Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were “damage,” “barbaric” and “torture.” We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order.

On April 1, 2016, I spoke with the person in charge of the FDA’s proposed rule, Michael Ryan. He explained to me that even though it was arbitrary, they had to close the period for comments at some point, and that the FDA would not be reopening the shock dockets. Nor did he envision them holding hearings, he said, because they held hearings in 2011. After explaining to Mr. Ryan my inability to input all of the comments we received through the petition, and how documents from my own comments were not successfully uploaded, he agreed to accept these documents in print form. So this week, I will be printing and sending all the petition signatures and comments to Mr. Ryan via registered mail, return receipt requested.

This means that there is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment. I find the FDA not reopening the shock dockets or holding accessible public hearings on the shock device unacceptable, and I hope you will agree with me that we must take further actions. Do not let arbitrary dates dictate the down-classification of the shock device! This is literally the last chance to ask your networks, friends, and loved ones to have your voice counted in this round of our fight with the FDA to not down-classify the shock device for any reason, and to have them hold hearings on the shock device.

Here are some poignant comments from shock survivors (and their friends and family) to the FDA:

“I received ECT in 2015 from a highly respected psychiatric facility. ECT was not only ineffective at sustainably improving my mental health, but it did significantly damage my memory and brain function.”

*****

“My grandfather, a NASA engineer, was reduced to a vegetative state through “treatment” with ECT. A dear friend of mine survived several rounds of ECT in her younger days and describes it as a horrifying and excruciating experience. This device deserves to be banned from use, not down classified!!”

*****

“We thought we were helping our daughter. It only has made things worse. It has really affected her cognition and working memory. I wish she had never received ECT.”

*****

“Electroshock treatment has ruined my life. I had 30 rounds of ect for severe depression at 21 years old. Now 27 years old, I’m scared about my future as its been over 5 years and I’m still left with severe disabilities from it. It wiped out the majority of my autobiographical memories, and caused severe short term memory problems, apathy, eye movement disorder, spontaneous seizures, headaches, nightmares, ptsd. Not only did ect make my life worse and wipe out much of who I am, I’m unsure of the future. Had neuro testing 6 months after ect and my iq dropped 50 points, was a former honor student in high school. I measured at 78 which is almost borderline retardation. Have seen 2 neurologist now too. This is a very dangerous treatment and in talking to hundreds of people now, I’m convinced ect causes permanent disability and people can no longer go back to their former jobs. Downclassing shock let alone keeping this as a practice, is a crime against humanity.”

*****

“I am a shock survivor and sustained permanent brain injury from this untested procedure and device, secondary to the failure of the FDA to protect me as a person protected by the ADA. It is frank discrimination and negligence on their part.”

*****

“My dad had ECT when I was a kid and since “treatment” he will look at me and call me by my sister’s name it’s like my name doesn’t exist in his memory unless someone reminds him of it. I also witnessed my dad go from being grouchy and withdrawn to become angry full of rage and would have frequent outbursts of rage usually directed at me even if I hadn’t done anything more than walk into the room. ECT magnified the worst characteristics of my dad and pretty much destroyed the family… my parents divorced a few years after the ECT because of how bad things got with my dad. It wasn’t safe to live with him any more and even though he was grouchy and withdrawn before “treatment” I would have preferred to live with grouchy and withdrawn as opposed to violent and raging.”

*****

“I’m signing because I am a survivor of shock therapy. I wasn’t told all the possible risks. Because my depression seemed untreatable with drug therapy, the doctor suggested ECT’s. This ‘therapy’ needs to be stopped.”

*****

“I’m signing because I was subjected to extensive shock treatment from 1996-2005 as a result of misdiagnosis. The doctors who prescribed it were largely earnest and well-intended, but the consequences were destructive. I strongly oppose the proposed reclassification.”

*****

“I was labeled treatment resistant and underwent monthly ECT. I have memory problems and suffered an aneurysm, I was lucky to survive.”

*****

“I was coerced into “consenting” to this barbaric experience, and have been irrevocably harmed by induced grand mal seizures, without the benefit of accurate risk and effect information.”

*****

“I do not believe in the use of electroshock. It ruined my own mother’s neurological function leading to the loss of a parent for myself. I am heartbroken that anyone or anything would think this is a humane treatment. It brings me to tears. My parent is alive but she is dead inside. Her brain is completely inert.”

*****

“I am an iatrogenic survivor. I went from happily living a normal middle aged working spouse/mother life with a basic hypothyroid condition, to a full blown psychiatric iatrogenic survivor, now permanently labeled as mentally ill, while facing daily neurological post side effects of such treatments. This unnecessary and totally avoidable but what appears to be a current common rabbit hole, is experienced by thousands out there. It took away four years of my life that I will never regain, while nearly costing it! I went from being a successful environmental designer and architect professional managing my own design business, to a stigmatized disabled person facing daily debilitating post iatrogenic treatments’ side effects that now impair me from practicing my profession and living my life fully. ECT almost killed me. I crawled two years after and still face daily symptoms. Brains injury is not a treatment. This can never be classified as wearing glasses! This needs to be eradicated! It is inhumane and not Medicine! Shame on all of those who conduct and support this!”

*****

“I’m signing because a close friend received ECT, after being told that the side effects of memory loss were overblown in the literature or unlikely to happen. She now has very poor memory.”

