Electric Shock Update: Allegations of Regulatory Misconduct Filed with the FDA

Electric Shock Update: Allegations of Regulatory Misconduct Against NYS Office of Mental Health and Others Filed with the FDA and a Call for a National Recall of Electric Shock Devices

In December, 2018, the FDA published a new controversial rule about the safety status of the electric shock device, heinously moving it out of a class III experimental device status to a class II status with special controls. The labeling of the device was of great concern in the development of the rule. The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is publishing false and misleading advertisements about electric shock services under the guise of educational materials without even acknowledging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) December, 2018 Rule. However, Section ix of the Rule represents the warning labels that accompany the device as a class II device with special controls and warnings that must accompany the shock device, as advertised to the consumer of the product. As the reseller of the shock device, or its use, the OMH ought to be held to the same mandates for labeling warnings as the manufacturers. OMH diminishes known risks for injury and withholds or obfuscates multiple known injury-causing risks associated with the practice of electric shock. This likely extends to misbranding of the electric shock device under FDA rules.

New York State is not the only entity violating the labeling portion of the rule. It seems a common reality that the guild of psychiatry is also not following the FDA December, 2018 rule.

In the United States, people are legally subject to brain damaging, and soul crushing electric shock treatment, without their full informed consent or choice, via compulsion, or over objection via a court ordered compliance, meaning a judge’s order that a person must comply with psychiatric orders to undergo electric shock treatment.

Based on a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to OMH and an exploration of the FDA rules, I have gained enough information to begin a national campaign for an FDA recall of electric shock devices, using the FDA’s own rules.  I have filed an initial complaint of allegations of regulatory misconduct against the OMH with the FDA.

I have filed an initial complaint of allegations of regulatory misconduct with the FDA against the New York State Office of Mental Health, and have a window of time to add information, or begin another complaint. If you are interested in being involved in this effort, please contact me at 516-319-4295, [email protected].

Background: The FDA December, 2018 Electric Shock Device Rule

Despite the efforts of survivors of electric shock, doctors, lawyers, activists, and advocates to create accurate information and resources about the dangers of electric shock as well as won litigation strategies, today, many people are unaware that the practice of electric shock is currently used and deemed a legitimate medical offering, and covered by private health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Electric shock is an exceptionally controversial psychiatric procedure where an electric current shoots through someone’s brain, through electrodes affixed to the brow and scalp, which often burn during the procedure. The variations in what the procedure is called are based on how the procedure itself is delivered, meaning the way electricity is delivered through wires attached to electrodes at varying voltage levels, on a variety of locations on the head, until the desired seizure the psychiatrist wants to witness is achieved.  FDA Part 882, Section 882.5940 Neurological Devices, sets the parameters of the electric shock device, referring to it as a “therapy device”:

including the pulse generator and its stimulation electrodes, used for treating severe psychiatric disturbances by inducing in the patient a major motor seizure by applying a brief intense electrical current to the patient’s head.

From the near start of the federal government taking on the role of national regulation of medical devices, the legal class status of the electric shock device that produces the seizure to be sold on the open market, has been a controversial class III experimental device. If you have not yet read the groundbreaking book, Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You to Know About Shock Treatment, by Linda Andre (2009), I urge you to do so.

For decades, people successfully held off the attempts from the FDA down-classifying the shock treatment device. In 1982 there were meetings trying to regulate the device, and then again in 1990, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, and then in the final rule, where those who had been lobbying for decades for the device to remain available on the market ingloriously prevailed in December, 2018.

The catalyst of the class change was one goal of the Obama-era FDA 515 Program Initiative to have all of the class III devices that were on the market because they existed prior to the FDA’s medical device regulation program either proven to be safe and effective or taken off the market. Along with other devices that already existed prior to the FDA, ECT had never had to demonstrate safety or efficacy before it was allowed on the market. The 515 Process includes the FDA collecting information about the current situation of each device, convening meetings about the device, issuing a proposed order, reviewing and considering comments on the proposed order, and issuing a final order. Because there was no such thing as an FDA premarket approval (PMA) application process for the electric shock device to prove it was safe and effective for use, it has been on the market without having to prove its efficacy or safety.

The FDA December, 2018 rule also puts everything that is not within the scope of class II with special controls, or anything that is off-label use, as a class III experimental use of the device.

The goal of the 515 Program was to have all class III devices removed from the market, if not proven safe and effective.

The shock device, up until December of 2018, was a class III device because it existed before the FDA’s existence.

In January 2011, along with others who were part of the opposition of the downgrade of the shock machine, including people who survived shock treatment, and doctors who wanted to see these devices taken off the market, on behalf of The Opal Project, I testified at the FDA hearings. The testimony I offered on the device was on behalf of people who were subjects of shock treatment, their family members, friends, and/or medical professionals who opposed the down-classification of the shock device.

It is important that people realize that while the FDA suggests that it took into account public opinion, and the experiences of those adversely effected by electric shock, the report that was used as “new evidence” that helped sway the decision of the down-classification of the device was redacted.

The FDA down-classified the electric shock device, after decades of contentious debate, from a class III experimental device to a class II device with special controls in December, 2018. Currently, and with my objection, on-label use of the electric shock device is:

limited to the treatment of catatonia or a severe major depressive episode associated with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder in patients age 13 years and older who are treatment-resistant or who require a rapid response treatment due to the severity of their psychiatric or medical condition.

These diagnoses, such as “major depressive disorder,” of course, are fraudulent. As Dr. Paula Caplan has pointed out, psychiatric diagnosis is “the first cause of everything bad in the mental health system.” The FDA sanctioning and consequential shift of the use of electric shock to “depression” puts more people in America at greater risk for the use of shock treatment than ever before.

Catalyst: The Advertising in the NYS OMH Booklets Violates FDA Rules

Months before the FDA rule was published in December, 2018, in July, 2018, the OMH published booklets on “depression” in English, Spanish, and Russian, and on “bipolar disorder,” advertising the use of brain damaging electric shock treatment for senior citizens, pregnant people, and people with other medical conditions, for whom “medication and/or psychotherapy” did not work. Yes, in 2018, OMH specified pregnancy as a medical condition that might cause conflict for taking psychiatric drugs, and advertised instead for pregnant people and others to consider the use of electric shock treatment.

In some situations, the advertising of shock treatment in the OMH booklets is the antithesis of the spirit and word of the information and warning labeling of the electric shock device.

The FDA website has a section offering an overview of medical devices, that includes guidance for understanding “Device Labeling” that contains a section called “advertising”:

According to an appellate court decision: “Most, if not all advertising, is labeling. The term ‘labeling’ is defined in the FFDCA as including all printed matter accompanying any article. Congress did not, and we cannot, exclude from the definition printed matter which constitutes advertising.”

