Monday, October 18, 2021

Comments by David O'Brien

Showing 8 of 8 comments.

  • “It is used in the treatment of severe depression, catatonia, agitation or psychosis”

    “severe depression” is not a disease
    “catatonia” is not a disease
    “agitation” is not a disease
    “psychosis” is not a disease

    If the person has been objectively tested for an actual brain disease, then treat that actual disease safely, not by passing 400 volts of electricity through the brain for as long as it takes to cause a seizure in a sedated patient.

    Most of us are calling for an out and out ban GLOBALLY, not for paternalistic reasons, but because choice is NEVER informed.

    Show me the PATIENT you feel must have electroshock to save their life and I’ll show you how to care for the PERSON properly.

    Take care/Tabhair aire
    – D

  • Thanks for an excellent article, Olga. A choice of forced treatment would be great. I would choose homeopathy, because it couldn’t possibly harm me and hey, there might even be a placebo benefit. It saddens me that we Europeans lazily copy the “healthcare” models that the Americans inherited from the Nazis. When we psychiatric survivors succeed in shutting Psychiatry’s ass down, we’ll go after its apologists, starting with the wannabe-shrink-psychologists.

    Having said that, I have discovered (online) so many survivors, like yourself, who are working within the mental health”care” system to effect change for the better. I think something has to give, eventually. The system is broken and the general public are getting wind of it slowly but surely.

    The DSM5 was a step too far. The public won’t be fooled into believing that everyone but a Psychiatrist, has a mental illness. I think there is hope for the future, but change won’t occur unless we educate the public and get them to wake up to the reality of what Psychiatry is about: pure unadulterated social control.

    Take care,

  • Thanks for posting, Harm. I’m sorry your daughter and you and your family had to experience all this horrendous abuse. It’s a testament to the love you have for your daughter that you never gave up on her. Isolation as treatment? When a person is emotionally distressed, they need love and attention. Isolation is torture.

    It’s great to hear testimony that catatonia was successfully addressed without electroshock. Thank you for preventing it!

    Take care,

  • Another reason some people may feel better, Steve, is that the memory of a recent trauma that led to their depression is erased. If you keep shocking, it can be erased permanently. Sure, they won’t know their way around their neighborhood, but hey, they’re over the trauma that led to their incarceration.

    On pretending you feel better in order to get out? I agree. I did it myself as a teenager. I’m just learning now how common that is.


  • Hi Alex,
    Most of the reports of benefit from electroshock are by shock docs and family members of the shock victim. Yes, some folks do give personal accounts of benefit, but they are rare. I’m not against adults choosing brain damage as treatment. It happens all the time as a consequence of neurosurgery, but surgeons inform the patients of the risk and are targeting specific locations in the brain. Damage is not the aim, and they do their best to keep it to a minimum. Shock docs have no idea where the shock damage occurs. It’s scattered throughout the brain.

    When I was teenager, I thought the doctors were working to cure me of whatever ailed me. I trusted them. We did in those days. We didn’t question them. I was apathetic about the electroshock for many years. I think when you’re used to abuse you get to the stage whereby you only recognize it in it’s extreme forms. Someone had to point out to me that shocking me was wrong. I only discovered the physics of it 35 years later.

    The general public needs to be told what the voltages, amps, durations, etc., are. In my country the household electricity supply is 240 volts. I know some shock machines go up to 450 volts. I had no idea that I was essentially plugged into the mains for 6 seconds, 10 times over.

    I can understand why people would want to be shocked if it had a positive effect, but at what cost? You can be perfectly happy in cognitive decline as long as you either don’t notice it or are apathetic about it. I know this, because my mother is happier than she’s ever been, in my memory, now that she has Alzheimer’s. However, that’s no reason not to ban it. We can’t trust the shock docs to fully inform voluntary patients and as long as we have a culture of forced treatment, those who can’t say no, or whose opposition to it is ignored, will be tortured.

    Take care,

  • Thanks Ted, for the call to arms and for telling your story. It helps a lot to know that recovery, despite brain damage, is possible. Particularly given that I was older and was shocked less. I only have my big toe on the road to transformation, but reading your story is inspiring and I will do what I can to spread the word. I think the public need to know what the voltages, currents and durations are and that the muscle relaxants and anaesthetic make the damage worse than the pre-anaesthetic days. Lessened emotional distress due to being unconscious and less likelihood of broken bones, but greater brain damage due to the greater electrical requirements to produce a seizure when the body is numbed by poison. (Apologies if what follows is too long. It grew as I wrote).

    An Irish psychiatrist, the late Michael Corry, had to go to England to qualify because shocking someone there was not a condition of getting your licence, as it is here.

    What if you couldn’t find a “depressed” or “catatonic” patient on the day of your shock practical? Find someone vulnerable to shock anyway?

    Shrinks (people who cause your brain to atrophy) here suggest that electroshock is only used involuntarily in cases of “catatonia”.

    I’m not convinced that “catatonia” is a disease or a symptom of one (unless it’s psychiatrogenic). Am I wrong in thinking it’s about refusing to communicate with your abusers? Your family? Mental facility staff? A protest?
    You’re apathetic. You’ve given up. You want to die. Maybe you’ll talk to people who’ve never hurt you, however. The people who’ve never lost their humanity. The cleaners. The household staff. The non-medical humans. Other mammals. The rare stray dog that’s wandered in.

    If you can be shocked out of “catatonia”, surely it’s about memory loss and nothing else? You forgot you were protesting. You’re apathetic anyway. You don’t care if you live or die. If you are committed against your will, you have nowhere to go. The only thing you can control is your body. What goes into it and what comes out of it and when. A kind of institutionalised “anorexia” perhaps. As the brain begins to heal and you become aware of the abusive behaviours of others all over again you go into power-save or standby mode again and the cycle continues.

    I used to identify with the girl in the movies who rocked to and fro clutching a doll, muttering something quietly to herself, perhaps singing softly. I took comfort from believing that that’s where I would get to too when the pain got exponentially more unbearable than the worst physical pain that I had ever experienced. A point of no return. A state of being, whereby hurt could no longer be experienced. (Un)fortunately that doesn’t happen.

    One of the most horrific things that I ever realised was that the pits of despair are bottomless and you’re in control of your own sinking. Now how do I get back up? My head’s above the mire. I’ve taken the first step. Thanks to MIA and others online for your help. Your harmless help. You didn’t bring it to me. You didn’t force it on me. You didn’t hold me down, pull down my pants and inject it into my buttock. You left it out there. Somewhere. It was hard to find. Now I know why.

    The truth is rarely returned on page 1 of an internet search. Who sponsors truth? Try page 20 and beyond! What were my keywords? “schizophrenia” and “recovery”. I was never labelled “schizophrenic” but after reading the late Thomas Szasz’s “The Myth of Mental Illness” in 2010, I needed evidence that there existed folks who escaped from the most slanderous of labels, to lead a life that they thought was worth living. If they could do it, then maybe I could too, despite failing as a psychiatric child. You know the sort, the drug-resistant, shock-resistant, placebo-resistant types. How dare I be resistant to torture?

    Who did I find? Rufus May, Eleanor Longden and Ron Unger; and so many more since, and now you, Ted. Thank you all for the helping hand. For holding the hope until I could reach out and touch it myself.