*****

“31 continuous ECT’s spanning 4 months has ruined me forever. I can no longer take care of myself & finding a reason to push forward is uprooted by simply looking in the mirror, and no longer knowing the “soulless” fragment of a man I no longer know. Sounds dramatic I’m assuming, but I am far from!”

*****

“I had ECT several years ago and have had noticeable cognitive problems since and ECT does not reduce suicide risk.”

*****

“ECT treatments caused a huge change in my life. I was working 40 hours a week while having treatments and as a result of the treatments had to stop working and go on disability. How on earth was that helpful to me? Frankly, it wasn’t. The brain is unexplored territory, please do not do more harm by re-classifying this. Unless it is outlawed.”

*****

“ECT was given me without my family’s consent when I became 18, at a time when I lacked capacity to know what I was signing for.”

*****

“I went into it with what I thought was informed consent. It was supposed to be a last resort action to save me from being severely treatment resistant. It impaired me beyond belief for years to come. It only works because it causes brain damage. I was told it would simply make my brain reset itself and in a short time I would be fine… It is just a lobotomy really. Its goal is to cause damage and make you forget. The risks are just too bad. The medical community completely minimized them. I could have done without that. I had very impaired memory, emotional reasoning and cognition for many years afterward… Like 14 years now. It has taken me years to recover. And I do not know if I will ever fully recover. Dr’s must not be allowed to do any harm. Than they have already done! For any reason… It’s just not worth it. The campaign for it in the medical community is completely flawed. This is a barbaric practice that needs to be permanently banned.”

*****

“Shock treatment killed my sister.”

*****

“I am an ECT survivor. I was misled by my doctor at a vulnerable time.”

*****

“My brother in law suicided following the shock treatment he received. I cannot see that it does any good to anyone. Quite the reverse. I am so surprised it is still used at all, let alone anyone considering extending its use.”

*****

“I have suffered significant damage from weekly ECT treatments for 6 months! The Dr that performed this did not follow the protocol that was given by a University hospital ect specialist. I am a shell. My long term and short term memory has been greatly impaired and I have great difficulty comprehending many things. The thought of the FDA even considering down-classifying shock treatment is horrifying!!!”

*****

“Shock took my life from me.”

*****

“I was given electro shock and I signed when I was in a coma like state. It is unjust and dangerous!”

*****

“My grandmother died after receiving ECT, which was given to her simply because she was grieving over husband’s death. I’ve spoken to many hundreds of survivors of electroshock who say it’s torture, not “safe and effective” treatment. FDA is not putting consumers before the financial interests of the ECT device manufacturers and American Psychiatric Association. And “treatment resistant” blames the “patient,” not the treatment that has failed them.”

*****

“Am a victim of over 60 ECT’s during a period of 3 years… missing 4 years of my life, I don’t appreciate that. I hate walking into people who are strangers but the approach me like we’re BFF’s & looking at BFF’s & not remembering who they are… I’d like to keep the rest of my brain… thank you!”

*****

“I had forced ECT and it destroyed my life and the life of my family.”

*****

“My mother endured this barbaric “treatment” which, along with scores of different diagnoses and medications, never created wellness. Force never does. I am devastated to see other people “sold” ECT today by doctors who vastly downplay any side effects at all. These doctors should be held criminally liable for their unethical practice of denying risk. The FDA should be held equally liable if they choose to declassify ECT to Level II. Stop the Shock!”

*****

“I’ve been through ECT and have lasting effects that doctors deny are related to this procedure.”

*****

“I see the devastation caused to a loved one. Every day is a struggle for him to maintain amidst seemingly the simplest of things, which are to him, chaotic and unfamiliar, because he is constantly having to re-learn things that cannot be committed to memory. Everyone needs to listen to survivors’ stories; this needs to become real and fleshed-out. The medical industry has tried to soften the image of their barbarism by employing a euphemism–ECT, that will in most cases be bypassed easily by readers, if not totally overlooked. It is SHOCK TREATMENT! It does not matter that the industry lies and says it is not harmful! Ask yourself: Do you ever willingly seek to subject yourself to electrical voltage? It’s that simple, and there’s your answer!”

*****

“My husband lost so much of his life after receiving ECT when he was too sick to make an informed decision regarding consent. He went from an uber intelligent man to one who was just never the same.”

*****

“I was an ECT treatment recipient and there’s no way I would down-classify this procedure because I’ve had lasting cognitive deficits as a result.”

*****

“A person I know was given multiple shock treatments and I have painfully watched her cognitive recall decline dramatically over the last few years. She is a person who has made great contributions to supporting the mental health systems change in our area. This is heartbreaking.”

*****

“As a survivor of shock therapy, I can say it destroyed my subtle sensory ability to feel nuances of feelings that make life the experience it is meant to be. ECT should be outlawed in favor of gentler approaches to treating the so-called mental illnesses; these approaches would fall into the domain of alternative and holistic modalities and caring, understanding psychotherapy.”

*****

“My sister, mute and retarded, was given electroshock at the age of 13. The reason? Her sexuality clashed with a staunch catholic home.”

*****

“This so called treatment is horrendous. I submitted to it when I was a teenager and the consequences have been a lifetime of activism to fight back this dangerous procedure. I have a few friends that committed suicide after receiving that violent procedure. It is done to the most vulnerable like seniors in large numbers in most of the Western countries. This disgrace has to go.”

*****

“A close friend of mine of more than 30 years no longer recognized me after ECT.”

