America are concluding at an ever increasing rate, at an ever declining age:
THIS IS A SOCIETY THAT CARES NOTHING FOR IT’S CHILDREN, therefore it has no future.
We could organize and lead a *children’s crusade” straight to the American Medical Association — DEMANDING that decisive action be taken to strip psychiatry of it’s license to inflict brain damage and death on our collective future!!!
The Florence Nightingale oath prohibits my participation in or advocacing for
* International taser a psychiatrist day*
Though nothing can prevent me from taking sheer delight in the mere thought…..
I’m definitely for a “Children’s Crusade”. Would like to here more .
“Don’t let anyone tell you to endanger yourself or other peers.”
That’s excellent advice (that one line); indeed, I judge it your best advice of all, thus far, in this entire conversation. I’ll take it, thanks — because it perfectly contradicts your incitement to taser psychiatrists.
You begin your comment by saying “I am reconsidering,” but I don’t see what you mean by that, as you are, by this point, continuing your encouragements to establish an “International Taser a Psychiatrist Day.” That is incitement to commit terrorism, Fred. I strongly suggest you completely rethink what you’re advocating, in that respect; imho, you need to continue your process of reconsidering…
And, along those lines, one thing you could possibly do, is carefully study the difference between these two terms: ‘deterrence’ and ‘interdiction’
I’m sure you know what they mean, but I suggest you place them side by side and seriously consider their differences…
Many who become quite fired up with bold plans to hopefully ‘right wrongs’ fail to make any distinction between those concepts (at their own peril and at the expense of sacrificing innocent lives).
The failure to distinguish between would be strategies of deterrence, on the one hand, and strategies of interdiction, on the other hand… has led to much needless harm, throughout history.
Terrorists especially (but not only terrorists, many ignorant lawmakers who claim to stand for ‘law and order’ as well as muddleheaded war-planners) tend to lose sight of the difference between these two concepts, and their doing so leads to all sorts of unanticipated and/or unacknowledged ‘collateral damage.’
It’s irresponsible of you, and I think you’re failing to make that distinction as you say “These psychiatrists I have seen seem to me for the most part to be above average cowardly. They may back off when they start to get tasered . At least back off the children.”
You imagine that a psych-survivor who’d taser a psychiatrist would be saving children in the process? I think quite the contrary. Such an individual would be leading more psychiatrists to drug more children more heavily.
You say “I see psychiatrists much like hitler’s ss.” (Fred, that’s such an extreme statement.) Again, you’re failing to make distinctions.
I think you are currently demonizing psychiatrists as a group, and far more harm than good will come of your continuing to do so; I pray you will realize, soon enough, that every psychiatrist is an individual, and at least a small minority of them are actually quite genuinely caring and decent human beings (but, of course, they’re not perfect, because no one is).
Observe the very real distinctions between the various psychiatrists who have expressed themselves (their professional views and practices) via their blogging on this website (that’s what I suggest).
Surely, one or two of them could appeal to you as, in fact, a decent human being who does not deserve to be tased?
I leave you with that question. But, frankly, you should feel no compulsion to answer it, as I don’t need an answer from you, and I am aiming to discuss other matters in my next comment(s) here — later today.
Decent you say ,then let them throw it overboard as a few natural healers who were authentic ceased practicing AMA medicine and practiced Traditional
Naturopathy or Homeopathy real effective healing arts . Let them voluntarily cease from practicing at least coercive psychiatry and drop the pretense that they have any valuable training or “expertise” and begin working for minimum wage ! And I don’t accept your derogatory labels and your disrespect even though you sign “respectfully”.Plus I don’t agree with your assessment and over reaction in my opinion considering what so many are up against, but of course you have the right to feel that way . Somehow to me I ask you”where are you street smarts outside of academia?”Have you taken on the role of the grand inquisitor and do you really believe we live in a democracy ? And did you really check out Russell Means last interviews on Youtube. I grant you you can nit pick with the best of them.
Respectfully . Fred
“Let them voluntarily cease from practicing at least coercive psychiatry…”
Amen to that!! 🙂
You think I’m overreacting, but I don’t think so.
