Shock, Lies… and a Duvet


I am battling rage. Rage against a psychiatric system that deliberately harms people and calls it treatment. I am a witness to this daily through my work life and the media, and now once again I am a witness to it at close hand. If I did not pinch myself I would not believe we were living in a so-called civilized country. I would think we were living in a fascist state where the state can take people off the streets, out of their homes, and take them to the dreaded headquarters where horrors behind locked doors occur.

Psychiatric headquarters somewhere in Denmark

A family struggles. Their son, their child is now in the psychiatric ‘headquarters,’ a place behind locked doors; being, they are told, ‘treated’ for his own good—though the rest of us, including the family, know it for what it is: torture. Their child is tied to a bed, forcibly medicated with a large cocktail of psychiatric drugs, and now the decision has been made to give him electroshock (ECT). And just like he is locked in, so is everyone else locked out, the door sealed separating loved ones in the name of psychiatric ‘help.’

“No, I am sorry, you cannot see your child,” says the psychiatrist over the phone.

“Why?” asks the mother.

“Because we have strapped your son to a bed.”

“Why?” the mother asks again.

“Because he threw his pillow and duvet at us, and says things we do not like to hear…” Pause. “Oh and this is why we have had to give him so many drugs far above the recommended dosage, but this has been absolutely necessary. Unfortunately he still defies us and does not accept our definition of him, nor does he concede his will to us and acknowledge that what we are doing for him is for his own good.”

“We have visited him before when he was strapped down to a bed, so that excuse is not true,” interrupts the mother, her voice trembling, the fear in her voice palpable. A short discussion ensues on whether what the mother is saying is true, but this is quickly ended by the next psychiatric statement: “Your child does not want to see you.”

“What do you mean he does not want to see us!? I don’t believe you,” says the mother.

“Are you calling us liars?” says the psychiatrist, the tone all too clear. “No, no of course not,” says the mother, backing down, “but he always wants to see us, so I don’t understand?” “Well, he has said loud and clear he does not want to see you,” states the psychiatrist.

The boy’s brother now enters into the discussion. “Have you asked him specifically with regards to me, his brother, if he wants to see me tomorrow when I am in town? We are very, very close and he never says he does not want to see me. So I cannot imagine he has said no to me.”

“He said that he did not want to see you either.”

“How is that possible? He does not know that I am in town tomorrow and that I was thinking of visiting, and this is the first time I am telling you, so quite clearly you are lying!”

Psychiatrist, now clearly angry at being caught lying, snaps, “He said he does not want to see any of you and I will not discuss this subject further!”

The discussion now moves on to the topic of ECT.

“My boy would never ever in a million years accept ECT,” says the mother. “Why are you forcing him to have ECT?”

“He is having a serious manic episode and we believe he is going into a delirium, something that is very dangerous as he can die from that,” says the psychiatrist, sounding concerned.

“Excuse me,” says the psychologist, who has been silent until now but listening in on the whole conversation. “Did you say you are worried that he is entering into a delirium?” “Yes,” says the psychiatrist, “so we have to do this to save him.”

“Hmmm,” says the psychologist. “First of all, it is extremely rare that people enter into a state of delirium and die from it. Delirium occurs more often than not with alcohol withdrawal, etc. Also, ECT when combined with high dosages of neuroleptics puts the patient at increased risk for brain damage and, dare I say it, he is more likely to die of the treatment than his mania. So I am curious, what signs indicate that he is entering into a delirium?”

“I already told you,” says a clearly exasperated psychiatrist. “He threw his pillow and duvet at us, and was giving us commands and orders like he thought we should obey him.”

“Uh huh… I see,” says the psychologist. “And,” continues the psychiatrist, “of great concern here is the fact that being in this mental state means he is frying his own synapses, so we are doing this to save him and his brain!”

”Really!? So if I am hearing right,” says the psychologist, sounding incredulous, “you are saying that you believe that being in a highly emotional state, be it highly distressed or madly in love, destroys brain cells?? Seriously?”

“We know what we are doing,” snaps the psychiatrist.

“Okay,” says the psychologist. “Let’s move on to the small but highly pertinent issue of the fact that he has slept 3 or 4 hours during the night and has been dozing during the day. That clearly indicates that he is nowhere near entering into a delirium, so something is wrong here, the grounds for ECT are clearly not present.”

Psychiatrist decides to ignore this discrepancy, instead changes tactic. “Well, he has said yes to wanting ECT so the decision is made. He has been informed about the whole procedure and made his own decision to have ECT and he wants it.”