*****

“ECT is extremely barbaric and damaging. I know, as I was given many shocks without my consent. It should be banned entirely and it is shocking to me that ECT is still allowed.”

*****

“Electroshock has caused significant memory/cognitive impairments. I am now on SSDI due to brain damage. My quality of life has been greatly diminished due to this inhumane ‘treatment.'”

*****

“My spouse has been subjected to the torture of ECT and struggles to live with the damage done manifesting in severe memory loss and diminished cognitive abilities.”

*****

“I was developing a friendship with another inpatient in a medium term hospital setting that was beneficial to the both of us. As his ECT regimine progressed he lost all knowledge of the start we had made. ECT destroys social bonds. It harms more people that just the victim of the Intracranial burn scar.”

*****

“Electric shocks have a huge impact on people’s brain functioning and memory, and can sometimes end in death, my mother lost alit if memory and appeared like a zombie after her shocks, unable to motivate herself or remember things…..and it doesn’t take long before the depression comes back full force.”

*****

“I received ect 3 times a week for 4-5 weeks in 1995. I have no memory at all of it or of the previous 10 years of my life. I did not gain relief of my depression as a result of the ect.”

*****

“I have received ECT and personally know the damage they can do and they are definitely NOT low risk!”

*****

“ECT is, by its very nature, contra- indicated for ANY diagnosis for which it is currently perscribed. It causes brain damage. Currently considered a last resort, for that very reason, practical and far less expensive alternatives are never considered (i.e. peer respites, peer support, non-medical holistic whole body approaches, to name a few.) As a survivor of ECT, I suffer from significant memory loss, while my doctor declared my 30+ ECT treatments unhelpful.”

*****

“My sister received shock treatment. SHe has suffered irreparable brain damage to her short term memory and she will never be able to live unassisted. It breaks my heart to see her struggle with the after erffects of this “treatment” that was recommended by providers she trusted to help her. The results of this were devastating. Please stop this!”

*****

“Because my friends were severely badly affected after this treatment. Many have since passed away.”

*****

“I have had ECT shock treatments in the past, they erased my entire memory of events for months, were painful & horrible to experience & worst of all, they did NOTHING to alleviate my depression.”

*****

“ECT destroyed my family and my life, taking with it many years of memories as well as my ability to create new memories.”

*****

“I suffered permanent memory loss from ECT.”

*****

“ECT has been shown to cause brain damage. It should NEVER be used for ANY reason, but particularly in people who are already vulnerable due to mental illness. It has been used intentionally abusively to torture people who are designated by psychiatric “professionals” as noncompliant. I was a victim of this. These abuses will very likely increase if these devices are down classified.”

*****

“As a ‘treatment’ I have seen it overused on a close family member. The ‘results’ are horrific.”

*****

“In 1999, a family member who was 76 years old committed suicide 3 days after ECT treatment and while on 5 different psych meds. At the last ECT treatment given, the nurse told me there was no reason to continue the ECT treatments because they were not working and were causing more harm than good.. She did not understand why the psychiatrist insisted on continuing ECT treatments and said they were nothing but torture. I agreed with her and said the psychiatrist convinced my family the ECT treatments would eventually work.”

*****

“I have suffered severe reversible brain damage. 11 years on I cannot work.”

*****

“My mother was given these some 45 yrs ago for alcoholism and it didn’t work and it caused her to have seizures. She took her own life at the age of 39. I lost my mother on my 15th birthday.”

*****

“Shock treatment destroyed my grandma.”

*****

“I have a very good friend that went through over 80 ECTs. She has PTSD and memory loss from these treatments. She has lost some of her most precious memories including the birth of her only daughter. Electroshock is a barbariac practice that needs to stop!”

*****

“I know electroshock survivors, and I’ve been on a psych ward while it was being practiced on my friends. While you may be aware of the hazards (heart attacks, brain bleeds, memory loss), what you probably don’t know about is what happens to them as people who you interact with. They have a stare in their eyes, where their eyes don’t move like a normal person’s. It seems to look through you. They may have a smile on their face, but it is a goofy smile, empty of real expression and emotion or comprehension of what you are talking to them about. Years later, you can still see these effects. They have been hollowed out somehow as people, the connections in their brains fried with electricity so that they are no longer complete persons. It is a sad thing to see, and to witness happening. Shock is not effective in relieving depression or anything else beyond the first few weeks after it happens, when the brain, having suffered an injury, is trying to repair itself and so it seems that the activity of the mind has changed. In fact, it has only been damaged, and the electroshock survivors whom I personally know are all angry and confused about what was done to them, but they have been too brain damaged and intimidated to try to fight back any more. Electroshock is not “treatment.” It is a form of brain damage and torture, and I hope that you will prevent anyone from allowing it, because once you do, it will become “required” and that many more people will suffer. This is how the system works. When doctors can’t help, they use whatever extreme methods might be available — regardless of the harm that is done. Please do not allow electroshock to become a first-line treatment. It would be devastating to the public, and to many people who do not deserve this — especially when you consider the absolute dearth of genuine informed consent in this country. Please make a principled stand against it.”

*****

“I’ve seen the devastation that shock can cause. Nothing that causes epileptic seizures and erases your memory can be helpful. And don’t give me that claptrap about how it’s been made safer by use of anesthesia! That only adds another level of harm to it while appearing to sanitize it.”

*****

“I’ve received etc and consider it barbaric!”

