Electroconvulsive Therapy Causes Permanent Amnesia And Cognitive Deficits, Prominent Researcher Admits

Electroconvulsive Therapy Causes Permanent Amnesia And Cognitive Deficits, Prominent Researcher Admits

Medical News Today
Dec 22 2006

In a stunning reversal, an article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in January 2007 by prominent researcher Harold Sackeim of Columbia University reveals that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities, which affect individuals’ ability to function.

“This study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings,” the study notes.

For the past 25 years, ECT patients were told by Sackeim, the nation’s top ECT researcher, that the controversial treatment doesn’t cause permanent amnesia and, in fact, improves memory and increases intelligence. Psychologist Sackeim also taught a generation of ECT practitioners that permanent amnesia from ECT is so rare that it could not be studied. He asserted that most people who said the treatment erased years of memory were mentally ill and thus not credible.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that more than 3 million people have received ECT over the past generation. “Those patients who reported permanent adverse effects on cognition have now had their experiences validated,” said Linda Andre, head of the Committee for Truth in Psychiatry, a national organization of ECT recipients.

Since the mid-1980s, Sackeim worked as a consultant to the ECT device manufacturer Mecta Corp. He never revealed his financial interest in ECT to NIMH, as required by federal law, and, until 2002, did not reveal it to New York officials as required by state law. Neuropsychopharmacology has endured negative publicity over its failure to disclose financial conflicts of journal authors, resulting in the editor’s resignation and a promise to disclose such conflicts in the future; yet there is no disclosure of Sackeim’s long-term relationship with Mecta, nor did Sackeim disclose his financial conflict when his NIMH grant was renewed to 2009 at approximately $500,000 per year.

The six-month study followed about 250 patients in New York City hospitals, an unusually large number; most ECT studies are based on 20 to 30 patients. Sackeim’s previously published studies were short term, making it impossible to assess long-term effects. “However, in other contexts over the years — court depositions, communications with mental health officials, and grant protocols — Sackeim has claimed to follow up patients for as long as five years. This raises serious questions as to how long he has actually known of the existence and prevalence of permanent amnesia and why it wasn’t revealed until now,” Andre said.

Besides finding that ECT routinely causes substantial and permanent amnesia, the study contradicts Sackeim’s oft-published statements that ECT increases intelligence and that patients who report permanent adverse effects are mentally ill.

“The study is a stunning self-repudiation of a 25-year career,” Andre said.

Comments (53)

Elaine BApril 7th, 2007 at 10:01 pm

I had this treatment many years ago and the worry as to what it has done to my brain is the worst thing I carry. Are there any reassuring results? Can some people simply recover?
I am seeking reassuring answers to free me from the baggage of this.
Elaine

pranav jainNovember 12th, 2007 at 4:13 pm

data…we need data….how many people have got permanent amnesia after recieving ECT??? over the period of 25 years how many people have shown side effects and how many have shown no side effects at all….numbers can prove it….because me, after doing so much research am still not able to make up my mind whether ECT is good or bad, should it be banned or not?? and i cant decide because there is no data!!!

JasonDecember 4th, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I received this treatment 5 years ago and still suffer from not being able to remember or retain information just told to me, having to ask people to repeat themselves nearly every time. I thought I was alone, always hearing that ECT effects wore off. This is some assurance that I’m not losing more of my mind.

Paul TaylorApril 17th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I received ECT treatement over thirty years ago after being told that it was safe, with only temporary side effects, and that it would help my depression.

To this day I have problems with retaining information. My long term memory is still excellent, but my short term memory is quickly overloaded and I lose information.

After my initial recovery, I went back to work as a payroll clerk and struggled with that although I had been previously a senior accounting clerk. I gradually worked my way back into accountancy but, even 15 years later, I suffered a stress burn-out largely because my memory-loss made it so difficult for me to do my work.

I remained out of the workforce until my retirement recently, working mainly in a domestic situation where my memory problems were not so much a hindrance.

Even today I struggle to accomplish tasks that require memory even though my memory tested out as in the top 98% of the population in a psychological test, twice. From having one of the best memories possible I have struggled for half my life with memory problems which can be traced to the ECT treatment that I received.

Depression is something that can be treated, that most people come out of eventually even without treatment. The adverse side effects of ECT are much more permanent and disabling than the depression. The remedy is definitely worse than the malady.

I hope that very soon this barbaric practice will be stopped totally, just as Frontal Lobotomy, another invasive and destructive ‘psychological’ procedure, has been.

