Stories like Melanie’s aren’t they exception– they are the rule. People are being told ECT is harmless and serious side effects are rare. Some patients are even told ECT can improve memory!
As if being disabled by ECT isn’t bad enough, when patients seek help putting their lives back together, doctors almost always DENY anything is wrong. If they do acknowledge cognitive impairments, they blame the patients’ depression, or the meds they’re on– anything but the ECT.
Rarely, if ever, do they provide appropriate referrals for testing and rehabilitation.
Benefits from ECT are short lived so when they wear off, inappropriately treated depression returns and the newly disabled person has that to grapple with on top cognitive disability, all while their doctor denies any wrongdoing.
Invalidation doesn’t end with the survivor’s shock doctor. Most medical, mental health and rehabilitative fields have been taught that ECT is safe and effective so almost everywhere survivors turn for help they will be told: “ECT doesn’t do that.”
Along with disabling side effects, the ECT induced death rates are higher than what prospective patients are told. No one has an exact number because the psychiatric industry has lobbied against data collection on deaths following ECT.
From the Electroshock Quotationary
ECT is Russian Roulette, except every chamber is loaded; you have no way of knowing what side-effect you will have, how long it will last and if will be recognized and treated by a doctor.
You will not be given accurate info on ECT benefits, injury, and death risks.
ECT may or may not provide temporary relief created by the brain-damage-high caused by ECT.
If you are injured its unlikely your injury will be acknowledged.
Because of this, it’s also unlikely you will be given rehabilitative support from your doctor or anyone else. Because the shock industry doesn’t acknowledge the risk, they don’t study ECT injuries and subsequent possible rehabilitative therapies to treat them.
ECT lawsuits are rarely successful– many lawyers won’t even touch these types of cases because the consent form you will sign indicates enough risk to protect your doctor from liability.
By the time most patients figure out what happened the statute of limitations has run out and they have no legal recourse.
Many doctors also make it difficult to obtain medical records needed to make your case.
If you make it to court, your mental health struggles will be used against you– it’s the word of a doctor against a mental patient.
Depression is more complex that psychiatrist makes it out to be. There are more causes and solutions outside of what they offer.
Please look outside our flawed mental health system for answers. Think long and hard about what you will consent to lose in order to find relief.
I know its hard. I know how desperately you want the pain to stop. I know because I was there too– over a decade of countless drugs and therapy sessions were useless. It seemed nothing could stop my emotional agony. Only after becoming permanently disabled by ECT did I learn this was not true.
Keep looking. There is hope.
Understanding depression resources:
Free depression E-course by Terry Lynch
Kelly Brogan | Depression: It’s Not Your Serotonin
Learn more about the ECT Consent Project.