In the FDA’s guide, “Labeling. Regulatory Requirements for Medical Devices,” the FDA, in Section 502(a) under a heading titled: “False or Misleading Labeling,” sums: “the label that remains silent as to certain consequences, may be as deceptive as the label that contains extravagant claims” (p. 4).

The Mental Patients Liberation Alliance has attempted to call attention to New York State’s use of electric shock treatment and to obtain data about the use of shock treatment from OMH for nearly four decades. These two OMH booklets, advertising shock treatment, were motivating factors for initiating the FOIL request.

The English version of the OMH booklet on “depression” includes a heading: “Electroconvulsive Therapy and Other Brain Stimulation Therapies” where the vagus nerve stimulator and repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) are also addressed, both of which are also problematic, and topics for concern.

Ignoring the whole sentiment of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient/peer and rights movements slogan, “I am not a case and I don’t need to be managed,” OMH advertises electric shock treatment:

For cases in which medication and/or psychotherapy does not help relieve a person’s treatment-resistant depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be useful. ECT, formerly known as “shock therapy,” once had a bad reputation. But in recent years, it has greatly improved and can provide relief for people with severe depression who have not been able to feel better with other treatments. Before ECT begins, a patient is put under brief anesthesia and given a muscle relaxant. He or she sleeps through the treatment and does not consciously feel the electrical impulses. Within 1 hour after the treatment session, which takes only a few minutes, the patient is awake and alert.

A person typically will undergo ECT several times a week, and often will need to take an antidepressant or other medication along with the ECT treatments. Although some people will need only a few courses of ECT, others may need maintenance ECT—usually once a week at first, then gradually decreasing to monthly treatments. Ongoing NIMH-supported ECT research is aimed at developing personalized maintenance ECT schedules.

ECT may cause some side effects, including confusion, disorientation, and memory loss. Usually these side effects are short-term, but sometimes they can linger.

Newer methods of administering the treatment have reduced the memory loss and other cognitive difficulties associated with ECT. Research has found that after 1 year of ECT treatments, most patients showed no adverse cognitive effects. Nevertheless, patients always provide informed consent before receiving ECT, ensuring that they understand the potential benefits and risks of the treatment.

This following advertising is from the OMH booklet on “Bipolar Disorder,” supporting the use of electric shock treatment when a person is pregnant:

Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT): ECT can provide relief for people with severe bipolar disorder who have not been able to recover with other treatments. Sometimes ECT is used for bipolar symptoms when other medical conditions, including pregnancy, make taking medications too risky. ECT may cause some short-term side effects, including confusion, disorientation, and memory loss. People with bipolar disorder should discuss possible benefits and risks of ECT with a qualified health professional.

In the OMH advertising for electric shock treatment, dated months before the FDA rule went into effect, there is no mention of the risks associated with shock, as detailed by the FDA’s December, 2018 rule.

However damaging the rule is in allowing the continued use of electric shock, we minimally ought to be able to hold OMH accountable to the rule the FDA enacted, as the associated risks and known injurious consequences of shock are more realistic than the preferment OMH gave the procedure in the advertising in either booklet.

Section ix of the FDA December, 2018 Rule Down-Classifying the Electric Shock Device

The risks that the FDA mandates be communicated to people concerning the electric shock device take up a significant amount of space. Nonetheless, Section ix of the FDA’s Final Rule ought to be printed in full in all materials that the New York State Office of Mental Health or any arm of organized psychiatry prepares, or utilizes, concerning the practice of electric shock treatment. I include this information so you can hold it against the OMH advertising printed above. Section ix details what information must be included in “patient labeling” of the electric shock device:

(ix) Patient labeling must be provided and include:

(A) Relevant contraindications, warnings, precautions;

(B) A summation of the clinical testing, which includes the clinical outcomes associated with the use of the device, and a summary of adverse events and complications that occurred with the device;

(C) Information on how the device operates and the typical course of treatment;

(D) The potential benefits;

(E) Alternative treatments;

(F) The following statement, prominently placed: “Warning: ECT device use may be associated with:

Disorientation, confusion, and memory problems”;

(G) Absent performance data demonstrating a beneficial effect of longer term use, generally considered treatment in excess of 3 months, the following statement, prominently placed: “Warning: When used as intended this device provides short term relief of symptoms. The long-term safety and effectiveness of ECT treatment has not been demonstrated”; and

(H) The following statements on known risks of ECT, absent performance data demonstrating that these risks do not apply:

(1) ECT treatment may be associated with disorientation, confusion and memory loss, including short-term (anterograde) and long-term (autobiographical) memory loss following treatment. Based on the majority of clinical evidence, these side effects tend to go away within a few days to a few months after the last treatment with ECT. Although the incidence of permanent cognitive memory loss was not supported by the clinical literature, some patients have reported a permanent loss of memories of personal life events (i.e., autobiographical memory);

(2) Patients treated with ECT may experience manic symptoms (including euphoria and/or irritability, impulsivity, racing thoughts, distractibility, grandiosity, increased activity, talkativeness, and decreased need for sleep) or a worsening of the psychiatric symptoms they are being treated for; and

(3) The physical risks of ECT may include the following (in order of frequency of occurrence):

(i) Pain/somatic discomfort (including headache, muscle soreness, and nausea);

(ii) Skin burns;

(iii) Physical trauma (including fractures, contusions, injury from falls, dental and oral injury);

(iv) Prolonged or delayed onset seizures;

(v) Pulmonary complications (hypoxemia, hypoventilation, aspiration, upper-airway obstruction);

(vi) Cardiovascular complications (cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, high or low blood pressure, and stroke); and

(vii) Death.

Why shouldn’t the FDA hold the State of New York to the minimal standards the FDA rule on electric shock devices set, when OMH engages in omission of known risks, misbranding, and false labeling instead of transmission of accurate information concerning the myriad of risks that the electric shock treatment device causes the people who are subjected to its use?

Electric Shock Advertising: Misbranded, Mislabeled, False Representations

The FDA’s own “Guidance on Medical Device Patient Labeling; Final Guidance for Industry and FDA Reviewers,” published in 2001, includes two main types of information that device labeling is used for. “Risk/benefit information” is one category, and “instructions for use” is the other category.  The scope of “Risk/benefit information” is “information people need to decide to use a device or have it used on them” (p. 6). The FDA suggests, “If you have a Web site, consider placing patient labeling there to help patients get the most up-to-date information” (p. 10). The OMH booklets can be found on the OMH website. The FDA’s December, 2018 Rule on electric shock cannot be found on the OMH website.

Based on the excerpts from the OMH booklets, there are clear examples of issues of misbranding and misleading labeling of the electric shock device, defined by the FDA as, “The failure of the labeling to meet the requirements of the labeling regulations. This includes misleading statements, inadequate directions for use, or the exclusion of warning statements or contraindications” (p. 37), and “false representations” of “unsubstantiated claims of therapeutic value” (p. 4).