L. BrownMay 13th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

My husband had ect treatments for his depression. It didn’t help his depression but it also left him with short term memory loss. We were told that the chances of that happpening were slim …WRONG!! He has lost all of his memory during the time he had them. Many important events occured during that time,birth of our first granchild(he was there and remembers nothing.)We thought that was going to be it then he started losing his short term memory. Needless to say,things only got worse after ect. I think they should be banned!!!

jennyJune 29th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I was a final year vet student when I received ECT under section without my authority. I had a septicaemia at the time concurrently but none (sorry 1 did as he refused to sign but they just asked another psyche out of area who did)had the sense to realise I was feeling awful because i was prodromal for septicaemia (and had been in contact with leptospira) no one took bloods. they jumped for ect having given me largactil which led to me being zombified, well you should try it anyone with ME would be zombied by largactil. well I’ve had to contend with meomory dysfunction, word recall being wrong, there were traces of epilepsy on my brain scan after but not before, and the drugs gave me parkinsonian side effects. yes this is all true and not surprisingly i would rather see an acupuncturist next time. the treatment is barbaric, flawed scientifically, and seriously damaging. I have a knack of spotting people who have had the treatment without them telling me. Now they are suggesting it may be a personality disorder. It wasn’t anything like that before ECT. Quite possibly i have borderline contempt for pyschiatry personality dsorder realted to my distorted memory which makes life incredibly difficult at times, especially as my memory is returning at times 20 years later. I was unable to sue because I lcked the confidence to. Now i know that was a wrong decision. I should have done and made the headline if necessary. I will never get back all that bit of me that has been lost i suspect. A totally useless dangerous barbaric treatment. you only have to watch pigs being killed to realise it. And it hurt. they must’ve kept me low on anaesthesia because i was so ill. although the body doesn’t show anything in my head i was arching back back back and it was very very aversive. I would rather see an animal shot than electrocuted. There is no blood but the damge is there and all the more traumatic for not being visible. I would do anything i could to dissaude someone from this treatment. it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. your brain isn’t functioning properly so we’ll damage it further and hope it makes it better. excuse me? what sort of argument is that? The drugs are bad enough. still perhas i should be rateful it wasn’t a frontal lobotomy.

NinuccioOctober 18th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Head injured by neurosurgeries in 1980. Damage sustained. Shocked into oblivion in Manhattan of NYC. 1982. Lies on all my papers as to the reason for admission.
1991 finally entered the Rusk Institute for rehabilitation. “Cognitive Remediation”. They told me if a lawsuit would ensue they would back me up. Even though a severe injustice was finally acknoweldged…a lawsuit never ensued.
Tested in 1996 by an independent place in Manhattan by neuropsychological testing. Diagnosed short term memory loss. Showed the doctor there my diagnosis from the Rusk Institute not far away…
My true injury which I keep on an index card and review often…
Rusk Institute from April 5th. 1992 to Dec. 8 1994.
Long term memory loss
Short term memory loss
Focusing what is said
Memory dejavu
Time and Place disorientation
Impaired insight and judgement
Distractibility
Emotional Gaiting
Hemiparesis right hand side.

JaceyFebruary 20th, 2009 at 11:28 am

Ok…..I have had a little memory loss having had the ECT. However….

I have very few time periods that have been “forgotten”. My depression, however, is almost completely gone. Considering the fact that I was in and out of hospitals, on all kinds of meds for years and was dangerously depressed ( suicide being on my mind pretty much all of the time….), considering this–I can live with forgetting a code to one of my online accounts that I rarely used anyway.

People seem to be so general when they want to knock the merits of ECT–there are so many variables. Will the outcome overweigh the benefits? How many treatments are the right amount? How much does your doctor talk to you about the procedure, and how receptive is he to questions about ECT?

My Dr was very honest about the possible side effects. But he also didn’t feel the need to give me 12, 10, or even 7 treatments to see an improvement in my mood. From what I have learned in our area , there ARE some places that consider 12 treatments to be standard. I think that is absolutely absurd. Just as people require different dosages of medications to treat conditions, ECT is not a one size fits all solution.

And again…..regardless…
Would I rather be dead, or close to it , from my depression…or forget a few things.

By the way: I am bipolar, and had gone through all the meds that I COULD take, because all of the anti-deps were sending me into severe manic episodes.

