Electro-convulsive Therapy At Age Six: “I Couldn’t Remember Children Who I’d Played With”


MIA Blogger Ted Chabasinski is featured in a recently released excerpt from Richard Cohen’s “41 Days An Unfinished Documentary.” The clip explores Chabasinki’s important role in bringing a legal halt to the use of electroshock in California for a brief time in the 1980s.

Speaking in Berkeley in 1982, Chabasinski describes how, because his mother had been labeled with a mental illness, he was expected to become mentally ill, too. “So when I was six I was taken from my foster parents, taken to Bellevue Hospital, and given 20 shock treatments,” he says. “And when I went back home, I couldn’t remember parts of my neighborhood, I couldn’t remember children who I’d played with. I was told that a little boy had been my best friend; I didn’t remember him. But I do remember starting to cry when everybody told me I should remember him. That showed I was sick because I couldn’t remember him.”

“Is it any wonder a boy who measured in excess of 180 I.Q. and survived New York’s Snake Pit for ten years later showed up in California to create a political action that made headlines around the world?” comments Cohen in the clip description.

Ted Chabasinski: A Stand Up Man (Richard Cohen Films) (YouTube, March 22, 2015)


  1. I’m so sorry for what you were subjected to, Ted. You truly are a survivor, and a wonderful human. Let’s hope and pray to expose and destroy the hypocritical evil within humanity some day, and it is psychiatry, isn’t it?

    I look forward to watching the full movie some day.

    Report comment

  2. It’s amazing how you, as a mere child and teenager no less, survived that exceedingly brutal, Orwellian nightmare! It’s equally amazing how you then persevered to lead such a productive life and to help so many others!

    Sadly, I believe that most people who suffer similar brutality do not fare nearly as well. In so many cases, they are overwhelmed and their lives destroyed. Thank you for fighting to change all this!

    Report comment

  3. Dear Ted,
    I am so sorry that this happened to you. It is so overwhelming to me to think of that little child and what he went through. I truly do not know how you were able to overcome that treatment to become the person you are today. I have found the journey I am going through with my loved one also very overwhelming, so watching your story helps me strengthen my resolve to keep hopeful and persistent.

    Report comment