Misleading statements such as “ECT, formerly known as ‘shock therapy,’ once had a bad reputation,” in the OMH booklet are an example of “false representations” providing “incorrect, inadequate, or incomplete identification” (p. 4). This type of misleading statement implies that electric shock services being advertised are something substantially different than electric shock services of the past. There is no substantial difference in the procedure; hundreds of volts of electricity course through a person’s brain until they have a grande mal seizure. There are other differences now: during the procedure, a mask of massive sedation and paralysis via anesthesia are utilized. Paralyzing the body makes it look as if the seizure is not a dramatic torture, but something that barely causes a toe to flutter, fortifying the myth that only through technology produced by EEG/EKG machines can one detect the seizure.

General anesthesia carries an inherent risk of death that becomes more of a gamble when someone is overweight. Many people who receive electric shock are overweight. Weight and dietary issues may or may not have been a problem for some of these people before their contact with psychiatry. SSRIs, commonly prescribed for “depression,” are known to cause rapid weight gain; “antipsychotic” drugs like Zyprexa1 (also prescribed for people with “depression”) also cause weight gain and metabolic problems including diabetes by altering the way people process insulin.

In my estimation, this is a modern form of insulin shock treatment.

The OMH booklets nonchalantly mention anesthesia and other FDA-regulated drugs. But the FDA rule on misbranding specifies:

Among representations in the labeling of a device which render such device misbranded is a false or misleading representation with respect to another device or a drug.

OMH states, “Before ECT begins, a patient is put under brief anesthesia, and given a muscle relaxant,” as if these two things, anesthesia and muscle relaxants themselves, aren’t things the FDA regulates and full of issues of informed consent because of potential risks to health and life. I think this is an abominable case of misbranding.

Another glaring issue concerning labels, labeling, misbranding, and false representations is when “any required wording is not prominently displayed as compared with other wording on the device, or is not clearly stated” (p. 3). The word “WARNING” never appears in the OMH booklets, nor does a variety of the information that is required under the FDA rule.

OMH violates the principle of honest representation in their booklets, rendering their packaging of electric shock services utilizing the electric shock device misbranded.  The degree of value of shock treatment comes under greater suspicion, and shows more damages to memory and less efficacy for “working,” the more it is utilized. FDA clearly states, “A device is misbranded if it is dangerous to health when used in the dosage, or manner, or with the frequency, or duration prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling.”

To make this clear, the FDA oversees that products manufacturers sell to the public meet FDA standards.

In the situation of the public funding of the electric shock device, the manufacturers of the device sell the device not directly to the user of the device for whom the warnings are most applicable, and intended to be communicated, but instead to the State, the purchaser, who then determines where electric shock services will be delivered, and through which institutions the device will be made available.

The state institutions where the devices are planted then give permission for use of the device to a variety of people, in varying medical roles, such as people who are psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, and nurses, and defines payment schedules for the electric shock services to those very same electric shock service providers to use the electric shock device on a “patient,” a person who is either paying with cash, through private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare.

When the state is the purchaser of the device from the manufacturer, who has to be in compliance with the FDA December, 2018 rule, the State too, ought to be in compliance with the FDA December, 2018 rule. However, based on my searches, nothing addresses this on the (OMH) websites, or in their response to the FOIL request submitted seven months after the publication of the FDA rule.

The advertising for electric shock services through the OMH booklets promoting the use of shock treatment on senior citizens and pregnant people uses federal taxpayer-funded National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research as a way to gain authority and support, by leaning on the weight of the NIMH, stating, “Ongoing NIMH-supported ECT research is aimed at developing personalized maintenance ECT schedules.”

The mixing of advertising for electric shock services and research, without even mentioning the required warnings, or an Institutional Review Board, brings up several concerns.

Firstly, people in the “ongoing NIMH-supported ECT research” are at increased risk, as the research would be beyond the scope of class II with special controls use of electric shock. Research would more likely make the practices the OMH is using to garner support for its electric shock services, use of a class III device.

Additionally, the OMH booklets nonchalantly mention anesthesia and other FDA-regulated drugs. Ultimately, the purpose of these sections of the booklets is to sell electric shock services to people, who will be the end users of the electric shock device.

The FDA rule states “a device is misbranded if it has any representation that creates an impression of official approval because of the possession by the firm of an FDA registration.” The use of the phrase, “ongoing NIMH-supported research” creates an official approval, if not specifically by an FDA representation, but specifically by using the power of the federal government in attempting to cast confidence and a positive light on electric shock by citing the National Institute of Mental Health.

Further, under the heading “False or Misleading Labeling,” there was reference to the meaning of “misleading” in the Act: “labeling is deceptive if it is such as to create or lead to a false impression in the mind of the reader” (p. 4).

The connection between the OMH advertising of electric shock services, in conjunction with the concept of federally funded ongoing research, is of grave concern.

FDA states, “A device can be misbranded by reference to an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) or Premarket Approval (PMA),” positioning these issues right inside the most heated debates of the 515 Program, and a main nerve of the FDA down-classification of the shock device. Offered examples include a variety of criteria that the OMH advertising meets, but particularly, “use of the prefix ’U.S.’ or other similar indication suggesting Government Agency approval or endorsement of the product” (p. 4).

We must not allow public and private organized psychiatry to advertise electric shock treatment without full and complete honesty in their advertising, including acknowledging their materials as advertising. Section ix from the December, 2018 rule must always accompany any advertising for electric shock treatment.

In December, 2018, the FDA published its heinous ruling to allow the electric shock device to remain on the market as a class II device with special controls. If one survives the electric shock and accompanying FDA-regulated drugs, including anesthesia and muscle relaxants, the aftermath of electric shock involves a long list of known deleterious consequences including bodily injury, brain damage, memory loss, damage to recall, and death.

The FDA must hold State-operated psychiatric institutions, indeed all public and private institutions, and any settings of organized psychiatry, accountable in their labeling and advertising of electric shock services.

Do You Recall a Call for a Recall Due to Costs to Recall?

A Google search on “ECT recall” produces hundreds of results. The word “recall” in conjunction with “ECT,” predominately, within the first 10 pages of the search, was in relation to issues of memory loss or memory destruction. Nearly all of the results address the concept of “recall” as it relates to memory and memory loss from shock treatment. Throughout these search results, discussions of the concept of recall include an ability that one has to recall some distant or immediate past moment in time or bit of information they have gathered throughout their life.

Throughout the search returns, the concept of recall is addressed in terms of both long-term memory and short-term memory, questioning shock treatments’ implications involving autobiographical experiences, learned information, and some interwoven conscious experience, and assessment of these experiences. Damage to memory is also discussed in terms of what information was held before electroshock treatment (damage to retrograde memory), and what can be stored and accessed going forward, after the shock (damage to anterograde memory).