I do have a friend who had ECT and stopped because of the memory issue. She also was having the ECT to deal with depression caused by SITUATIONAL REASONS! Uh, no, ECT won’t make a bad situation go away….so it probably was pretty useless for her.

I found all kinds of information about ECT, both pro and con, online and in the information given to me by my doctor. How anyone could be ignorant of the possible (short term ) memory loss is beyond me.

I am affiliated with a college in our area. I know for a FACT of two of the professors at school having had ECT. Yet, they manage to continue teaching. Well, go figure! Guess they didn’t “lose” their minds, huh?

It’s sad to me that when ONE person has a bad experience, all of a sudden –it’s a conspiracy! It’s all lies! It’s no good! I can understand people not choosing ECT if it doesn’t seem to be right for them….but not to speak for everyone else as well.

There are plenty of meds out there that do HUGE amounts of damage. Tardive Dyskenesia , for example. Or Clozaril, which can cause dangerously low white blood cell counts. And speaking from personal experience: at least two meds that are connected to Diabetes, due to the SIGNIFICANT number of people on these drugs that gain a large amount of weight.

I hope that with any psychiatrict procedure or med use, that people take the time themselves to read up on the possible side effects and benefits. Not just the paperwork your psychiatrist gives you. Read the information you get from your pharmacy–this often contains much more SOLID SCIENTIFIC information than other places. And ask your pharmacist questions. I’ve found mine often to know more about my meds and possible reactions / interactions than my psychiatrist. It’s their job! Check out some books from the library, go online, join a group, ask questions….

But please don’t continue or refuse help based on what someone at one web site says.

Good luck with whatever avenues you choose to handle your mental health issues.

NinuccioFebruary 20th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Jacey-your situation quite different from someone like me leaving in hell for the past 27 years. And you say that if benefited you. Of that I am glad. I am glad of anyone whom it has benefited…BUT…what I have been lucky enough to be able to get to this stage of understand the “severe injustice” committed against me. I have also provided some SOLID SCIENTIFIC information of “my particular injury”. How competent are my statements. Well, they were made by the Rusk Institute in Manhattan. I presume a very competent place that deals with head injuries. Not what someone says on this site…but what some doctors say on this site. So, I am someone who is saying this from papers that can be found in the files of the Rusk Institute…”Ninuccio-Entered the Rusk April 5th. 1992 to Dec. 8, 1994. Injuries Long term memory loss
Short term memory loss
Focusing what is said
Memory dejavu
Time and Place disorientation
Impaired insight and judgement
Distractibility
Emotional Gaiting
Hemiparesis right hand side.
That is my reality. That is what people need to be aware of when they jump into ECT. I wasn’t and you see what happened to me. You were much luckier. These are not idle words. This is the symptoms which will never go away…Ninuccio.

NinuccioFebruary 20th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Jacey…you know lots of things…but apparently you don’t know all the things that need to be known…this is another one of them…this is not what I say…this is what the Rusk said before beginning my three years of rehabilitation.
While you probably were passing all the insight that you have…this is the true insight needed to be looked at. Not by me…but a professional rehabilitation institute who sees many folks like me…and possibly even some that took your one sided advice…This is not what one person on this website says…this is what the RUSK SAID…A person who has not sustained any type of injuries is willing to defy the reality of this treatment. When this is passed on by someone in this group…fine…you can say what you say… “Cognitive strengths include basic attention and concentration skills,common-sense verbal reasoning skills,and problem-solving when structured with feedback. Visual memory performance was in the average range. “Verbal memory is severely impaired,which is consistent with research findings on neuropsychological performance following electroconvulsive therapy”. (Mind you it took several years for damages of memory to even be acknowledged in regards to shocks by competent “objective’ testing). Because of the severity of this impairment, his world is fragmanted, and his level of participation in life skills is significantly decreased from his premorbid status.He is aware of his decline in functioning and responds with anger and frustration and sadness. It is recommended that Mr. Ninuccio be seen in individual cognitive remediation to develop compensatory strategies for memory, four times weekly for six months. The goal would be to develop strategies that can be used in a work site.”…ENOUGH SAID…Ninuccio

Paul TaylorFebruary 21st, 2009 at 3:06 am

I work with computers as a hobby. I would never think that any problem with a computer, whether hardware related or software related, would be ‘cured’ by putting an electric current through the motherboard.

What kind of logic thinks that putting an electric current through the immeasurably more complex instrument, the human brain, is going to ‘cure’ any problem that the person has?

