ECT Survivor Speaks Out Against the Procedure

Doctor and ECT survivor Sue Cunliffe has been interviewed on various radio and video programs this year and has recently added another appearance.

Check out Sue Cunliffe’s other interview: BBC Hereford & Worcester – Elliott and Toni at Breakfast, A Herefordshire woman’s experience of electroconvulsive therapy, and Dean Ryan on referees


Footage of the modified ECT procedure, conscious man convulsing and side-effects discussion. 

I was greeted with a traumatic surprise at this videos opening footage of a patient receiving ECT. The psychiatrist and aids in the video were the first to assure me of ECT’s safety before repeatedly damaging my brain.

My trauma aside, I was also surprised at the mention of the increased seizure threshold. Seizures are catastrophic events the body works hard to prevent so over time, shock doctors have to use more electricity to induce them. This was one of the many vital pieces of information I was never given and  I have only ever seen mentioned by people who speak against ECT. It is doubtful it is ever included in consent forms or discussed with patients or family members. If it is, it is most likely downplayed.

As for ECT journalism, If you’re not familiar with electroshock’s media history, it is almost always favorably biased to the point of being promotional. Anything other than glowing reports with a mumbled mention of a few bad outcomes are practically unheard of.

This video does repeat many of the same unoriginal, recycled ideas and statements from past ECT articles:

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest reference
  2. People believe ECT is barbaric
  3. ECT ‘worked’ for this person, but doctors don’t know why (Not true! See my video, Brain Damage Therapy)

That said, there is a refreshing aspect of this video and other media Sue Cunliffe has participated in–there’s less bias towards ECT and provides more time to critical views and negative experiences.

The journalist mentions the bizarre thought process that went into the creation of ECT and also interviewing John Read, Australian psychology professor, and writer, about psychiatry’s ‘new and improved ECT,’ claim. John had also written several important articles about the obscene use of  forced ECT in the Garth Daniels case this last year.

There was also a critical look at the  Royal College of Psychiatrists data on how many patients they claim are injured (1 in 10 versus more likely projections of 1 in 5).

My hope is that harder hitting, less biased news stories will become the norm and psychiatry will no longer get a free pass in the public arena.



Spot a typo? Tell me about it at aftershockrecovery (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you 🙂


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    markps2 at December 8, 2016 Reply

    The conflict of interest in looking for damage from a medical procedure they , the doctors are selling/promoting. It is like a cigarette company looking for proof smoking causes cancer. They are not going to do it.

    With no way to measure a brains knowledge and function before electroshock, you can not compare it to a brain after.
    With the exception of an EEG, where the shock doctors claim the EEG changes are “good”.

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      Jane at December 8, 2016 Reply

      There are actually numerous psychometric tests that can demonstrate drastic changes and a while back a paper suggesting strategies for creating tests sensitive enough to assess shock damage. I have yet to see any in the medical field pursue it and as for regular testing — psychiatrists just blame the brain damage on the patients “mental illness.”

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        markps2 at December 10, 2016 Reply

        The psychiatrist claim the brain damage is beneficial to the patient. They do it for brain damage from drugs they prescribe.
        April 2015
        “The clinical improvement of most patients indicates that antipsychotic-related gray matter volume loss may not necessarily be harmful or reflect neurotoxicity.”
        Feb 2011
        “But decreasing brain volume could also be responsible for the beneficial effects of the drugs.”

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          Jane at December 19, 2016 Reply

          It depends on the doc and the conversation– the one I talked to would tell me it damaged the brain but in a good way. When I reported cognitive problems he said ECT doesn’t cause brain damage. They are operating on multiple levels of bs.

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        markps2 at December 24, 2016 Reply

        What they say is not merely BS, it is evil. The definition of evil is…

        “To be truly evil, someone must have sought to do harm by planning to commit some morally wrong action with no prompting from others (whether this person successfully executes his or her plan is beside the point). The evil person must have tried to carry out this plan with the hope of “causing considerable harm to others,” Bringsjord says. Finally, “and most importantly,” he adds, if this evil person were willing to analyze his or her reasons for wanting to commit this morally wrong action, these reasons would either prove to be incoherent, or they would reveal that the evil person knew he or she was doing something wrong and regarded the harm caused as a good thing.

        Lobotomy was a good thing, and todays brain shrinkage is also a “good” thing, says the master.

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          Jane at December 29, 2016 Reply

          That’s a great insight, thanks for sharing 🙂

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