*****

“I believe this is inhumane and barbaric treatment. I know several people who were never the same after this treatment. Recovery is possible and even to be expected foe those who have experienced mental health challenges, unfortunately shock treatment reduces the likelihood that an individual can recover while it permanently alters their personality.”

*****

“As survivor of this barbaric procedure, I cannot say I “support” this petition, no, I urge anyone who cares about their fellow human beings to sign. ECT has no relevance to treatment-resistance, since this term has no real meaning, but rather, it is given when the patient is a nuisance to the institution. There is NEVER a need for rapid response, never a need to “zap” a person’s brain and expect the person to presto chango be undepressed. Please do not believe such nonsense. This device can destroy brain cells, and other parts of the cerebral area. For what? It is genocide.”

*****

“My friend had a horrific experience with ECT and committed suicide six months later.”

*****

“I am an ECT survivor. I believe the device caused irreversible brain damage. I have lost memories. I have difficulty doing things that used to be second hand to me. I feel I was used as guaranteed money for the hospital.”

*****

“My aunt nearly died having this device used on her.”

*****

“My father received a series of shock treatments. He subsequently committed suicide.”

*****

“My mother was given ECT for a major depressive episode – brought about by my father divorcing her. To this day, she has permanent memory loss – specifically about times/events/things related to my sisters and me during our earlier childhoods. And while ECT techniques have allegedly been ‘improved’, giving a shock to anyone’s brain is a very intrusive practice, inherent with unintended side effects and potentially causing permanent damage.”

*****

“I found that my daughter was threatened with a long term stay if she did not submit to the demand. She did submit and paid a vicious price for that act, compliance.”

*****

“My sister suffered and is permanently impaired from this treatment!!!”

*****

“Among the people I know who have undergone ECT is my mother. It has not helped any of them, especially not her. It is a barbaric treatment which should be banned.”

*****

“I’ve had LOTS of ECT (ElectroConvulsive Therapy ((Shock Treatments)) over 48 years. Since ECT causes BRAIN DAMAGE, my memory is deficient about the period when I had the ECTs, It also removes periods of memory (up to 10 years at a time) and the MDs and the RNs tell you the memories will come back after awhile, BUT THEY DON’T. I do not remember much about the 1980s or 1990s. I do not remember the geographic layout of Seattle my home town. I don’t remember where Rainier Ave South is for example. Please sign this petition to the FDA to stop ECT. It is a brutal and unnecessary treatment, because patients will feel better eventually without any ECT. Peer exercise, diet, counseling, psychotherapy and medication will do the trick. (It is noteworthy that ECT is seldom administered to young men. It is administered primarily to older women. Shows us a little about whose brains are valued in our culture.)”

*****

“I’ve had numerous ECT treatments because I was deemed “treatment resistant” and now have to live with severe memory loss and cognitive impairment.”

*****

“I am signing this petition because I am still recovering from shock treatment that was done to me over forty years ago.”

*****

“I’m signing because I know the horror of this disabling procedure.”

*****

“Three people we have known have been traumatized and damaged by this procedure, a woman who can no longer read because she can’t remember the previous page, a father who can no longer think, remember or function enough to work and a 17 yr old who blames his parents for not protecting him when he was shocked with his parents consent.”

*****

“I’m an electroshock survivour and have experienced the harm caused by it, as well as the lies to cover it up.”

*****

“I absolutely disagree that ECT is safe in any way. I have known several people who have had ECT and desperately regret it. They have become devoid of any real feeling and they know that they are now unable to live any kind of a normal life. They have told me they just feel robotic toward life.”

*****

“15 High Voltage Electro Shock “Treatments” were forced on me as a teenager. They were acts of the utmost barbaric terror against my being then. Just the thought of it is terrorizing me still today.”

*****

“Everyone should have all information regarding their treatment before administration of such a treatment, although I felt that I benefited by it I believe that everyone has the right to refuse it.”

*****

“Because I have seen the effects that this machine has on people and it’s destructive and deadly. The people who are personal friends are really messed up and aware that it’s the electroshock treatment that caused them harm and depression.”

*****

“I have come to personally know individuals who have been harmed by this procedure for life (permanently)! And, under “Without capacity” laws can be administered in the US against a person’s will/wishes. ECT has proven dangers, honor them instead on minimizing them.”

*****

“I am an ECT Survivor (23 Shocks) and would never wish it upon vulnerable people because I’ve never been the same nor did ECT work! There are some who say it does, but do they really remember for sure? Family and friends noticed the difference reminding me NEVER to agree to be shocked again.”

*****

“My mother was a victim of ECT and was never the same again. It destroyed her life physically and mentally.”

*****

“I am a survivor of shock treatment. I was in a behavioral center for 4 weeks and received treatment 3 x week. It did break my depression, but the brain fog and long term memory loss wasn’t worth it.”

*****

“I’m signing because my husband, family and I was lied to; told the memory loss was temporary. Some 60 shocks, some 16 years beyond the last shock, husband passed away, the memories still haven’t returned, mega loss of better than 25 years. That’s why I’ve signed this petition!”

*****

“Patients, myself included are not given full disclosure upon obtaining consent. Permanent memory loss and permanently damage to cognitive functioning are real side effects which are life altering in a bad way. I have a right to know these things, especially since this treatment is dangerous and permanent brain damage is the result for all who undergo it.”

*****

“My Mother was given etc in her early thirties.It cannot be selective in what it wipes from memory and I’m sure it has contributed towards her very sad state now. It’s cruel.”