In fact, it is becoming more and more obvious that the ‘treatment’ ‘works’ in the same manner as a brain injury would ‘work’ and that is because it is a form of brain injury.

The main researcher, who is paid by the manufacturers of the ECT equipment, and who has denied this for the past couple of decades, recently published his own research that corroborates these findings of other researchers.

The cat is finally out of the bag. But how long will it take to get all the legislative support for involuntary ECT treatment removed from the statute books of most Western countries?

Paul

Jean BoydMarch 22nd, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I cannot believe it when people who have had shock treatment take it so lightly that they have lost some “memory”, as though it was a slight side effect of supposedly “curing” depression.
My case is very different because I was shocked involuntarily. I was only 18 yrs old, detoxing from diazepam. Years later now, I have never been able to remember anything. Sometimes I tell my children, “Oh, yes, I remember that”, because they are so disappointed that I don’t know what they are talking about. I have never been able to hold a job, because I cannot learn. I have become very passive, as I would say that a person who looks at memory loss as a small side effect might be categorized.
There is no cure for depression. People who are unhappy or very very unhappy such as depressed need healthy food, exercise, love, company of healthy people. Shock is just an expensive perverse “procedure” that puts money in the pockets of all those involved. Nurses and doctors and anyone who really believe it cures people are no more than sheep who question little and cower before authority.

shereeMarch 29th, 2009 at 2:27 am

I had ECT 4 yrs ago, after over 2 years of dehabilitating depression and tons of drugs. I will say it helped the depression after a while. My psychiatrist said it actually just makes the medication work better. I still take a couple meds, but on the whole have been able to work and function normally and have a normal life, EXCEPT for the short term memory loss. I have virtually no memory of any time during and after the ECT. I currently have extremely poor memory. It is almost a handicap for me. It embarrasses me everyday of my life. I guess if given a choice i’d rather have no memory than have the depression back…but still…you’d think there’d be a better way.

M.LehnMay 1st, 2009 at 7:30 am

I currently have a spouse under ECT
treatment initiated after voluntary admission, and after several months of increasingly agonizing depression. Living in hell describes it neatly.
This occurring after years of repeated admissions, and despite close Psychiatric and medical supervision and medication.
I know that a manic condition can become acutely life threatening if extended too far, and
I feel that a prolonged depressed condition is equally potentially brain-damaging and life threatening with repeated occurrence, severity and duration of episodes. I believe that deep depression maybe permanently affects memory, emotions and cognitive faculties,too.

Reading this, with so many negative comments and only a single positive reaction (jacey) to ECT it is hard to keep faith, but maybe those that had good response or don´t need to participate in the discussion or vent their frustration – since they´re cured – or are not too badly affected by side effects to see a positive side.
All there is left is the hope that the ECT will work and not harm.
best, M.Lehn

NinuccioMay 1st, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Anyone…who goes into the ECT. mode should first of all realize it is potentially damaging. Then, if they feel there is simply no other choice they should prepare themselves for potential damages. They should leave word with someone…and have that someone know of the effective ways of diagnosing head injuries…(that’s what ECT. has the potential to do). You just don’t jump in it with your finger crossed. YOU RESEARCH first. You research every aspect of it. Someone will be spraying electricity in your brain. What if the wrong things are going to happen. You need to prepare yourself for the after effects. Will you be properly diagnosed before you subject yourself to ECT. Neuropsychological testing needs to be done appropriately. Would you subject yourself to a place that will give you a brief test…or a place that will give you an extensive test…to gather all of your cognitive skills before they may get injured. The same tests should be given after the shocks. You need to know the proper procedures…and have someone on the outside monitor the situation…simple as that…Ninuccio.

Helen SimmonsJune 5th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Had ECT about two years ago. Less than a month post-treatment I was suffering from the worst depression and disgust with self and life in general I have ever had. That was the most painful experience in 50 years of my bi-polar life. I was more suicidal than ever before, but I stopped myself by checking in to a hospital different from the one which did my ECT. I will NEVER be the same! My energy is totally scattered, I have developed ADHD and cannot accomplish the simplest tasks. My massage therapist says that only Easten medical care will help me now. I am seeking a Reiki practitioner and someone who can unblock my chakras. I just wish I had the courage to throw all my pills away!

