Posts From Category: ECT

Forced ECT on the Rise in New Zealand

heavy black text on white background: "Compulsory ECT is a breach of human rights... If the increase in compulsory ECT is based on accurate figures it is an outrage - it needs to be investigated and stopped.” smaller blue text: Mental health consumer advocate Mary O’Hagan smaller black text: HUNDREDS OF MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS GIVEN FORCED ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY author: JESSICA MCALLEN, VICE

Vice recently did a piece on the rise of forced ECT in New Zealand. Hundreds of Mental Health Patients Given Forced Electroconvulsive Therapy  An important angle not covered in this article: how informed were those who consented? A 2002 study Review of Consumers’ Perspectives of Electro Convulsive Therapy showed most people who consented weren’t fully informed of the risks. Some …

Judy’s Story

white handwriting on black background:"I had 17 ECT’s forced in January-February of 1998. It was nearly 20 years ago. I never could understand how I could love my daughter again. She is really messed up bad." Judy, watermark: Life After ECT .com

I had 17 ECT’s forced in January-February of 1998. It was nearly 20
years ago.

I never could understand how I could love my daughter again. She is really messed up bad.

My journey started in 1989 but I am tired of writing on it. Suffering could have been prevented. I was not a depressed woman, not ever.

It was because I didn’t marry one man in 1989 that led up to my shocks by 1998.

Can anyone give me clues as to how to maintain relationships anymore?

I read what a Jane wrote – the only word that comes close is hell.

Judy

 

Judy had unnecessary forced ECT in 1998. She spent the last 20 years unable to emotionally connect with others–her own daughter suffering greatly as a result. This is a reminder that there is never just one casualty of ECT; family and friends pay an equally heavy price. 

Many ECT survivors report a feeling emotionally numb and disconnected, myself included. Some answers to this may come from understanding the systems involved in love and connection (hint: it’s not just your heart). There is evidence that ECT is an electric lobotomy, disconnecting the frontal lobes from the rest of the brain and doing god knows what else to this intricate system we call the brain. 

Along with emotional disconnect, Judy continues to struggle with cognitive problems, decades after ECT. 

ECT Consent Project | Melanie’s Story

ECT Survivor Project Things I never consented to: Melanie's Story. Text next to a picture of a pen resting by an unchecked box that says I agree

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 …