Two pages into the Google search for “ECT recall,” there is an advertisement for electric shock treatment performed at Butler Hospital in Rhode Island. Butler Hospital was founded, in part, with earnings from the Brown family’s involvement in the nineteenth century Rhode Island slave trade.  The Butler Hospital advertisement names known injurious risks of electric shock treatment as “side effects.” Butler Hospital suggests the two main “side effects” of the electric shock procedure are “memory problems and headaches.”  Butler Hospital specifies that, “Memory problems associated with ECT are often temporary and affect short-term recall of recent minor events.” There is no indication of the December, 2018 FDA rule on Butler Hospital’s advertisement of electric shock services.

Ten pages into the Google search on “ECT recall,” I found the FDA’s Final Order concerning the electric shock device. In the FDA December, 2018 rule, the word “recall” appears three times, all in relation to recall as a function of memory, which has been proven to be damaged and destroyed, wiped away, without control or prediction, by the electric shock device.

One main dispute at the FDA hearings in 2011, over whether or not electric shock treatment causes brain damage, was argued at the level of what percentage of loss of one’s autobiographical memory ought to pose too much of a risk for the use of the device? Thirty percent of one’s memory lost or eight percent? Any memory at all lost, is what people who have lived to tell their experiences of electric shock have said.

Five pages into the Google search for “ECT recall,” however, was the piece of information sought: precedence for a recall of electric shock devices. Indeed, there is precedence for a class II Recall by Zimmer Biomet, Inc. of 1,999 units that included an “ECT Internal Fracture Fixation Drill,” initiated on May 22, 2017, posted on September 22, 2017, and terminated on March 29, 2019 by Zimmer Biomet, Inc.

The paradox of the search results is significant. The search for whether there had ever been a recall of the electric shock device returned, nearly in full, examples of significant injurious damages that the electric shock device causes: damage to the function of memory, or recall.

FDA Recall Rules

Recall Activities are detailed in Chapter 7 of the Investigations Operations Manual 2020 of the FDA (p. 7-1). The definition of a recall under the FDA is “a firm’s removal or correction of a marketed product that the FDA considers to be in violation of the laws it administers, and against which it would initiate legal action (e.g. a seizure).”

Under the FDA definition of a recall, an item in question, if not voluntarily removed from the market by the manufacturer, is seized by the FDA and prohibited from being sold until whatever the recall strategy calls for is met. There are three classes of FDA recalls: classes I, II, and III.

A class I recall presents the most severe risk, “in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death,” the most severe risk.

A class II recall indicates that a product, “may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.”

Class III recalls are recalls that the situation or product is “not likely to cause adverse health consequences.”

The recall type is either voluntary, FDA Requested, or “Ordered under Section 508(e) of the FD & C Act [21 U.S.C. 360h (e)].”

The FDA also describes a “recall strategy,” and this sets the parameters of the implementation of the recall. The recall strategy details “the depth of recall, need for public warnings, and extent of effectiveness checks for the recall” (p. 7-1).

The “degree of hazard” is what determines the reach of the recall strategy, and what “level in the distribution chain to which the recall is to extend, i.e., wholesaler, retailer, user/consumer” (pp. 7-1 to 7-2).

We argue for two things: a “class I recall” of all electric shock devices categorized as class III devices under the FDA December, 2018 Rule, and a “significant class II recall” of all newly packaged and labeled class II electric shock devices under the FDA December, 2018 Rule.

Chapter 7, “Recall Activities,” published by the FDA in its Investigations Operations Manual (2020), outlines the specific process for “Complaint and Medical Device Reporting” (MDR) that begins with a check of whether adequate “complaint investigations were performed as required by 21 CFR 820.1982 “Complaint Files.”

According to 21 CFR 820.198, oral complaints to the manufacturing company are to be documented immediately, and written complaints are to be organized by course of action, and documented throughout the lifespan of the response to the complaint.

All complaints undergo evaluation for their merit. If a complaint meets standards of risk established by the FDA, the handler of the complaint is to act and report to the FDA under Chapter 803, Medical Device Reporting the nature of the complaint and steps taken to resolve any issues.

One of the specific criteria reviewed for whether a complaint meets established risk to act on and report the complaint to the FDA is: “Any complaint involving the possible failure of a device, labeling, or packaging to meet any of its specifications shall be reviewed.”

The bulk of the issue that seems to persist in practice, as it did in policymaking, is holding States and other entities within organized psychiatry accountable to the labeling on the device. The warning and instruction labels on the device and the device having legal placement on the market were subjects of hot-blooded debates during decades of federally funded FDA investigations.

The decision to drop the Class status of the device from a class III device to a class II device was decided by information that was redacted in the new evidence. It turns out the redacted information was, in at least some situations, testimonials of people who had themselves had electric shock treatment, often with poor or deleterious results. The FDA also eventually issued orders that allowed them to reject responses to the Open Docket for feedback. The FDA posited petitions were “duplicate” if no original content was added.

Why is the information about the risks of known injurious consequences of electric shock, including brain damage, memory loss, and death, that was mandated to be placed on the labeling of the device, not making its way to the general public?

The lack of adequate information about electric shock treatment via advertising of organized psychiatry, sometimes through state-sponsored electric shock services, allows for the public to hold a less than realistic view of electric shock.

Unrealistic and ill-informed views of highly controversial electric shock procedures are dangerous. The FDA must support a campaign that makes the warning labeling of the electric shock device, including a long list of known injurious consequences, accessible to the public.

Within the general public, because of the down-classification of the shock device, there is an increased risk of exposure to electric shock as a treatment because more people are likely being assigned with fraudulent diagnoses of “depression,” or “bipolar disorder,” or as having a “psychiatric emergency,” than people ever would be labeled with “schizophrenia.”

In the twenty-first century, the diagnoses of “depression,” and “bipolar depression” are more common diagnoses than “schizophrenia,” therefore, more people, age 13 years and over, will be at risk for undergoing the electric shock procedure, since the rule approves electric shock for people over 13 years of age with these diagnoses, catatonia, and/or who are experiencing undefined, and surely subjective, psychiatric emergencies.

A Campaign for a Recall of Shock Devices is being developed. Under the recall strategy, it is within the FDA’s responsibility to address the updated warnings about the electric shock device as a public education and “user/consumer” issue.

Where the device is being marketed off-label, there ought to be wide-scale support for a “class I recall” of the electric shock device.

We simultaneously argue if not boldly for a class I recall of class II devices with special controls, a “significant class II recall,” for all class II electric shock devices with special controls.

We also make a demand for an immediate reconsideration of the FDA December, 2018 rule, since the rule was determined with pertinent information redacted.