*****

“Because my niece went through ECT and it caused her permanent brain damage. This treatment should not be down-classified; it is dangerous.”

*****

“The shrinks electroshocked my dad for sexually abusing me. This did not cure him, but in fact made him less able to control his behavior because of the brain damage from the electric current through his brain.”

*****

“I had a family member receive this treatment, and it almost killed them and severely lowered their quality of life. It should be banned not lowered in class.”

*****

“I know firsthand that shock treatment is. NOT the answer for people who are depressed. Psychotherapy, DBT, exercise, meditation etc are much better,without memory loss or brain damage. Do not change the classification of the ECT machine.”

*****

“Over a continuous period of 3 and a half months in 1976-77, I was reduced to a virtual vegetable (unable to think, converse or do anything but the simplest tasks) by being subjected to “intensive treatment”, i.e. very-frequent ECT in combination with unusually high doses of drugs – which included neuroleptics, anti-depressants and barbiturates. All without my consent and most of it without my knowledge. There was no “emergency” or “treatment-resistant depression”. They just did it to me because they could. Despite my best efforts and happy marriage, I still struggle with short-term memory problems and permanent cognitive dysfunction. All traceable to those 3 and a half months “intensive treatment”.”

*****

“I’m signing because a family member received shock “therapy” and 20 years later is still experiencing the side effects. Horrible!”

*****

“I had shock therapy for 2 and a half years. As the years go by I now have a form of amnesia due to the shock therapy, please make them STOP!”

*****

“I am AGAINST reclassifying shock. They had five years since the 2011 ruling to prove it was safe and effective, and they didn’t bother. Or they couldn’t produce the data. Either way, it IS NOT safe and effective. Shock causes brain injury. I know. It happened to me.

When I was in grad school I had an existential crisis related to my career choice, a bad marriage, drug use, and a spiritual emergency. Of course this earned me a mental health label because that’s the way it works, right? No one ever talked to me about those four root causes, just the “symptoms.” So I got on all kind of psych drugs that made it hard to work and then I started losing jobs and failing out of grad school. I felt hopeless and useless. I made a few suicide attempts and then ended up in the shock jock hospital in town.

I had good insurance so they offered me shock treatment. I googled it and found some NAMI blog about “safe and effective,” and I didn’t research further because I trusted the medical industry in those days. They said, “You’ve tried everything else, right?”

So the hospital starting giving me these treatments and I lost the ability to speak. I had memory problems, trouble sleeping. problems with confusion, fatigue, and anger issues. All symptoms of a brain injury. I had an IQ test in this time frame and my IQ had gone from 142 to 99.

Years later I met a mental health tech who used to work at that hospital. She said, ‘They shocked everyone there. Anyone at all who had good insurance. I don’t think it helped anyone at all. But it sure made a lot of money for the doctor.'”

*****

“I am signing this petition because I have seen firsthand what these kinds of treatments do to people (one of my own family members) and the results are horrific. This is not a treatment, it is legalized torture.”

*****

“I am a survivor of “ECT’s”. The FDA can not truly believe this type of treatment to humans or animals is ok? This is barbaric and torture. I just turned 43. I had over 70 of these horrible “treatments” within a two year span. The last one in 2008. Thank God for the support of other survivors. Prayers to the families who lost loved ones from this. Prayers to the victims who are unable to sign this petition because they lost themselves due to ECT’s. I suffer mentally, physically and emotionally from the damages caused by ECT’s. FDA PLEASE DO NOT DOWN GRADE THE SHOCK DEVICE TO A CLASS II FROM CLASS III.”

*****

#FDAOpenShockDocketsBackUp


#FDAHoldShockDeviceHearings


#FDAStopTheShockDevice

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22 COMMENTS

    • Psychiatry – an absolute evil. Psychiatrists commit crimes so obvious, so unacceptable, amazing how such a society accept?! How the human soul accept this? It can not be. Nobody consciously, voluntarily accept this can not be!
      Mankind is forced to take. Coerces totally! Psychiatrists have incredible power. Above them, only the devil. Above them there is no justice. Therefore is not possible solidarity victims. And even many of the protesters suddenly, quite illogical stop responding and become silent.

  1. So much heart, time, energy, and hard work you have poured into this effort, Lauren. Much thanks.
    For someone who has herself not been injured by shock, but has the sensitivity, insight, and compassion to fight on behalf of those who are usually too damaged to do so is inspiring. It shows such decency and humanity. You are my hero.

    So sad to think of the number of new victims of shock since 2011 when the FDA, listening to similar compelling testimonies of devastating injuries and harms, did not have the intelligence, balls, common sense, compassion, or ethics to completely BAN this torture device and relegate it to the scrap heap where its sleazy, greedy, ignorant, violent, undereducated, and immoral “promoters”, “administrators”, and “practitioners” also belong, stripped of “medical” licenses.

    At a time the FDA is looking into downgrading the classification for this device, I am sickened by the publication of yet another Huff post piece promoting this “procedure”, brain injury as ‘treatment.’, by a person calling many of those who posted negative comments about ECT “haters”, “loonies”, “Peter Breggin groupies”, later calling some “pathetic”, “in need of help”, encouraged by others who fawned over her story and disparaged those “weirdos and crazies”.

