Kill Your Sons by Lou Reed

Song of the Week Recommendation from Bruce Levine:

“Lou Reed’s “Kill Your Sons,” while not as well-known as his “Walk on the Wild Side,” is autobiographical, about his electroconvulsive “therapy” (ECT) as a 17-year-old. In 1959, Lou was administered 24 ECT sessions at two-day intervals at Creedmoor State Psychiatric Hospital in Queens, New York. Lou’s sister, Merrill Reed Weiner, later recalled, “I watched my brother as my parents assisted him coming back into our home afterwards, unable to walk, stupor-like. It damaged his short term memory horribly and throughout his life he struggled with memory retention, probably directly as a result of those treatments.” According to one of Lou’s biographers, Aidan Levy, Lou’s ECT experience majorly radicalized him to distrust authorities.”

-Bruce Levine

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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.