The redacted information, negative experiences of shock treatment from people who experienced shock treatment, if made known, certainly could sway a thinker to reconsider an earlier position in favor of the down-classification.

The development and implementation of a public education campaign supported by the FDA ought to include mandating the removal of all false and misleading advertising and misbranding. There ought to be mandates that all public and private use of the electric shock device by organized psychiatry adequately reflect the inherent dangers of electric shock treatment. An assessment of public knowledge about the known risks of electric shock ought to be conducted and educational campaigns should remain vigilant until assessments of comprehension of the warnings return a positive rate of accuracy in understanding, by the public, about the severe risks associated with electric shock devices.

An immediate moratorium on the use of electric shock treatment until these issues can be resolved is called for here.

Next Steps

In June 2020, I will be kicking off a new season of Talk with Tenney to help create and coordinate media space for this national effort. The show, Electric Shock Update 2020: Allegations Filed with FDA, will run from 9:00 to 11:00 PM (Eastern Time) on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

If you would like to become a member of the advisory panel to my efforts of orchestrating a national campaign toward the FDA demanding a national recall of electric shock devices, contact me at 516-319-4295, [email protected].

Link to the MindFreedom International campaign, #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition to the FDA on Change.org, with 2,832 people opposing the down-classification of the electric shock device from a class III device to a class II device with special controls found in Docket No. FDA-2014-D-1318 for “Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Devices for Class II Intended Uses: Draft Guidance for Industry, Clinicians and FDA Staff: https://www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment.

Link to March 24, 2016 public letter to the 47-page Memo of Opposition to the FDA Ombudsman Office and Medical Device Ombudsman that was confirmed received on March 25, 2016. The public letter opposed both the down-classification of the electric shock device and the processes of the FDA that led to the down-classification of the device in the published rule. Major issues of concern included that the materials at the FDA hearings utilized to make the new rule included redacted information from the decision-making process. Additionally, we were underscoring the problems of the FDA rejecting signed petitions as duplicate comments. http://www.laurentenney.us/files/113651456.pdf

Link to #FDAStopTheShockDevice on Mad in America, containing multiple articles following and opposing the FDA down-classification processes of the electric shock device. https://www.madinamerica.com/tag/fdastoptheshockdevice/

Thank you to all who have participated in this, through listening to countless versions, and making time and space for me to explore these ideas, including: George Ebert, Kathryn Cascio, Angela M. Cerio, Celia Brown, Jennifer M. Padron, Tracy Puglisi, Ronald Bassman, Rebecca Edens, and to people participating in Surviving Race: The Intersection of Injustice, Disability, and Human Rights, Activism webinars where I explored early versions of this work. Finally, for collaborative supports, reviews, edits, and continuous input in framing, synthesis, syntax, and critical analysis, thank you, Richard J. Hall.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. If you have not read Jim Gottstein’s The Zyprexa Papers (2019) or listened to the audio book yet, do so. https://mindfreedom.org/front-page/the-zyprexa-papers-by-jim-gottstein-now-available/
  2. The most updated rule in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR).


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. There was a lawyer who wrote an article on Mad In America on some ECT lawsuit. I don’t know what that was regarding in fine detail, but what I do know is he faced a lot of vitriol on his RedditAMA. Basically people alleging that the only reason he’s doing it is for the money, and that ECT is used as last resort for people who are unable to get better through any means, and that he should provide studies that ECT causes harmful effects etc. I’m being polite when I write it that way. Honestly, they were much worse on him.

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    • Thanks for scouting out sites of Slippery Scientism, Legislative Lechery & Slimy Psychiatry.

      (not the lawyer’s lawsuit on ECT, but legislative lechery of the following on TACs website)

      By the way, when the lawyer produced evidence that ECT is harmful, because there is plenty, what did his detractors say to THAT???

      I found this on The Treatment Advocacy Website (TAC). First hold your nose & flush!

      This is in relation to COVID- 19 & survivors. You are not going believe the obfuscation & circular thinking in THIS ONE! Well, actually you probably won’t be too surprised….

      I pulled out two bullet points that disturbed me. Especially the second one, which I put in caps. I do not have the hactivism skills to have put the underlines in this post though…smiles, as you probably won’t be able to see my crude emoticon wink with ‘da underlines….Shazam!

      “Treatment Advocacy Center
      Behavioral Healthcare Recommendations During COVID

      • For some individuals with severe mental illness, The COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate symptoms such as paranoia or persecutory delusions about government control. The symptoms of severe mental illness may also impact some individuals’ ability to act appropriately in the current climate – for example, auditory hallucinations that lead some to avoid communicating by telephone, or disorganized thoughts that prevent some from following public directives on personal hygiene or social distancing.


      This chilled me to the core. Both of them.

      I have read all three of Leah Harris’ articles now relating to COVID -19 & involuntary commitment, and I know that the second bullet statement from the TAC website is referring to whether or not to force commit someone in light of the pandemic, and the danger it would put the prisoner (patient) in,

      but it could also be interpreted as locking people up who are “too intellectually impaired” to know how to wash their hands, wear masks, or to dare contemplate the wild notion of government malfeasance or corruption in any way. On the topic of the coronavirus, or any other topic.

      Conspiracy Theory.

      (And I KNOW you already know this, but “conspiracy theory” is a pejorative phrase coined by the intelligence communities–or at least to give it a pejorative spin—in order to disregard arguments they do not like & close the conversation. A conversation which is not allowed by survivors.)

      I think bullet statement number 2 was left purposely vague for rounding people up in future outbreaks. As someone with a diagnosis would be “a danger to self and others,” due to not taking common sense precautions against the virus. Or not being able to decide for themselves what common sense precautions even are. The ‘A’ word. I’m not using it here.

      (in other words, we are too “intellectually disabled” to follow neither the scientific discussions, nor the scientism discussions, nor the pseudo-science discussions about whether or not to wear a mask. Oh, and we need a tutorial on how to wash our hands! Fred Abbe would have a lot to say on this.)


