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Electroconvulsive Therapy: Forcing Brain Damage on Patients?

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posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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Doctors are human just like everyone else. In most cases where ECT is concerned, I think most people just don't know any better. Being happy with a result, no matter what it's form, is all that matters at the time and when you've been told that the side-effects are temporary, your first instinct is to try to be patient and wait it out; not get upset about it. More study is needed and we really don't know everything there is to know about the effects of ECT on the human brain (in adults or children).

Fortunately, most psychiatrists won't perform ECT on patients under 18 now. I would like to see that minimum age raised somewhat (at least to the mid-20s) since the brain is still developing, even at 18. The Homewood Health Centre no longer accepts patients under 18, which is good but I do not know whether or not they are forcing treatments on any of their current patients either. I would invite anyone who has been at Homewood recently to comment in this regard so as to minimize the inaccuracy of our evaluations here. I do know that the psychiatrist who inflicted this trauma upon myself, is still working there and that concerns me deeply.

I would also like to see thorough neurological exams given throughout the entire series of ECT treatments. Inventories used now (when they are incorporated at all) are woefully inadequate and are incapable of detecting certain types of brain damage. I was not given any neurological exams at all during the sessions I had and it was clear that my well-being was not their first and foremost concern at the time. I will, however refrain from blaming Homewood's general staff (i.e., nurses & other doctors) for what happened to me as I believe just one person should ultimately be held accountable (my psychiatrist). Although staff were aware of my unwillingness to participate, I believe they were simply following orders; possibly under the threat of losing their jobs. Their actions were not a personal attack on my character and I do not take it as such.

ECT, as it is performed on willing patients, with proper consent, is altogether different from the same procedure performed on unwilling patients under duress. I can no longer take chances with mental health professionals and take steps to avoid them altogether. The abuse which I endured at the hands of this particular psychiatrist was facilitated by my misdiagnosis and so it is also imperative that precautions be taken to guard against the frivolous labeling of patients in order to justify the prescription of copious amounts of psychiatric drugs. I might have been in a better position to resist had my faculties been completely intact. At the very least, my family should have been consulted beforehand and given the option to refuse on my behalf.

I continue to try and go about my life as if none of this ever happened. I do not ever expect that the doctor responsible will be brought to justice for what he has done. All I can do at this point now, is try to understand how this happened so that I might contribute towards preventing it from happening to someone else. Awareness is key and if prospective patients and their families come to recognize the risks associated with ECT, particularly the fact that it may be carried out on involuntary basis, then they will be in a better position to guard against the life-long consequences they would otherwise be forced to endure as a psychiatric survivor.

[edit on 22-4-2009 by X-tal_Phusion]




posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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I have just discovered that I was not the only person to receive ECT against my will at Homewood: capa.oise.utoronto.ca...

Pg. 8: "Chris Dowling
Chris is a community mental health worker. While hospitalized for two periods, 1988 and 1998, at Homewood Sanitarium in Guelph, he underwent three courses of electroshock or approximately 30 treatments. Although he claims he has no "recognizable impairments", the treatments didn't help. He never consented to electroshock, and recalls he once was shown a video about electroshock, but there was no scene showing people waking up from the treatment. Chris asserts, "ECT is an assault on my brain… ECT should be banned. In no way is it a healing option."


So, it was happening at least until 1998. I will keep looking to see if I can find any more online.
They are still performing ECT on their patients, by the way.

[edit on 23-4-2009 by X-tal_Phusion]



posted on Apr, 26 2009 @ 10:59 PM
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Information about lawsuits related to ECT: www.cchr.org... I realize that interest in this topic has waned and I think that's a terrible shame because if it can happen to me, it could happen to you too. Think about it!
I won't rest until the truth about ECT becomes common knowledge. It's the only way people will be able to make truly informed decisions about it's "efficacy", the severity of "side-effects", and how it may be used inappropriately (esp. in an inpatient setting).



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