Simply, I am an advocate of non-violence. I have been, formally, since I was a teen (and informally even before then); thus, when, at age 21, I chose to throw plates, I went outside and threw them at a garage door (being quite certain that no one was in my line of fire).
Also, I am totally opposed to every kind of involuntary neuro-invasive procedure — including use of tasers.
So, I don’t feel I’ve overreacted here; and, until now, I’ve simply enjoyed reading your MIA comments… had never (before now) seen you or anyone posting advice to commit acts of violence on this website.
And, what “derogatory labels” and “disrespect” are you referring to??? Really, I have no idea, and I’m quite sorry you feel I’ve been disrespectful.
For any way that I have been disrespectful toward you, I quite apologize, sincerely, as you have been respectful toward me, and I’ve meant you no disrespect.
Finally, about academia: I was raised in an academic atmosphere, but it was never for me; I am totally unimpressed by academia and am actually an autodiadact; anything I say that seems somehow ‘academic’ is just what I’ve read or observed entirely on my own; in fact, I advise young people to beware of what they’re taught in college (as I’m proudly a college drop-out).
Oh, and, Fred, whenever I say “respectfully,” I most definitely mean it, in all sincerity; however, I’m well aware that when I’m ‘arguing’ with someone, it can seem to that person like I don’t mean it…
Again, yes to “Let them voluntarily cease from practicing at least coercive psychiatry…”
P.S. — And, this should go without saying, but I say it anyway: I believe that, if they will not voluntarily cease from practicing at least coercive psychiatry, they should be compelled, by law, to cease from practicing it…
Medical-coercive psychiatry should be abolished, imho.
P.P.S. — About your saying “Have you taken on the role of the grand inquisitor and do you really believe we live in a democracy ?”
You had previously thanked me for my having suggested to you a couple questions to ask yourself.
I guess it was overkill to ask a question or two after that… offered too many question, I guess, at last… won’t ask you any more questions.
P.P.P.S. — Imho, we live in an extremely imperfect democracy — a democracy which is, in many ways now, utterly failing to be democratic. I think there are signs of emergent fascism in this country. And, the country may possibly give way, one day, entirely to fascism; but, imho, that hasn’t happened yet, and it won’t happen if enough of us come to respect the Bill of Rights and the power of good laws (which are, necessarily, aimed at defending and upholding its principles).
Okay, this is surreal. I realize that I’m late to this discussion, but I want to say that I am astonished that people are talking about tasering people and “covert terrorism.” No. Just No. I share your outrage and I think that psychiatry should be and can be abolished, but I don’t think that advocating assault or sabotage is the way to make that happen. And more importantly, it would be wrong.
We hold the moral high-ground because it is psychiatrists who are guilty of assault and other crimes – not us. Why jeopardize one of the few strengths we have for… for what? WTF do you think is going to happen to a person with a psych label who tasers a shrink??? What do you think is going to happen to someone engaging in sabotage in a nation whose government already uses the populace’s fear of “terrorists” to justify every repressive measure they take against their own people? What do you think the public’s reaction will be? We’ll be seeing legislation that will make the Murphy Bill look quaint. Seriously, please reconsider.
Thanks for chiming in! I quite agree with you — except as you say “I think that psychiatry should be and can be abolished,” because I don’t believe it can be abolished. (Simply not possible to abolish psychiatry in a democratic/pluralistic/secular society. It just won’t happen.)
See my parenthetical ‘challenge’ in my comment above (on October 11, 2014 at 10:21 am).
Oh, woops, correction — I mistakenly said “@ boans” — had meant to say “@ uprising.”
Yes, I saw your point about “abolition” and I think it is a good one. It’s impossible to to see that word in the context of psychiatric oppression and not to ask, “Well, who would do the abolishing?” For that reason, I tend not to use it. I adopted it here because it was already in play within the discussion and it is close enough to what I mean, which is, “Psychiatry should not exist as a medical specialty.” However, it seems to me that Sinead may have given one possible solution to the problem of who can “abolish” psychiatry, in the strict sense of the word as well (http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/10/macabre-celebration-80-years-convulsive-therapy/#comment-52748).