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      • Treatment Advocacy Center is the group that wants to restore more involuntary commitments. I found the quoted article. It has no date or author.
        The problem with all this is that there is, technically, some credibility to what they are saying the situation is (the first bullet point). However, at this time “treatment” is just a special form of being locked up or having your neck crushed until you stop breathing. The people in meetings are being “logical.” The people on the ground are being reactive. Unthinking reaction doesn’t save lives; it kills people, or at least their souls.
        If I were certain that if I walked into the “mental health” system I would walk out a happier and healthier person, I would voluntarily commit myself! But what doctors and policy makers are really so out of touch with reality to think that is what happens in the “mental health” system?
        On “conspiracy theory”: This phrase has been around for over 100 years, but went in to much heaver use (per Google’s N-Gram Viewer) during the 1960s, particularly as it was applied to people who questioned the findings of the Warren Report on who shot JFK. I was nine years old when that happened. I have seen so much evidence – haven’t we all? – that contradicts the conclusions of that report! And yet Wikipedia and of course the “mainstream” still to this day report the Warren Commission findings as fact! And we are then laughed at for thinking they are all trying to hide something!
        The biggest problem with conspiracy theories is similar to what is happening now with COVID-19. Instead of clearing the air and making the real truth clear to everybody, they just create more upset. The closest thing I know in modern times to an attempt to actually settle past deceit on the part of governments was the Truth and Reconciliation process done in South Africa. No other society on this planet, from what I know, has ever tried anything like this. It is so needed throughout the planet at this point!
        We need to stay rational and take actions that are effective to get through this crisis and many to come. Those who don’t care are on the brink of giving the doctors and their governments tools that will only create more patients, not more sanity. I only hope that there are enough out there who take effective actions to prevent the current situation from deteriorating even further. I have things I want to achieve this lifetime, and they cannot be achieved in the absence of basic human rights.

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        • @I e Cox

          Thank you so much for responding!

          “The problem with all this is that there is, technically, some credibility to what they are saying the situation is (the first bullet point). However, at this time “treatment” is just a special form of being locked up or having your neck crushed until you stop breathing. The people in meetings are being “logical.” The people on the ground are being reactive. Unthinking reaction doesn’t save lives; it kills people, or at least their souls.”

          I completely agree. And I KNOW for a FACT that you know this story better than I do since I do not follow MSM. My husband is my clipping service & filled me in on the tragic details. There is another problem as well. Again, I do not know the details of this story as well as you, but wasn’t the man using a counterfeit $20??? And since he has been murdered, we don’t even know if HE knew that the bill was counterfeit.

          So he may have been STARVING.

          And I highly doubt those in “meetings” are starving now. That gives a new definition to what is “reactive?” Is it O.K. to be reactive if you are starving? Again, this completely blows my argument if he were buying cigs. or alchohol. And in any case, we both agree that nothing justifies the reaction of the police. Murder.

          “On “conspiracy theory”: This phrase has been around for over 100 years, but went in to much heaver use (per Google’s N-Gram Viewer) during the 1960s, particularly as it was applied to people who questioned the findings of the Warren Report on who shot JFK. I was nine years old when that happened”

          YES!! This is the time period the alternative journalists I most respect cite that the term became perjorative. I said that the intelligence communities invented the term, or at least put a perjorative spin on it. “Intelligence communities” or the alphabet agencies…leave it to me to have my mind in the gutter…

          As a side note, (and you probabaly have a LOT to add to this as well), the Alphabet Agencies like to add psyops, or false topics, into the meta-narrative in order to misdirect, discredit, & obfuscate the argument. They believe they are (Oh) so important and (OH) so necessary and (Oh) exciting…as per James Bond exciting…

          Again! Thanks so much for your comments!

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  2. I can’t even read this as it makes me sick to my stomach, that any “psych” treatments are forced, that they are even allowed to advertise.
    The fact that this goes on, exposes that segment of society that is just plain stupid.

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    • I couldn’t read the whole thing either, but I thank you for the action. I had shock as a teenager and this essay will have to be digested in smaller chunks.

      The only thing I ever stole was the ECT patient education video from the ward. 🙂 Public Service!

      Dr. Parson’s said, “we tested your IQ and your really smart so I’ve decided you’re making this all up.” So maybe ECT is also a treatment for making it up or a quick cure for being a smart child with unnecessary potential. I didn’t even know what was erased, until I tripped over it in real life. Like being asked to play card games, or going back to high school and even with help couldn’t do physics anymore. My dad has a theory that the doctor was intentionally erasing abuse. Perfect crime.

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  3. If psychiatry was a legitimate “medical practice”, if they were real doctors, they would not engage in bizarre practices, and bizarre chemical poisons. They would be upset that their patients get sick.
    They would be the first to stand UP for their clients.
    That will never happen.
    Always, simply because they are the pawns. Cogs.

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    • Psychiatry never calls those they claim to fix patients either.
      This is worth noting. Even they realize they aren’t doctors who heal people.

      They call us “consumers” or useless mouths for them to fill with whatever. Mouths and bellies with no human being attached.

      So tell me, Sam, are you familiar with the old anti psychiatry movement?

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      • Yes of course psychiatry realizes they are not “doctors”. They also realize their own sham.
        So do drug makers.
        It’s amazing to what “status” one can be elevated, when all one ever really was, was just a little guy.
        Amazing what niches lay there to fill.
        Some people want more out of life, than to simply hold power in their hands over others.
        It would be great if those shrinks who are sick of their own practice, that is not really their own, just some really weird ideal’ideals they subscribed to…it would be ever so great for those to be honest to their natures and their clients who came to them not really knowing. Not knowing the whole of it. It takes time to know all of it, and surely, a few shrinks can stand up and say it. Tell the world that they went into it, not knowing, just like their clients.

        No Rachel, I am far from knowledgeable in the area of movements.
        I read all the wrong material on my travails. No wonder none of it hit home.

        I see no way to resurrect this psych biz, no way to make it “kinder” or more palatable.

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        • Me neither. Individuals can turn over new leaves, but they have to renounce wrong doing.

          As OH has pointed out we already have a penal system for violent criminals. For the unhappy I think we need better social networks. Not an alternative to psychiatry, but something originally there which psychiatry has done its best to supplant.

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  4. I assume you read this article on MiA by Mclaren?

    Follow the money. There’s an interesting little attachment there with some valuable information if you know what your looking at.


    It will of course be a valuable ‘treatment’ for dealing with ex public servants who might be considering using the information garnered as a public official in areas of private practice? Perhaps start with the police and nurses who in many cases find themselves traumatised and in need of treatments that deal with negative memories. Ambulance workers, theres a group that have a high suicide rate, lets give them preventative ECTs before they develop the symptoms of ‘depression’, and see what the results are? They’re medical people and should understand the benefits of ‘safe and effective treatments’?

    Good luck Laren, though if your country heads in the same direction as mine the huge profits from this treatment will ensure that doctor (and the device manufacturer) will get what they want.

    P.S. is there anywhere safe in the world from these people? Just one country that doesn’t see plugging their citizens into the wall socket as being beneficial medicine?

    I guess we make a rod for our own backs by opposing the forced treatment of people who are clearly insane, and who lead others down that path.


    “Bailey committed suicide in September 1985 in response to the ongoing media exposure of his practices as well as disquiet from among the ranks of other health professionals. He wrote in his suicide note: “Let it be known that the Scientologists and the forces of madness have won”. However, during his period of time being a Director of Chelmsford, there were serious allegations of cover up by colleagues and serious failings of the State to investigate.”

    They’re back.