    It is pretty clear who is pathetic and in need of help, someone with NOTHING to say about the numerous studies, articles, and research pointing to the useless and brain damaging nature of shock.
    These NUMB and insensitive
    people seem to be oblivious to the fact that those who speak out have a noble cause and a humanistic agenda- to protect people from being brain injured, disabled, and driven to suicide bc of their losses, trauma, and despair.

    Ignorance at its finest. Let’s just mindlessly drink the koolaid and shriek OMG! And LOL! At those crazy “anti-ECTers”!! What is this? High school giddiness and shallowness at its best?? Oblivious to the science, oblivious to the victims. Just unbelievable. Someone “survived”, that 1 or 2 out of 10. Let’s ignore the other 6 or 7 completely destroyed. Brilliant.

    I hope copies of the testimonials can be sent to Dr. David Healy and Dr. Sarah Lisanby and NIHM.

    I can just hear the “oh, yes, well, must be the benzos, the anesthetics, the anti-psychotics, the “disease” state, the coffee they have been drinking, the phases of the moon…, “somataform disorder”, aliens, conspiracy theorists….”, basically anything but the electrical lobotomies decimating people being assaulted by ECT creating traumatic acquired brain injuries.

    Is there any idea of the time frame involved in the FDA reviewing the submissions and making a ruling? It can be done minus

    • Sorry, hit send b4 finishing.

      This determination can be made without public hearings? Will the FDA have to justify or explain the reasons for their decisions? Will all the petitions and testimonials be made available to the public?

  2. Thank you Lauren. My identity as ‘amnesia’ says it all. Almost total amnesia for more than 20 years is the result of forced ECT and nothing else. In the 12 post-ECT years I have difficulty forming memories. I have notes stuck all over my walls to remind me what to do. ECT was an horrific procedure with catastrophic results. I wasn’t even depressed. I was in benzo withdrawal which no one recognize as such. My distress was taken for agitated depression and I was medicated to insanity – ‘dementia’ it says in my medical records.

  3. I agree thanks, Lauren, for fighting a noble cause. And it is deplorable that “treatment resistance,” to psychotropic drugs known to have harmed and killed millions in recent decades, prescribed for made up and scientifically invalid diagnoses, is being used as a rationale for shock treatment. One has to wonder how long it will take for the American psychiatric industry to finally realize their treatments always have been, and still are toxic, torture drugs. The APA confessed the neuroleptics were torture drugs when the Russian dissodents complained of such in the ’70’s, but the APA can’t comprehend the same is true with their “me too” antipsychotics today. When will the psychiatrists stop committing crimes against humanity?

    • What? When will the American psychiatric “industry” realize their “treatments” are torture?? One, they know; two, they don’t care; three; it pays for their lifestyle.
      Or, alternatively, they are just that stupid they cannot see the truth or comprehend the science.

      When will they stop committing “crimes against humanity”?? Simple. Never.
      And one of the biggest of those crimes is administering shock to the vulnerable and distressed and suffering, usually, as you say, after poisoning them into a state of toxic drug insanity…
      These people cannot be human. I think they should be required to take a course of 10-12 ECT as part of their training for certification to administer shock. That would put an end to shock as “treatment”.
      I just love to hear about the “expertise”of Dave and Sarah, and Howard, and Max and Ned on this topic. So nice to wax eloquent on something you have never endured.

      • Agreed. And if 10-12 aren’t enough, perhaps 25 so they would forget they ever heard of ECT.

        An MD wrote on his facebook page: “ECT causes brain damage. Bits and pieces of brain cells can be found in the CSF after “treatments”. Side effects include memory loss and numerous neurological abnormalities. It’s the creation of a concussion disguised as a treatment. It is utter unscientific rubbish that should be banned. Leave it to psychiatry to promote brain damage as a mental health benefit.”

        Unfortunately it is the standard of care.

  4. This and Murphy are both examples of psychiatric oppression which should not require ultra-sophisticated socio-political analyses for “regular” people to grasp their destructive nature. Both are issues which are ripe for coalition building as well.

    • Also:

      I find the FDA not reopening the shock dockets or holding accessible public hearings on the shock device unacceptable, and I hope you will agree with me that we must take further actions.

      I agree with you. If a credible group of people organizes a demonstration at the FDA I’ll be there.

  5. Count me in. I would love to walk right up to the shock doc who did it to me, and all those who participated in the coercion and subsequent cover-up and minimalizing and refusal to acknowledge the obvious damages, who are namely…

    The McLean Hospital Corporation, Shock doc Dr. Michael Henry and the ECT Clinic, and all those bigwigs at McLean who went along with it whom I have mentioned by name in my various documents (I fear them not as I am telling the truth, can they do the same for a change?)…

    …and tell them all they need to stop destroying lives. And apologize to those of us still living for doing the crap they did. As Ann Lamott put it, somewhat paraphrased, “Hey doc, If you don’t like what a patient writes about you, then you should have behaved, eh?”

    Dear Moderators, under the circumstances, I think naming names should be encouraged and should not be classified as “personal attacks.” Folks named Hitler, right?

  6. Yes, there should be a list of the names of those people calling themselves “doctors” who brain damage people for the sake of ignorance and money. And a list of those fine institutions like the Mayo Clinic that offers up ECT/TBI/ABI as “treatment” at a time that the evolving research about injuries and repetitive insults to the brain makes it obvious that this “practice” is stupidity and medical malpractice at its finest.

  7. In 2011 there was about 2000 comments and I read through most of them. About half were from survivors who told their stories and used some pretty good data in a lot of places. Each one of those 1000 comments were individually composed and relatively unique.