You are right to say that psychiatry should not be abolished. However, it IS correct to fight for the ABOLITION of all forms of coercive and harmful forms of so-called “treatment.”
If we can successfully win these battles through protracted struggle then people will have no reason to use psychiatry any more. At that point in human history psychiatry as a ‘force’ in the world will simply wither away. It will then find its rightful place in history’s museum next to other ancient and oppressive entities. The sooner the better.
BTW Jonah, don’t forget, please send me two locations (with the URLs) of your better posts advocating for the abolition of ‘force.’
I understand if people don’t think it is feasible to put an end to psychiatry as a medical specialty, but I have a hard time seeing how anyone can claim that goal to be somehow “incorrect.”
Learning from the mistakes of past revolutions that mishandled contradictions among the people and ways of dealing with intellectuals and the middle class, it would be wrong to tell Dr. Dan Fisher or Dr. Sandra Steingard (and others) that they no longer have the right to be psychiatrists or they can’t attempt to help people through that profession.
We should convince more psychiatrists to study the science of withdrawal and help the thousands of people trying to taper off of psychiatric drugs; this could be a valuable service to the masses.
The Joseph Biederman’s and others who have caused enormous harm to people should be prosecuted for their crimes.
After generations in the future have completed successful tapering from all psychiatric drugs and all harmful and coercive forms of “treatment” are outlawed and abolished, psychiatry as a profession will simply wither away because no one will have any use for it. Those formerly interested in it will find other more productive and helpful things to do with their life.
First off, I’ll admit that I have no idea what you mean about “the mistakes of past revolutions” and how that relates to the subject at hand.
In what sense would it be “wrong”? No one has any “right” to be an MD who treats metaphorical illnesses with real brain disabling interventions, and no one has the “right” to imprison another human being on the basis of such “expertise.”
Whatever ways in which a psychiatrist can “help” anyone can be done better by any non-psychiatrically indoctrinated person with a prescription pad. There’s no getting around the fact that psychiatry is an illegitimate medical specialty, based on a faulty premise, and for that reason will continue to cause great harm and disability for as long as it is allowed to exist. There is nothing natural or inevitable about it. I don’t understand the taboo around saying that we’d be better off without it entirely and as soon as possible.
It would indeed be a valuable service to the masses, myself included, but there is no reason to rely on psychiatrists to do it. And as far as I can tell, there is very little studying of the science of withdrawal precisely because of psychiatric denial of the long term effects of their drugs.
I believe that your comment comes from a good place, Richard, but I respectfully disagree with it, at least until someone can explain to me why we should allow psychiatry to continue for another minute.
“it IS correct to fight for the ABOLITION of all forms of coercive and harmful forms of so-called “treatment.””
Quite honestly, I don’t have a sense of what my ‘better posts’ are.
There are approximately 50,000 psychiatrists in this country and I believe more than half are over 60 years old. Many of these people were trained prior to Biological Psychiatry becoming the dominant paradigm of so-called “treatment.” Many of these people still do therapy and minimize the use of psych drugs; some are helping people get off of these drugs.
I am anti-psychiatry, but I believe it would be a big mistake not to attempt to win over some of the people practicing psychiatry to raise hell within their profession, oppose the use of all force, and seek ways to support people coming off of psych drugs. Some will be won over to a more radical approach if we educate and inspire them (especially by psych survivors) to do so.
Outlawing or abolishing the profession of psychiatry would be an ultra left position that precludes a strategy of “uniting all who can be united.” The struggle to defeat Biological Psychiatry is part of a much bigger struggle to change the world that involves many different human rights struggles, and includes the struggle to save the planet from environmental destruction. We can’t afford to alienate intellectuals and other potential allies within the middle class if we are trying to isolate the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
My reference to past revolutionary errors refers to my previously stated belief (in other blogs) that the future of Biological Psychiatry has become inseparable from the future of modern capitalism. The value of the pharmaceutical industry (especially the sales of psychiatric drugs) to the U.S. economy and the need to maintain social control of certain volatile sections of the U.S. population makes Biological Psychiatry indispensable to the power and control needs of the ruling classes.
Thanks for the explanation. You’ve covered a lot of ground, as usual.