    Certainly negligence of my State is one of the driving forces of the 194% rise in the use of ECT. Advertsing on the front page of the newspaper with a nurse touting the benefits of it, with absolutely no critique at all. Funny how they picked someone from a profession known to have the trust of the public. Which of course makes it even more difficult to believe they would be involved in corruption and wrongdoing. I’m sure their failure to deal with their corrupt colleagues will eventually see this change as it did for priests when their abuse of children in institutions was exposed. The good suffering for the evil.

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    • Why wasn’t Bailey locked up, drugged and shocked? Sounds like that psychiatrist had a severe mental illness.

      Next time a psychiatrist complains about high suicide rates in their profession offer condolences before reminding them that according to their profession only the severely mentally ill ever think of suicide.

      Apparently they’re too afraid of stigma. I for one, don’t want them killing themselves but getting the treatment they DESERVE.

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  5. Speaking of false advertising, I read this about the Mental Health Law Centre.

    The Centre is an independent specialist community legal centre, which
    specialises in providing free legal advice and representation [2] to people
    with a mental illness when their legal issue is causally related to their
    mental illness, but it is always subject to available scarce resources.

    Accordingly, the Centre is uniquely placed to observe the impacts of the
    criminal justice system on people with a serious mental illness who are not
    culpable for the offences and crimes they commit.

    [2] 2 Articles 12,13 “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (CRPD) require that persons with a disability have support to exercise their legal capacity; Article37 of “The Convention on the Rights of the Child” (CROC) gives children the right to legal assistance if they are deprived of their liberty.

    Accordingly the Centre is uniquely placed to obtain information for authorities and then influence and pervert the course of justice to ensure that human rights abuses are not reported or acted upon. Fact. This is reflected in our system which could only be described as an absolute disgrace (and that from the people working in the system, never mind the victims of these abusers.). Cheap way of covering up your abuses, pay off the ‘advocates’ to assist in concealing them.

    I’m sure the authorities will do a fair and unbiased investigation oif the matters …… oh wait no they won’t. It’s their own colleagues and we are all in it together right? The law centre tips off the Minister, who then has police retrieve the evidence, threaten witnesses and ……problem solved. Of course doctor needs to ensure the victim is silenced with an unintended negative outcome.

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  6. I am in agreement that these devices should never have been downgraded to Class II and I can see no reason for ever using this “treatment”. You are correct in your understanding of device labeling and advertising regulations and guidelines (which are very similar to those for pharmaceuticals) – basically, all advertising is considered labeling. However, these regulations apply only to manufacturers and/or distributors of devices. Because of this, I am almost certain your complaint will be rejected by FDA as they have no jurisdiction over materials produced by OMH – unless OMH is acting as a manufacturer or distributor of the devices.

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  7. Anyone who wants to use these machines should have to have shock themselves. Not sure if it’s still done, but like police being tasered or pepper sprayed as part of training.

    I’ve known two people who felt ECT helped them. They had more and more. 60 plus the one 100 plus the other. In the end both were pretty toasted. Memory just gone. But by then it was too late.

    But the real horror stories are people who were dragged off to shock. I’m still not sure how someone given shock for catatonia could hold on to a headboard like that, but 9/10 doctors can’t be wrong.

    Or those of us who did the math and had it with hopes it may be lethal. The only way out of that place. Who am I kidding. I didn’t have a choice and the doctor told my parents he’d have me removed legally if they fought it.

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  8. Full Metal Jackets

    Funny but I got to thinking about the Geneva Convention and the use of full metal jackets. The solid lead tends to split on impact causing much more harm to the person receiving the treatment. So they said it was much more humane to use shells that put a hole into the target without splitting. This is a bit like the reforminst argument for psychiatry. We can sit and argue about the humane ways to kill people, or we can try and look at ways to put an end to the wars.

    From this discussion above, it looks like we are going with the full metal straight jackets.

    IEDs, nasty devices that are deliberately aimed to harm rather than kill. Not unlike the devices spoken about above. Like land mines, they tend to harm a lot of people who were not engaged in anything other than their daily lives. But those engaged in a war against mental illness (that unseen enemy they don’t even recognise in themselves) need these weapons to torture and disable their enemies. We should be thankful for their efforts in protecting us from this ‘enemy within’.

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    • The worst part of shock was having that monster Parsons looking down at me as I was put out. SMIRKING. Me a slab of meat on a metal butchers table. The doctors and nurses all talking about where they were going on holiday next and where they had been as if I was already dead. I was terrified, and a kid, and these professionals didn’t care. That is the blow that took my legs off. Not just knowing EXACTLY what could happen if you try to run. Knowing that running voltage bilaterally through a child’s brain didn’t shock those in the room into silence. F@#K this PLANET! F@#K anyone who can stand by while a child is electrocuted chatting about your new boat. F@#K the porter and the early morning walk to the basement. F@#K the bench they made us sit on in a long row of skinny teenage girls while waiting for our turn. F@#k the public who think this stuff doesn’t happen anymore.
      It’s NOT OKAY! It will NEVER BE OKAY! Boans is right. It’s designed to HARM. But it’s not just the machines. I’m sure if we ban the ones with a wall plug someone will just bust out the old ice pick again. And that guy won a Nobel prize I hear. So Society doesn’t exactly have my back. You can’t get through to people who care more about the next vacay than the kid seizing on the stretcher. 🙁 And I came out of all that believing DEEPLY that I was the monster. And instead of a chorus of HOLY S#!T and a lynch mob… I get wave after wave of experts who want to help me heal my self-hate for a fee. IT’s year after year of paying for someone else’s crime. HE TEACHES CHILD PSYCHIATRY to this day. And his picture hangs outside the unit I was locked in. One floor above the room where shock continues. And they’ve probably already found a new job for the peer supports as porters.

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      • How very sad O.O.
        I’m glad you wrote this, even though I know it’s traumatic…
        How great it is that you’re here.
        Empty sounding words, but I sincerely mean them.

        They choose to be barbaric, for some reason.
        You realize that they are the very last people to speak of such things as
        “faulty” brains?

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        • “They choose to be barbaric, for some reason.”

          Let me give you one possible reason.

          Based on the data provided from other articles on this site I calculate that in order to make the same money for ‘talk therapy’ as a doctor does for doing 12 sessions of ECTs one would have to talk to clients for 288 hours. The 12 sessions of ECT would take about what ….. 6 hours including paperwork? I think I see why they consider the ‘treatments’ a success.

          And it’s no wonder they are talking about their new boats. Which I’ve no doubt they invite the people in the regulatory authorities and our politicians to use at their leisure on weekends etc. And they thus never have time to hear what O.O. and many others have to say about the ‘success’ of this ‘treatment’.

