the quick and dirty version of my story:
I consider myself a lost child, that is, a person who childhood was lost through DSM diagnosis, drugs, and the mental “health care” system.
At age 11 I was labeled bipolar (among other things), polypharmacied and endured numerous abusive mental health “interventions.” When these “therapies” and drugs failed to cure my mood swings and “treatment resistant depression,” I was told shock therapy was a safe effective option for cases like mine. With this recommendation from a trusted physician, I made the biggest mistake of my life and had ECT.
I received 40- something shock treatments from the age of 17-24. During that time I experienced catastrophic drug side-effects including akathisia and two years of gastroparesis hell. Please note the nice little article I linked does nothing to convey the crippling agony caused by this condition. I was bedridden, lived on a starvation diet of about a half a cup of rice a day– not to sate my hunger, but to serve as a buffer for the large doses of narcotics that barely touched my pain.
The narcotics created a hell of their own through dependence and all the indescribably bad feelings people get when they take them past one month. Every narc dose was an intense high followed by a feeling equal to the grief of a loved one dying. Over and over again. Dose after dose. Day after day. Month after month. I spent almost every second of those two years wanting to die.
Meanwhile, I suffered devastating cognitive problems from ECT. Neuro-testing later revealed as what resembles pre-frontal cortical dementia and almost complete working memory loss. This damage was emphatically denied by my doctors before testing and ECT was never considered as a cause.
After a torturous two-year drug taper, I was free of pharmaceuticals and I began rebuilding my life. A big part of this recovery was uncovering my true problems: I learned my emotional distress was not caused by bipolar disorder, but instead a condition called sensory processing disorder (SPD), a few hidden learning disabilities, and metabolic syndrome –none of which would have ever been helped by drugs, therapy or shock.
I’ve since pieced together these puzzling conditions, found solutions and have begun to heal and start over.
So much more happened in between which will be covered in my memoir in the works.
I write about ECT, other psychiatric atrocities, and disability with goals beyond informing; I also hope to provide solutions and encourage self-advocacy.
I aspire to develop therapies that will help myself and fellow shock survivors regain their abilities and have a life worth living aftershock.
When I’m not researching or banging the anti-psychiatry drum, I keep busy with online classes, art, and volunteering.