    Then there were another 1000 comments from psychiatrists. Obviously the APA had sent out a broadcast email and most of the docs just pasted in this email without even changing it much at all. They all cited just one article that said, “Safe and Effective,” and that one article was very carefully debunked by all the survivor comments.

    Tell me which weighs more? 1000 carbon copies from Pdicks I mean Pdocs? Or 1000 real life stories from people who have been there?

    I bet the comments look almost exactly the same this year.

  8. A friend I made the first time I was in the hospital, after that doctor made me sick, got that ETC

    Before the ECT she would hang out with all of us, was cool, and remind the staff and everyone else every half hour of so “I hate this F***ing hospital”

    After the ECT she just like wasn’t there and had this bugged out smile stuck on her face like in that old commercial that showed lottery winners at the time. After the ECT she didn’t hang out or talk to anyone.

    Anyway there was no “I want to try ECT” to feel better, nope, only I hate this .;..g hospital , I want to go home and not miss my friends bar mitzvah

    I survived that .;..g “doctor” hope she did.

    • I suspect her telling the staff how she hated the F***ing hospital is the reason she got ECT for her wonderful treatment. People with traumatic brain injuries often go around with that goofy smile on their faces and this is an indication that something is badly wrong. But when it comes to ECT the psychiatrists state that this is proof that the shock did the person good because they were “depressed” before and now they’re smiling! Also, people become compliant and they don’t go around telling the staff how they hate the F***ing hospital anymore. It’s a crime and someday hopefully the people mandating this for others as a “treatment” will be prosecuted and put in jail.

  9. For the record, AFTER my ECT, I “complained” that there seemed to be something “wrong” with my brain. I had not been known to be a chronic complainer. I had simply been around the System too long. I had been fully compliant and never refused anything, fully cooperative, responsible, never late and never a “no-show.” They made good money off of me, since they “kept their numbers up” at the clinics. There I was, now “complaining” that something was “wrong” with my brain.

    Which they denied, and then said I must now, at age 39, have very suddenly have developed a “severe personality disorder,” that I had had, rather undetected, never before known about, since adolescence, and surely it was my Jewish upbringing that was at fault. It wasn’t possible that I had anything wrong with my brain. I was exaggerating, they said, “Faking it.” Each time I complained, they said, “You think about yourself too much, you are self-absorbed.” They even said I’d been faking my eating disorder for attention! Umm…maybe they were missing something, eh? A bit of selective memory themselves….

    My poor parents. My dad was dying of cancer at the time. He had just gotten interested in the work of Judi Chamberlin, and was so inspired by her that he had realized that Mental Health was all about Human Rights. His work with NAMI had become Human Rights centered. His last work for NAMI was as a Human Rights worker. I think his role was called Monitor. He visited facilities and demanded to speak directly to patients, knowing that only patients would give him accurate information about the state of human rights at these places. He knew that my word as witness (I had written up a 62-page document that later became a chapter of my published memoir) had been credible regarding Metropolitan State Hospital. He was instrumental in having that place closed down in 1992. I dedicated my first published book to my dad’s memory, and my second published book to the memory of my boyfriend. Both had spoken out strongly against the ECT.

    My mom died last August. I was saddened that I was able only a week or so ago to access her death announcement. To avoid family awkwardness, my brothers had tactfully omitted naming where I am located. As if I am dead! I noted on Facebook that I am omitted from any mention when family friends sent condolences “to the two brothers,” again, omitting the absent sister as if she were dead. I think at the end of the death announcement there’s some mention of donations sent to NAMI.

    For the record, I am alive. My life matters. Even if no one wants to hear it. I am not suffering, I am laughing my butt off, because I find this drama too funny, the stupidity, the ignorance, the bigotry just too comical.

  10. My Great-Aunt was diagnosed with “schizophrenia” when she was seventeen. I believe she had a nervous break-down when she realized she had been conceived out of wedlock (back then that was a big deal.) She was given lots of ECT and hospitalized for a long time. Grandma says the shocks cured her hallucinations, but her brain may have been too fried to produce any or she may have not been able to tell people. Or she may have wised up enough to keep them to herself so as not to get more ECT.
    At least my Great-Aunt never had to take the neuroleptics that I did. She lived into her late 80’s which most “mentally ill” people don’t any more. She might have recovered if her brain hadn’t been damaged by the ECT’s.

  11. Off on a bit of a tangent, but are there any ECT victims who have found ways to help remediate their brain damage? Has anyone tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy or holistic approaches that provide even minor benefits?
    What do neuropsychs suggest? Luminosity? Brain training games? Or just get a pile of sticky notes, a chalkboard, and program your phone with reminders, alerts, and notes to self like a dementia patient might?

    I noticed one particular damaged patient asking for help, suggestions, and assistance during the NIMH
    Facebook question and answer with Sarah Lisanby. Just the sound of defeating silence and a blank space in response. No surprise there.

    And yes, there is no doubt the majority of people would “recover” or “heal” without being administered multiple traumatic electrical head injuries via shock.