“WHAT!?” says the clearly distraught mother. “You are telling me he has said yes to ECT!??He would NEVER say yes to that! He has always said to me, ‘mom, of all things please never let them use ECT on me, promise me that.’ He had to have been forced or manipulated into saying that! I want to talk to him and ask him myself so he can speak to someone he trusts. I don’t believe you! Can you please go to my son now with the phone so that I can ask him and hear for myself him saying that with my own ears?”

“I am sorry but this is a stationary phone and I can’t take this phone to him, so that is not possible.”

“My boy has a mobile phone which you have in your possession. Use that so I can ask him myself,” snaps the mother.

“You are raising your voice at me,” says the psychiatrist.

“No, I am not,” says the mother, lowering her tone. “I am just being very clear that I demand to speak to my boy.”

“I’m sorry,” says the psychiatrist, “that will not be possible. He is in an extremely bad mental state and needs complete and utter quiet with no outside stimulation of any kind whatsoever, so we cannot allow that.”

“That does not make any sense,” says the mother. “You say he was completely capable of listening to you inform him about ECT and that he was able to make a rational decision to apparently say yes to something he never has wanted before, yet, at the same time, you are also saying he is so ill that he cannot possibly speak to his mother on the phone?”

“That’s correct,” says the psychiatrist.

“That just doesn’t make sense!” says the mother, clearly angry but frightened at the same time. “How can he be considered completely sane when it comes to making such a huge decision as to whether he wants shock treatment or not—and I KNOW he doesn’t—but too insane the next minute to be able to even talk on the phone to anybody in his family?!”

The psychiatrist, also angry yet condescending, responds by saying, “This conversation is leading nowhere and we need to end it, but before doing that I will repeat: we KNOW what we are doing and you can be completely reassured that your boy is in the best of hands and that we are doing what is best for him. Unfortunately,” and the psychiatrist pauses to emphasizes his next words, “he decided to start withdrawing from his medication, which he cannot tolerate and which is why he is so ill right now.”

His brother now steps in: “How can you SAY THAT,” (almost shouting) “when so many things have happened in his life, our family, lately? His girlfriend has left him, Mom and Dad are divorcing, his favorite uncle has just been diagnosed with cancer and told he will not survive! It hasn’t got anything to do with medication, it has everything to do with what’s happening in my brother’s life right now! And now you want to shock him…” The brother stops talking as his voice starts to wobble and it is clear he is close to tears.

The psychiatrist says, “We know what we are doing and he needs this electroshock and has said yes to it, now please trust us.”

“Excuse me,” interrupts the psychologist. “Are you also saying that you, from an ethical standpoint, think that true and full consent is actually occurring here? Do you seriously believe that? You don’t think there are some extremely problematic ethical and moral issues involved when discussing ECT with a person who is so compromised right now? After all, you are discussing ECT with someone that you have tied to a bed with belts while at the same time forcibly injecting drugs into his body against his will. You don’t think that something is extremely wrong here? Because, pardon me, but I think what you are doing is completely and utterly out of order!”

“HE SAID YES and that’s it! And this conversation is not leading anywhere so we will have to stop now!”

“Okay, sorry,” says the psychologist, taking a deep breath to calm herself down. “Can you please answer us that since he is clearly not heading towards delirium, what are the medical indications for giving him ECT? What is the rationale behind your decision to shock him?”

“Yes, what is the rationale behind your decision to give my boy electroshock?” echoes the mother.

“I do not need to discuss this with you any further. We have made the decision and it is us who are responsible for his treatment, so he will be starting ECT tomorrow and that’s it!”

“I am going to make an official complaint,” says the mother.

“You are welcome to do that,” says the psychiatrist, and you can almost hear the laughter—for they know, as others do, that the psychiatric laws trump both the country’s own laws and that of human rights.

“I demand to speak to my boy,” says the mother, her voice desperate.

“This conversation is leading nowhere, I am going to hang up now, alright.”


And the psychiatrist has hung up the phone and a helpless family is left behind crying, powerless and fearing that their act of defiance will now result in even worse things happening to their child.

They are frightened, like many families were when their loved ones were taken into military headquarters and subjected to horrors devised by regimes, never knowing how their loved ones would be afterwards… that is, if they ever came out again.

For, like military regimes, psychiatry crushes people and many come out with their minds and soul colonized, head bowed, shuffling along introducing themselves as a schizophrenic long before saying what their name is.

And I look at that distraught family and pray silently to myself, repeating like a mantra: I hope he is one of the ones who survives, I hope he is one of the ones who survives


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.


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  1. If I did not pinch myself I would not believe we were living in a so-called civilized country. I would think we were living in a fascist state where the state can take people off the streets, out of their homes, and take them to the dreaded headquarters where horrors behind locked doors occur.

    This would be par for the course in the U.S. but I thought that Europe was more civilized. My bad. No matter, someday these criminals will be brought to justice. Interpol may be helpful at that point.