I am aware that there are many psychiatrists who were schooled before “Biological Psychiatry” became predominant – that is, back when psychiatry was merely a quack medical specialty that believed in lobotomies and insulin coma and – as now – ECT, along with psychoanalysis, but had not yet sold its soul entirely to Big Pharma.
One such psychiatrist wrote the prescriptions for me while I was tapering off after 13 years off psychiatric drug use, and I am grateful that they did so. But let’s not romanticize these people. The psychoanalysis BS I had to sit through to get those prescriptions was damaging. It’s difficult to explain what it’s like to be in acute withdrawal from psychiatric drugs (which is itself traumatizing) and have to sit through those sessions with someone who not only minimized the effects of the withdrawal itself (or implied that they weren’t REALLY from withdrawal), but also hadn’t the foggiest notion of what trauma is. Oh, not to mention the subtle but persistent offers to put me on various other psychiatric drugs that would have put me back at square one or worse. Was this some kind of monster? No. I believe they genuinely wanted to relieve my suffering, but because psychiatrists are MDs attempting to medically treat problems of the human spirit, the results are disastrous.
In other words, I am glad that there are psychiatrists out there who are not as bad as the norm, but that’s no reason, in my opinion, for psychiatry to continue. Yes, absolutely, we need people with prescription pads and some kind of training in psychiatric drug withdrawal to help people taper off psych drugs. To me, there is no reason for this group of people to be psychiatrists. Most psychiatrists would probably need retraining anyway to do that, so we might as well train some other group that doesn’t have psychiatry’s sordid history. And yes, absolutely, we need ways to support people in extreme states and other distressing situations, but psychiatry , for the most part, doesn’t do this now and is not necessary to do this in the future. So as long as psychiatry does exist, I will be glad that there are critical psychiatrists to mitigate the harm done by their profession, but their presence does not in any way justify the existence of that profession. Indeed, most writings by critical psychiatrists make my argument very well themselves, but they usually conclude with some non sequitur proposal for “improving” psychiatry.
I agree that it makes sense to try and win over psychiatrists to as critical a standpoint as they are capable of reaching, but what is appropriate depends upon who is doing the “winning over.” I tend to think that this responsibility falls more on other critical “mh” professionals than on the psychiatrized. That is, I think it is important for psychiatrized people who are up for it to share their stories and perspectives with psychiatrists who are willing to listen, but I don’t think it is our responsibility to make psychiatrists feel comfortable. There’s not (usually) reason for incivility, but there’s also not much improvement in going from being the sacred symbol of psychiatry to being the sacred symbol of critical psychiatry.
It’s also very important to recognize that not all critical psychiatrists oppose psychiatric incarceration, forced drugging, electroshock, etc. I don’t feel that it is my duty to soothe the consciences of such individuals.
You said, “We can’t afford to alienate intellectuals and other potential allies within the middle class if we are trying to isolate the 1% at the top of the pyramid.”
I agree with much of your analysis of the broader picture, but this statement strikes me as odd, as the context seems to indicate that you are including psychiatrists in this category. To me, there is not much that is more intellectually offensive than a medical specialty that tries to use damaging physical interventions to treat metaphorical illnesses, often with coercion. And while it’s true that there needs to be a coming together of all working and poor people to wrest power from the 1%, the middle class also needs to atone for having sold out the poor and working class in this country for the last forty years. This is something that does not often get addressed in polite liberal discussions.
And what about the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm? For psychiatrists it was certainly easy to forget. Back to the great Canadian orthomolecular psychiatrist Abram Hoffer (1917-2009) who was appalled by the degrading levels to which healthcare could shrink, and remarked a few weeks before his death that “all psychiatrists should be exported to Mars – we’d be better off without them.”
I could chip in for a shuttle 😉
Correction to my comment last night: More than half of the 50,000 psychiatrists in this country are over the age of 55, not 60 years old.
If at a round table , Albert Einstein, Thomas Payne,Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Ananda Shiva,Mahatma Gandhi,Robert Kennedy,and Abraham Lincoln and Sitting Bull , Moses ,Bob Marley were all able to confer and advise us (only Muhammad Ali and Ananda Shiva are still alive out of this group) considering what we are up against as psychiatrically diagnosed and labeled people in the present time on how to just survive in dignity let alone with our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness intact or if we can even save the children with a chance for a future, I sure wish I knew how they would advise those labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis or even if we were all safe on a flotilla of well supplied ships where should we sail to or what should we do ? As the Evil ones continue to process more human beings………..