  12. I’d like to reiterate thanks to Lauren Tenney for her tireless work and a big ” In Solidarity ” hug to all you who have survived and to all those who have not and to those that love us still . When I was young BP (before psychiatry) just 16 I like so many of us was brilliant in heart , mind , and spirit and filled with a tireless energy . Certainly the Thorazine , the Halidol , and the Electric Shock delivered by force took a toll from me that I am most of the time in denial about . In other words ” I could have been somebody “. The aftereffect undercurrent terror of electro-shock and psychiatry are never far from the surface . Psychiatry is so designed and certainly that must be what they are proud of whenever they say they can identify validation for their demented torture modalities as another victim becomes one of the numerous stepping stones along their long arduous path to the historical scrape heap of profitable pseudo-scientific barbarianism that was finally exposed and defeated. Maybe this type of battle must always be fought certainly for the foreseeable future .
    I started out to try to reply to “truth” about what I tried to do to mitigate the effects of my brain damage . Within a couple weeks after electro-shock treatments , arriving home at my parents house , having been released into their custody, with great difficulty I convinced my dad to verbally fill in the gaps in my memory where I knew uncomfortably , that stuff was missing concerning my previous history and yet did not know what it was. Our conversation helped . So does Vita-Mineral Green by HealthForce a green super powder supplement and Richard Schultze’s http://www.herbdoc.com herbal brain formula . Also the extreme state formula herbal extract you can make yourself by mixing equal parts of fennel, alfalfa, elderberry, nettle, anise, dandelion, uva ursi , yarrow, and comfrey . Look up on the net how to make an herbal extract . Has relaxed me , stopped voices , and helped me wean off of psychotropics. Also had amalgams containing mercury removed , root canals removed and checked for cavitations. Then amazingly normal sleep returned and never voices anymore .
    I’ll join in demonstrating to stop electro shock wherever and whenever possible for me to do so, coercive psychiatry as well . Maybe even surrounding shock box making companies .

  13. Truth, I can also answer that question. Oddly, though, throughout it all, and for many years after, I had no clue that the 18-or-so months of “severe and rather mysterious illness” I went through following shock I did not realize was at all a result of the shock. Two plus two equals four, but seriously, I didn’t!

    I’d have to write an entire article on the subject. I know there were things I did, rather inadvertently. I know 1) I got away from the McLean Corporation, which had determined that my confusion was definitely a “personality disorder” and refused to accept responsibility. That is, I physically and metaphorically and in every way I could removed myself from oppression. 2) I found temporary respite. People who saw me as something other than “a diseased thing to be profited from.” 3) Restored my dignity. Specifically, I obtained a computer. My father, before he passed away, had told me about this new thing, Windows. He told me I should teach myself to use a mouse. This, he said, was the latest technology. My idea was to learn this cool thing called email, and have email pals. I figured that I could regain some sort of social life that way, regain confidence via correspondence, just like I had when I had pen-pals decades ago, all around the world. I did, even though other folks told me I was nuts to do such a thing. “You’ve got mail” became a joy to me, just as decades ago, my daily trip to the mailbox had been the best part of the day.

    Within a month, I realized that I loved to write. How had I forgotten I was so good at it? I had kept journals, which my shrinks had said were just girlish playthings. Now, I used my brain, which still seemed intact, to write my first novel. In eight months, I was finished.

    I had left McLean October 1997. In late December I had obtained my Win95 computer. In the first week of January, on my 40th birthday, the confusion left me. I awoke that morning, realized I was 40 years old and it was just plain gone. I believe a week or so later I began my novel.

    In March 1998 I tried my first adult ed writing class. I had been told by “expert” shrinks that I was completely incapable of sitting in a room full of people due to my “severe personality disorder.” Wow, I found that this was entirely untrue! I had no trouble in the class. I made friends quickly, and enjoyed the class so much that I signed up for the next one. And the next.

    In August, I applied for Emerson College’s Adult Degree Program. This is a college in Boston near Chinatown, known for the arts, theater, and film. I was accepted, and started in September. The program allowed me to take one or two classes at a time. I had left college with so many credits, but they were all specialized music classes, so I had to re-enter as a sophomore. I finished in 2003, with a 3.95 grade-point average.

    As for shock, I believe that well before graduation, those “experts” at McLean were plenty shocked. They’ve done everything they possibly could ever since to attempt to discredit me and “prove” that what I have done couldn’t possibly be real. They even tried to claim that I was delusional that I had a master’s degree, that I had used “special accommodations,” that I had gone to “degree mills,” that I was “borderline retarded,” anything they could do to completely demolish my accomplishments so that they could continue to uphold their bogus claims.

    One of the last things my father said to me, before he died, was that I should not give up. He passed while I was still very confused following shock. No one knew if I would ever get better from shock. But he said to hang on. He said he believed in me.

    No one can predict the future. No one has these god-like abilities to know what will happen, no psychiatrist nor leader nor law nor use of religion should proclaim a person so permanently “disordered” that they are incapable nor morally unsound. No educational degree could possibly give a human being the status of a god, nor the right to determine who is worthy of life and which lives ones among us should be snuffed out.

    Oddly, after all these years, childhood friends of mine who remember me well before I ever knew there was such thing as Mental Illness are coming out of the woodwork and finding me. They remember me as on the brainy side, and somewhat of a bookworm, just like my dad.

    I believe my dad was right all along. No way do I believe “guts and determination” was what saved me. No way! How is that even possible, since I didn’t even know I had been damaged by shock? No, it was all a matter of luck. And simply trial and error.

    Try, keep trying, and when you spill milk, laugh. Use spell-check. Keep a supply of erasers, a mop, and a bucket. Each time you pick yourself up, think of the muscles you are building.