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  2. “No, I am sorry, you cannot see your child,” says the psychiatrist over the phone.”

    Natural law says parents can use any means necessary to defend a child, Natural law (lat. ius naturale, lex naturalis) is a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature and can be universally understood through human reason. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze both social and personal human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The law of nature, as it is determined by nature, is universal.

    For example if I was to look out the window and see someone kicking my dog I am coming out with a baseball bat or worse and its going to stop. Get away from my dog right now, run. If I was to look out the window and see someone assaulting my child it will likely stop shortly after I return to the window from my closet or just jump out the window as is. Its just natural law.

    It HAS to be a real bitch suppressing natural instincts to defend a child, I remember seeing Justina Pelletier’s father in a video in court, that is MY child you are holding hostage up there. It looked like Every fiber of his being was screaming go across the room and beat on that “doctor” till he don’t move no more wile his logical side, that won, said I can’t help her from jail.

    What a horrific story this is. How would I handle it ? I guess I would call my lawyer and inform him that I might be arrested for making threats in the near future. “If my child is harmed or killed by your ‘treatments’ expect the same to happen to you… I just found your address online…” Would I have the strength not to do that ? What awful situation these people are in.

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  3. this sounds both like a Soviet secret police operation and also like psychiatry as we know it.

    I hope this family gets help in supporting the person whose human rights are being abused.

    It will take a lot of work and a well thought out strategy to free this man or to impede his abusers. So I hope there are people advising them on this.

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  4. The four-page ruling slammed the family for verbally abusing hospital caregivers by calling them “Nazis” and accusing them of “kidnapping” and “killing” their daughter, according to a copy obtained by

    The judge also alleged that the social worker assigned to Justina’s case had to be reassigned because Lou Pelletier threatened her. He said the family has stood in the way of every attempt to get Justina treatment.

    I bet they treated her better just knowing they had to walk to their cars every day after work.

    Enough of this awful story !

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  5. Why does shock continue? Because prominent “doctors” like David Healy and Sarah Lisanby and Charles Kellner promote this brain damaging closed head injury concussion with added electrical injury trauma as a “treatment”. It is simply a violent assault and a human rights abuse that is simply torture. How many times was Garth Daniels shocked by the psychiatrists in charge of his care. He was also restrained and accused of being violent with the staff.
    These abuses just go on and on. Is there no way to stop these dangerous and ignorant fools who have no idea about “helping” anyone suffering from distress.
    Where is the latest FDA ruling on shock given the thousands of letters outlining horrific injuries and damages?

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    • Sadly, the FDA is not on our side but the side of big pharma. There is a lot of cross pollinating that goes on between the two with executive jobs. It all boils down to money. The public is becoming more aware with the advent of the internet. Social media sites like Facebook are great tools for peer to peer help groups. Mine has over 7,000 members and we know the truth.

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  6. So besides an underground railroad we need to know how to create our own documents , an underground like the French Resistance , see movies “Z” and “Battle of Algiers”.. How can I think like this ? Well it comes naturally to one that’s had 15 electric shock “treatments” forced on me and 52 years later in this Murphy climate woke up in the middle of a night mare of and during an electric shock “treatment” just the night before last. I told no one but I’m telling you.
    (In the category of you can’t handle the truth) >–targeted-for-elimination.html

    Browse the site while you’re there . I don’t agree with everything said there but there is very much useful info.

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  7. Olga,
    Terrible to read this.

    Are there any alternative newspapers and/or online blogs in the Danish language in which you can publish this story, along with naming the psychiatrists and institutions involved in perpetrating this abuse? The Danish public needs to hear about what these psychiatrists are doing, and they need to be named. If there are no consequences and no light shone on the situation, they will not change their behavior.

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    • Hi Matt
      Someone said they would translate this into Danish.
      Sadly this happens all over the place. And unfortunately many families are afraid of reporting or otherwise making too strong complaints for fear of provoking even more ‘treatment’ for their loved ones. Many families can talk about how welcome they were in psychiatry in the beginning when they believed the psychiatric story of help and how the door slammed in their face when they stopped believing and started to question.

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  8. Mary Maddock of and Dr. Peter Breggin know a lot about the dangers of ECT. The general public is clueless about the dangers of psychiatry and there overreaching potential. Buyer beware couldn’t be more appropriate. The entire globe is undergoing a silent holocaust via the megacorp pharmaceutical industry. Their mantra is profit over people.

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  9. Dear Olga,

    Thanks for exposing this medieval abuse.

    I can see similarities between the restraint and isolation with the Shane Skeffington case below (almost certainly – drug induced):-

    “….He would not eat in the hospital and would not take medication so he received injections. The coroner heard that the 20-year-old was put in seclusion in St Columba’s after he became agitated and aggressive. Mrs Skeffington said when she wanted to visit her son she was told it might upset him….”