Get Ready for a *shock-ing* bit of news.
A psychiatrist explaining the HIPPOCRATIC OATH — the actual oath they swear to uphold and the cause for all the apparent confusion amongst *angry psychiatric patients*.
“It is commonly believed that somewhere in the Hippocratic oath is the statement, ‘First, do no harm.’ In researching this book we went back to our graduation ceremony from medical school to look at the oath we swore. We were surprised to find that , ‘First, do no harm.’ was not there. We did swear, ‘I will apply, for the sick, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.’ We did agree to admit when we didn’t know what was wrong with the patient, to ask for help when needed, and to respect the patient’s privacy. But we did not swear to ‘do no harm.’ “(“Medical Child Abuse- Beyond Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”(p.324),, 2009, Thomas A. Roesler, MD (Child Psychiatrist) , Carole Jenny, MD, MBA, FAAP, Pediatric Child Abuse Specialist.) the authors are husband and wife.
Next paragraph:(“Medical Child Abuse- Beyond Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy” p.324)
“It turns out that the phrase for which Hippocrates is most famous probably did originate with him. In his book, ‘Epidemics’ (Book I, section XI), is the phrase that reads in translation, ‘Declare the past, diagnose a patient, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things– to help, or at least to do no harm.’ ”
Reminded of William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, in the movie, “Braveheart”– in the scene where he is being accused of treason, Wallace insists, “I never once swore allegiance to this King”
Wallace’s punishment was apparently based on the assumption that since he lived in King Edward’s Kingdom, allegiance to *this King* was an automatic assumption. ??
I suggest we drop the “first, do no harm” – misquote from the oath sworn by graduated medical students, and zero in on this:
“WE DID SWEAR TO ADMIT WHEN WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS WRONG.”
Actually a more powerful indictment against violation of the *oath*, or so I think.–
Harm, itself has traditionally been the subjective view of the psychiatrist who is expert in diagnosing *patient’s* as– too mentally incompetent to know the difference between harm and treatment.
Food for thought–
Dear Sinead ,
Yes Food for thought-
I appreciate that you understand where I am coming from and I also feel the shear delight in being true to my own convictions . I would join in your children’s crusade. If it can work I’m for it.
A silverback gorilla as strong as 20 men and smarter than most and with a bigger heart will stay behind to fight to the end heavily armed poachers each afraid to face him in a fair fight , just so he can give his family time to escape to safety. Do we not all as adults at least owe that much effort to all children ? and all the psychiatrically oppressed?
What about this oath for all who call them selves doctor’s or healer’s as I do.
” Exalted G-d before I begin the holy work of healing the creations of your hands, I place my entreaty before the throne of your glory that you grant me strength of spirit and fortitude to faithfully execute my work. Let not desire for wealth or benefit blind me from seeing truth. Deem me worthy of seeing in the sufferer who seeks my advice- a person neither rich nor poor, friend or foe,good or bad, of a man in distress, show me only the man. If doctors wiser than me seek to help me understand, grant me the desire to learn from them, for the knowledge of healing ,is boundless. But when fools deride me, give me fortitude! Let my love for my profession strengthen my resolve to withstand the derision even of men of high station. Illuminate the way for me , for any lapse in my knowledge can bring illness and death upon your creations . I Beseech You Merciful G-D , strengthen me in body and soul, and instill within me a perfect spirit.
@ truth and @ boans (and whoever else may be interested),
In a brief comment above (on October 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm), I indicated that I’d be posting my replies to you down here, later in the day — but never did… until now.
And, by now, I am feeling rather burnt out on my own words (that happens not infrequently, after posting any considerable number of MIA comments); so, this will be my last MIA comment for a while, and I won’t say much in it.
Mainly, I’m choosing to offer two links, to videos that I find inspiring.
They are both fairly popular videos, so you’ve probably seen them, but maybe not, and they are worth watching more than once, imo.