          This has also got me thinking about the psychologist who may well have been trying to hijack me from the private clinic for some of these ‘treatments’ by her husband. Nothing like product placement. And I assume the Doc who owned the clinic was aware of her conduct? When she raised the issue I gave her both barrells of my ‘opinion’ on the topic. Hence the reason she hated me, her husband being a big fan of ‘headbanging’. Not that these facts would be taken into consideration, doctors can basically do whatever they want with police who have an attitude of “it might be better I don’t know about that”. It might be Senior Constable, because your referral is waiting at the bottom of your in tray.

          We will see justice O.O. hang in there.

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      • O.O. I hate them too, for you. For me. For all of us that were hooked up to jumper cables, terrified, “for our own good”. In a matter of weeks at a highly renowned eating disorder center at 21, I was drugged to a suicidal, alternating between uncontrollable crying and a zombie zone out state. They told my mom I was medication resistant and needed immediate shocks. I was driven from their door to the shock dr, not removed from any of the 9 drugs one of which was an anti seizure med, and it began. I don’t remember much of it, except a few incredibly detailed seconds from the “procedure room”, that came flooding back in flashbacks a few years ago. I hate them!!!! All of them! They stole the life I was destined to have. Stole my dignity. Stole the ability to find a partner because let’s be serious, after telling someone the truth about being shocked, they think you had to be crazy or they never would have done that. Alone. They left me more alone, added years of incredibly traumatic abuse to heal from, on top of the child sexual abuse I still needed healing from. It’s a shitshow in the psychiatric field. They no longer see pain and suffering as normal parts of life and being human.
        O.O. thank you for sharing those memories and feelings. I hate that you went through it too, and as fucked up as it may sound, I’m glad to know I’m not out here feeling all of this, alone. You are so very valuable, and they are the monsters!

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        • I never meant to share all that. Electric Eugenics. Hope it wasn’t too traumatic to read. How often do we find people who really understand? I’m sorry those monsters got you too psmama. There isn’t a word strong enough.

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          • I appreciate your vulnerability, as hard as it is to read of another tortured, because truth and honesty are very needed. And for us, speaking our truth, even when our voices shake, is giving them back just a little bit of their shame they placed on us. Healing is a journey, not a destination and thank you for being a part of my healing this week O.O.

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  9. Note to web admin: I’m getting underlining of all comment text in my browser (Firefox). Can this be fixed?
    This is good work, done with careful attention to detail. I hope it gets the desired result.
    My group drafted a piece of legislation making delivering ECT a criminal offense. But when California got locked down, we could not realistically follow through on it. We will try again.

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  10. Firstly: my apologies to anyone in referencing the U.S. riots since I am not following the story.

    (although I plan to change that)

    There is no way I got it right.

    So, sorry in advance, as I am composing this in WORD & haven’t looked on the comments section yet.

    My only job in coming back to MIA is to advance the Targeted Individual Meta-Narrative, and protect psych survivors while doing it, and then it’s BLOOP (!), back down the rabbit hole for me.

    “Mustn’t be Late!” “Mustn’t be Late!”

    @I. e. cox


    “My group drafted a piece of legislation making delivering ECT a criminal offense. But when California got locked down, we could not realistically follow through on it. We will try again.”

    I have now read all of your comments on this site, although not in context to the blogs and articles where you posted, and you certainly have a lot to offer this site!

    Thanks for drafting legislation making ECT a criminal offense! How much has been opened back up where you are living? Are you able to move this legislation through now?

    I think that you, Lauren, Leah, Sera (and others) are probably (definitely!) sometimes too exhausted to debate semantics on this site, and we need to be doing everything we can to rescue prisoners in the MHS.


    And I also hope for the preservation of MIA, as MIA is training ground for the next Bonnie Burstow (RIP), the next Seth Farber, the next Thomas Szasz (RIP), and the next Peter Breggin, and others.

    It is also the only meaningful place that the Anti-Psychiatry debate can move forward in a site’s comment section, as far as I know. I have heard a lot of discussions about Anti-Psychiatry activists getting our own site, but MIA will always be a great training ground for dissident professionals of all stripes

    (they can argue with each other while survivors continue to outrun cocktail carts of neurotoxins & organize off-line underground safe harbors for each other)

    Treatment Advocacy Center, as well as any of the other proponents of involuntary commitment, should not have ANY excuse to round up ANYONE into involuntary commitment, in regards to “pre-crime.”

    That is why I referenced the story.

    IOT proponents can use the “pre-crime” argument to say those with a diagnosis are more likely to do anything from a violent crime, to not knowing whether or not to wear a mask, to not have the sense to make a phone call, to not have the RIGHT to debate alternative media coverage IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY AT ALL.

    It’s as if, soon as you say, “9/11,” neighbors give you the stink eye, helicopters swoop down on you, and the police are crashing into your door . . . tap-knee-jerk…..9/11-haldol….

    And also, the way it’s phrased, need a tutorial on how to wash their hands.

    I disagree.

    (and I know you do too, I read your posts–all of them, you are an electrical engineer with knowledge of Islamic culture and your parents are social workers : )

    But we have to be careful giving them ANY technological loopholes, as these two bullet points are very legalistic. And vague on purpose.

    So I will leave you with that. Can’t jump back down the rabbit hole just yet, but I am eagerly counting the months, and days….

    “Mustn’t be Late!” “Mustn’t be Late!”

    (I am going to post a link that I was going to copy right in this spot in another open comment box. I am getting flagged as “spam” since I compose in word & copy into here–it’s only been a problem today!–so it’s going to have to be in another post, I don’t want to risk it!)

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    • Well, snowy, you have put a lot of time into finding out what I’m all about! I appreciate your kind words.
      You haven’t discovered my blog yet – perhaps it’s just as well.
      Although I have had some small experience with psychologists and psychiatrists, I came to this issue “through the back door,” you might say.
      In other words, someone who I respected told me, “this is an important issue and you should pay attention to it” (not quite in those words) and so I have.
      I, too, lived in the “rabbit hole” for a time, but it was dark and musty down there, and after a while I was beginning to forget which way was up. So these days I only peer in occasionally. I was never in need of “enlightenment” from that direction particulalry. That had already happened. I was interested in what the people who practically live down there were talking about, and wondered if I could convince any of them to be a little more sane about it. But most of them, like so many of us, are very very stuck.
      My friends counseled me to find something to do that might be more productive. And basically, they were right.
      California is beginning to open back up again, but I don’t expect this area – Sacramento – to exactly lead the way. Too many here are content with their delusions. They can’t tell where the delusions are coming from. All they know is that they “make sense.” The only real service I feel I can be at this point is to add my voice to those who keep reminding us, “no, psychiatry does NOT make sense!”
      I am just a research volunteer on the team that is trying to get ECT banned (outlawed) in California. But I know for sure we will keep trying. We’d like to target the drugs directly as well, but know that whole paradigm is too ingrained in society at this point. Some day that will change, we hope.

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