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  10. Dear Olga

    Psychiatry is a very insecure ‘medicine’ and it can’t afford having people talk back. Once the person is inured with psychotropics they ‘can’t’ withdraw and they remain disabled. So with force the – psychiatrist wins.

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  11. From the main story “he decided to start withdrawing from his medication, which he cannot tolerate and which is why he is so ill right now.”

    $500 says its Zyprexa withdrawal. I should really bet a thousand.

    People rarely ever quit opiates or benzos when they have a good supply, only that evil shit Zyprexa will people do the sickness instead of taking more to make the nausea vomiting anxiety insomnia withdrawal from hell insanity go away. This is usually after they recognize that the drug is the cause of their anhedoinia and want to come back. Anhedonia, unless you lived it you can read what it is and recite the definition but you don’t get it. When it happened to me I would almost rather have died of withdrawal then to go on taking that poison.

    It took 8mg a day of Ativan to treat the withdrawal, I was in the hospital and I was still hurting. They tried to give me Geodon, is that as “non addictive” as the crap I am in here for sick ? No thanks. Zyprexa withdrawal goes on for weeks, its not like kicking heroin, from what I have seen that’s comparatively easy, more like quitting a real bad Xanax habit.

    The most evil thing about Zyprexa , the #1 evil is that outside observers will look at the person taking it and say they look “better” and can’t understand if they are complaining. Thats how evil works, its insidious like that.

    When do we get to know more about this story ?

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    • Yes. Psychiatrists have reformed their profession–now it is really respectable and quite, quite humane.

      Instead of whips that leave nasty sores and scarring they use rubber hoses. (A metaphor, but perfectly acceptable. Just ask Dr. Lies the Bovine Excrement Professor at Boyde Idwe Fool U.)

      Rather than complete frontal lobotomies that disfigure the victims’ skulls they burn their brains out with neurotoxins–along with kidneys and every other body organ.

      Since we no longer have to see the scars and disfigurements we can pretend that we actually care about our victims. All the while their torments are a joke to us, because the wounds are invisible.

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  12. Shock “treatments’ are nothing more and nothing less than torture, plain and simple.

    It’s amazing to me how people can be forced to endure this through no choice of their own. And shock “treatment” today is even more dangerous than it was when they destroyed my grandmother with it in the early 1960’s. They try and make it sound like it’s so much better than in earlier years by stating that they give people anesthesia now. Well, the truth is that when you give anesthesia with this torture you must use more voltage because the anesthesia creates a boundary that raises the amount of electricity that must be used to induce a convulsion! So, they’re not doing any favors for anyone when they give anesthesia to a victim of this barbaric torture. Higher voltage, more electricity means more brain damage!

    I pointed this out one day at a meeting of clinical staff where the intent of the meeting was to sing the praises of shock “treatment” because it’s gotten such a bad rap in movies etc. I was verbally attacked by the psychiatrists who were present and the entire room exploded in uproar. How dare me try to mess up their little party! I’m still licking my wounds from that little episode!

    I also asked why psychiatrists approved of shocking people’s brains to induce a convulsion when every other medical specialty does everything they can to keep people from having convulsions. Well, the young and upcoming psychiatrist giving the presentation to sing ect’s praises stated that the convulsions that ect produces are benign and not like all the other convulsions that people can experience! Can you believe that bull feces????? I sat there with my mouth open because I was so shocked that someone would actually say that out loud in front of a room full of people! A total falsehood and yet he stood there with this self-satisfied grin on his face!

    People can’t refuse this barbaric torture; if the psychiatrist orders it the person will get it no matter what!

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  13. Yikes, genocide…. Every time I have seen a person put in restraints over the 34 years I was psychiatrized, every single time, the person was first needled by staff. Then sometimes during the tying down, the person was physically abused and needled further, or verbally abused repeatedly while tied. Other times the person had needs such as needing to pee and were refused, or if out of desperation the person peed in the bed they were verbally or physically abused further. A number were raped while tied. I have also seen patients tied to chairs, tied to poles that were stationary on the unit, and also physically handicapped patients denied their mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes taken away. I saw a guy who was injured denied crutches and denied medical care for his injury (meniscus tear done by abuse in ER) this went on for weeks and I saw the red and swollen knee….he was in such pain and they yelled at him and told him to “suck it up.” I have seen addicts forced into the DT’s due to denial of proper care, cold-turkeying in ER’s and ignored, they were sweating profusely and shaking all over, crying out and the staff yelled at them, I have seen people kicked, I have seen someone pass out and staff simply walked by, I saw a wrongful death… All this being commonplace. And then they told me I was delusional and demanded I stop writing about it all.

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