The first is a 2008 commencement address, at Harvard University, given by J. K. Rowling:
The second is an address given in July of last year, by the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, human rights activist Malala Yousafzai (she happens to be speaking to a U.N. Youth Assembly, on her sixteenth birthday):
[Note: In one of my comments, above, yesterday, I offered a few words about my general sense of academia (e.g., my inclination to warn young people, beware what they’re learning in college) including the fact that I’m proudly a college drop-out. Here I’ll add, I tend to be most skeptical of the education offered to Ivy League students. But, I am a strong believer in the power of education to advance the underprivileged, so I fully support the message of Malala, and it was a truly exceptional address, that was given by the authoress of the Harry Potter series, imho…]
With respect to the issues you two raise in your comments, because I am now feeling at such a loss of words (and, really, must take a bit of break from not only from visiting MIA, but from the Internet generally), I will only say here, that: I deeply respect your expressions of truth (very much so); and, I do believe in the rule of good laws…
Psych-rights laws are most definitely not good enough now (of course, that’s putting it mildly), but we can improve them, I feel.
I think Ted Chabasinski and Phil Hickey are entirely correct in suggesting that ECT can be abolished.
I think the history of the meteoric rise and fall of the lobotomy is instructive.
[Note: Imho, commenter Belinda offers much insight into these issues, and I am aware that Australia is in terrible shape, as far as psych-rights are concerned, but I take issue with her expressed view (October 12, 2014 at 2:19 am) that lobotomies are making a “massive comeback” in Australia. (If Belinda or anyone else has information about the current stats on how many lobotomies are being performed, please post links.)]
I believe the process of accomplishing that fete, of abolishing ECT, will require eliciting supporting views from a fair number of psychiatrists — most who prescribe psych-drugs.
I don’t believe psych-drugs will ever be abolished (except for some of them, when proven individually to be considerably more harmful than the others).
Richard D. Lewis, in his most recent comment (on October 14, 2014 at 12:20 am), expressed his long-term vision, describing that,
“After generations in the future have completed successful tapering from all psychiatric drugs and all harmful and coercive forms of “treatment” are outlawed and abolished, psychiatry as a profession will simply wither away because no one will have any use for it. Those formerly interested in it will find other more productive and helpful things to do with their life.”
I don’t believe psychiatry will wither away. I think there will always be psychiatrists, because there will always be a certain demand for psych-drugs.
But, psych-drug prescribing could be greatly curtailed, in time — somewhat like cigarette smoking has been curtailed here in the U.S.. (I believe some of the legal and social mechanisms that led to reduced smoking could be applied to psych-drugs.)
In any event, let’s keep fighting a good fight, that can improve psych-rights laws.
And, never lose hope, that justice will eventually prevail…
P.S. — Philip Hickey, thanks for another great blog post!
Btw, ECT related pieces:
You have contributed very thoughtfully and sincerely and I can see why, at this point, you need a break and are at a “loss for words”.
I am at the point where I have little I wish to say, except:
Dr. Healy, you have been asked numerous times on a number of blog posts to address the issues surrounding ECT. You have said and written NOTHING.
What will it take? An online petition? Please come out of hiding and explain why electrical lobotomies/ multiple head injuries should be imposed on the sick and vulnerable. Please explain WHY you are ignoring survivor testimonies and the latest literature reviews and scientific research..
You have done amazing work regarding the dangers of psychiatric drugs and exposed the lies and misrepresentations of drug companies, revealing the ways in which data is skewed and negative outcomes are spun to have a positive take. Time to address the other brain damage and injury being done; the one that comes with trauma and loss of one’s very self.
How long would it take to explain WHY all that research is skewed or flawed and WHY the survivors are lying/misrepresenting their injuries?
Is this too much to ask?
The elephant is there. You cannot pretend you do not see it.
Really, is this too much to ask?
I’d join that petition too… Seems like Dr. Healy has a blind spot for ECT and I really can’t explain why so I’d gladly hear it from him.
I described my ECT experience earlier in this series of posts. I carried Peter Breggin’s book “Your Drug May be Your Problem” to many psychiatrists and from my medical records I see that I had even told them about David Healy’s drug study with 20 healthy volunteers. Healy had to cut the study short as many became very sick, even suicidal. I was dismissed by every psychiatrist. That was 10 years ago. Had any of my doctors been aware of Healy’s work the outcome for me would have been quite different. I was the ‘healthy volunteer’ for ECT. I promote his website http://www.RxISK.org every day. I want RxISK to become a household word. There are too many victims of bad psychiatric prescribing. There will be a time when Healy and I will have “the ECT discussion.” He knows who I am. If you intend to burn his books, burn only the ‘Shock’ book. I couldn’t read it.
Many people are “healthy volunteers” who do not know what can happen to them even by ingesting a “simple” single drug, be it benzo or antidepressant. It seems that continues today. The GP’s and psychiatrists continue to prescribe and polydrug to the point of iatrogenic insanity.
You say that was “ten years” ago and that if your doctors had been aware of Healy’s work, the outcome would have been different. They dismissed Breggin’s book and your story of Healy’s study. Do you think handing them Healy’s book would have mattered?? People are still being driven iatrogenically insane.
The problem here is that yes, you were neurotoxin poisoned to insanity, BUT, with careful tapering, healing interventions, and time, you had a CHANCE of a long but reasonable recovery. However, since Healy approved shock was waiting for you, you were seriously, permanently injured. Were the drugs the reason for the seizures and 20 years of memory loss ?
So, YES, the drugs wreaked havoc and CREATED the monster problem, but the fallout would have been far less without ECT waiting in the wings….
I do not want to silence Healy on psych drugs or burn his
I simply don’t get why he can be so eloquent about psych drugs yet have a blind spot for ECT. It’s been shown to be just as ineffective and harmful as drugs if not more…
If someone forced me to have ECT which took even a day out of my memory I’d kill that person. I had a few days taken away from my life with benzos but that was anterograde amnesia (not that is much better but still I was mightily traumatised by it). Forced drugging and restraints are like rape. That is even worse than rape.
(or burn his) books. I want him to be aware that brain damaging hundreds of thousands of people including teenagers, through ECT is evil and unacceptable and JUST as bad as psych drug poisoning.
As I have said before, he is a RENOWNED RESEARCHER, he KNOWS the TRUTH. A monkey could figure this out. I hold out no hope for seriously deluded or willfully blind individuals like FInk or Shorter, who seem to have have nothing of value to offer anyone on the planet, but people should expect more from someone held in such high esteem as Healy. I do not understand why he isn’t embarrassed and ashamed of his stance given what he knows…. How does he manage to keep ignoring a human rights abuse/violation/ assault? Not even just ignoring, but promoting it???
You CAN run and you CAN hide and I guess no one in high places will say too much about that except Peter Breggin. And, many of Breggin’s books stated the same things about the drugs, 25 years ago. And, he was bright enough to advocate for the abolition of the other brain disabling treatment, shock.
I prefer to read his books and look at the information on his ECT resources website. It should become a “household website”….
Further – Linda Andre (Doctors of Deception ) once said to me she didn’t know if it was worse not to be able to have a life because of ECT or to have had a life and not remember any of it because of ECT.
I just read David Healy’s Aug 2008 defence of ECT article ‘ Shock and Panic’ in Project Syndicate.
WRONG!. I made part of my living with my cameras. Post ECT I couldn’t figure out how they worked. Eventually I sold them – perspective control lens and all. I now have a point and shoot and rarely take photos. The boxes of photos I do have, tell me exactly what I did for the 20 years that are totally missing from my life. Painful. Taking a benzodiazepine for a very short period in my life did not cause the memory loss nor the loss of my ability to use my cameras. ECT did.
But they can (benzos) – there are people at MIA who have experienced losing years of life to these drugs. There is a difference in how it works – benzos cause anterograde amnesia and prevent new memories from forming (so you don’t remember anything what happened during the time you are on the drug) while ECT destroys memories which are already there (retrograde amnesia) and also can cause deficits in forming new memories (due to general cognitive problems).
I will not argue which on of those is worse, I’ll only advice anyone against either. Memory loss is irreversible for most part and the most traumatising horrific thing to experience ever, at least to me. I’d rather have bad things happen to me and suffer trauma from those than not to know what happened.
Abram Hoffer MD used to say that people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own truth.
Commenting on ECT is extremely painful for me. Post ECT I couldn’t even recognize some of my godchildren. I knew them as children but didn’t know who they were 20 years later. Those years are missing for me. I didn’t see them grow up.
I went to visit my oldest closest friend. I commented on the new addition to her house. She told me it had been there for 17 years and for most of those 17 years I had visited her for Thanksgiving very year. Benzodiazepines didn’t do that – ECT did.
Your story is heartbreaking. No one should be allowed to do this to another human being.
When will your book come out?
Has anything helped you deal with the trauma and disability visited upon you by the lunatics who injured you in the name of “treatment”? These “doctors” should have been prosecuted and sent to prison. A just sentence would have been for them to be forced to take the 35? Drugs they poisoned you with and given the same number of shocks.
You said Healy knows who you are and you will have the discussion with him about ECT. I would guess he would mutter about how it was done may have been wrong or the time frame extreme or the “monitoring” not in place… Instead of catching on that brain injury as treatment is ludicrous and should be banned.
Agreed, no one should be allowed to do this to another human being.
Yes, the doctors should have been prosecuted and sent to prison – that is if they were still alive after being forced to take 35 drugs and 25 ECTs. I would really like them to know what it all feels like. A psychiatrist who heard my story apparently had asked if I were still alive.
Did I get help with trauma or disability or spontaneous seizures? NO! Seven doctors refused to see me. Each one had a different excuse. The oath the doctors took was not the Hippocratic Oath – it was the Oath of Silence. Do no harm to your cronies, no matter how much harm they do to their patients. Make sure no one learns about mistakes. Make sure no one will ever learn from mistakes. That’s why patients have to share their stories.
My book is slowly assembling itself. It’s a book about consciousness – not an anti-psychiatry book. The chapter about psychiatry will be very ugly.
People who can ‘see’ the human energy field can ‘see’ the damage done by drugs and by ECT.
Three intuitives who met me for the first time commented:
1. “What the hell happened to you! You were a totally healthy person and doctors have turned you into a piece of shit. There are nine ‘holes’ in your energy field – all caused by drugs. Your doctors should be jailed. You are so very disintegrated and broken.”
2. “You have a beautiful energy field – but you look as if you have been shocked.”
3. “This is tragic. You are more normal than the people shocking you – and smarter, too. You are very strong – you will recover.”
The first of the intuitives worked out a tapering schedule for me.
I’m still very traumatized.
The “oath of Silence” that you refer to is taken not only by psychiatrists, unfortunately. All doctors keep quiet when they find out that one of their “brotherhood” has made a terrible mistake. They cover and make excuses and make sure that the facts do not get out into the public realm.
This oath is also taken by nurses and everyone else in the medical system. This is especially true if the “patient” dies from the ineptitude or stupidity or recklessness of the doctor doing the treatment. This happens in hospital quite a bit and everyone becomes as silent as can be, even though they know the awful truth.
In one of the hospitals where I worked there was an orthopedic surgeon who always had the highest rates for infection and botched surgeries. He implanted prosthetic knees and hips that had to be permanently removed, disabling the patients since you can’t even sit up on your own without your hips. He was referred to as “________ the Butcher!” by doctors and nurses alike but did anyone blow the whistle on this inept surgeon who caused great harm to the people he worked on? Everyone whispered about him on the orthopedic units but not one person ever blew the whistle. Not even I did so. Everyone keeps quiet when it comes to this.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Final note – when the diagnosis of dementia came and then the news that I would be going to an institution and would require drugs and maintenance ECT for the rest of my life – I gave away many of my most cherished possessions – I would have no need for them. Sometimes I see them on photographs and wonder where they went – I don’t remember.
Psychiatry is truly disgusting. ECT-free for 10+ years, drug-free for a little less. Withdrawal was hell. Writing will be the best revenge.
do they give ECT for dementia? I ask because I have a good friend who has dementia and I would hate to think she is walking into a trap with her doctor.
You mean give ECT to get more dementia I guess. The stupidity of some people is horrifying.