M.LehnJune 5th, 2010 at 4:11 am

this to follow my own request for comments other than venting of problems and frustrations, and telling a good story bringing hope.
More than a year after ECT ca. 12 times, now my spouse is actively looking for work- pretty tough these days – A job, not too demanding, would be a godsend.
And again she has an active social life with friends, works out twice a week, plays in a small amateur band, sings in a gospel choir, helps out at a volunteer org. reads books by the dozen, and thats not even half of it.
today she looks as she´s never going to suffer another bipolar episode.
Her mood can be low at times, but I think that is more due to her life/ work situation than anything else.

The memory loss seemed to be dealing mainly with the actual times of ECT treatment, which are best forgotten, and she does not complain about any discomfort or lack of facilities, except getting out of bed in the morning is hard- but if she must – or has something to look forward to, she can.
Her meds now include the old Lithium, which works well for her, despite her resistance against this, along with some antipsychotic med, and 2 weekly cognitive sessions.

PaulJune 5th, 2010 at 5:08 am

@M.Lehn

The fact is that there still is no scientifically valid research that supports the use of ECT. There is still no possible explanation of how ECT ‘works’ except the one I have read which suggests that it does so in the same way as a brain injury could be said to ‘work’. Being unable to remember why you were upset about your life may lift your mood temporarily, but at the expense of everything else that makes life worth living.

The long-term injuries to the brain by this barbaric treatment would, in a truly free society, see it consigned to the rubbish bin along with blood-letting, lobotomy, etc, rather than having legislative protection and enforcement.

One ‘good’ outcome does not warrant many applications, often against the patient’s wishes and usually without proper informed consent. Since no one can say how ECT ‘works’ it is not possible to rule out that any improvement in that individual’s case is related to other concomitant changes in their life or their treatment.

The limited research I know about, by organisations representing recovering patients, shows that, 12 months after ECT no discernible improvements were seen. Suicide rates were no different from controls, incidence of depression the same.

Unfortunately the makers of the ECT equipment supply all the educational material, in use at our universities, and research to back their ‘product’. With all the vast amounts of money being made by the practitioners of ECT, why have no long-term research been done to evaluate its benefits?

A simple question : would you allow someone to put an electric shock through your computer to fix a problem, either hardware or software related? If you answer no, as anybody but a fool would, then the following question is rhetorical. Why would you shock a much more sophisticated and intricately designed computer, the human brain, and think that this will improve its performance?

Paul

M.LehnJune 5th, 2010 at 7:22 am

Paul, yes,
ECT is crude and maybe as undocumented as you say, and I would not want myself or anyone else to undergo it. I totally hate the idea, as in my younger days (70´s) all psychochemical treatment was suspect, and still is..
But it is not always possible to find an alternative.
I wish no one the feeling of total helplessness watching someone dear in utter agony, possibly suicidal, and repeatedly being admitted in psychiatric wards, however kind they may be. The only possible course of action is to keep them alive, to give a chance of healing later on. The choice between loosing say, one leg , or dying of infection – makes sense to most people, however traumatic.

Let us know if you have any valid suggestions or alternatives to ECT in such situations?
It is most likely true that few, if anyone understands what goes on with ECT.
That same goes for many other treatments, like Lithium treatment for bipolar, which has proved beneficial through decades, despite no one knowing why it works, but it does.

As is the case with a great many other chemical substances , that interfere with brain or other body functions. Yes, a lot of medicines are used based on empirical clinical tests , and duly approved , provided that it helps a certain statistical amount of patients – but no one knows why it works that way. Then, some backfire badly.
But if we had to understand in detail WHY this or that stuff works, we´d have next to no medicine at all.

Ideally, we will someday find another, gentler way to stop the downward spiraling of endogene depression (ie where one, without any external reason, gets increasingly and dangerously depressed).

Your analogy with zapping a computer is too simplistic unless you want to make a point without relevance. For one thing: to some extent, the brain is self healing and its ability to substitute functions and recover from dramatic physical trauma is unparalleled.

The notion about: “Being unable to remember why you were upset about your life may lift your mood temporarily, but at the expense of everything else that makes life worth living.”
That is surely correct – just for YOU, if you say it is – But “being upset about your life” seems more of a neurotic or traumatic complaint, provoked by a real life situation, than a depression.

For others, the depression is the very hindrance of enjoying any aspect of life.
Being depressed does not (necessarily) have anything to do with being “upset about your life”, sometimes it just happens out of the blue – without any apparent reason, and today many Docs ascribe this to a chemical imbalance in the brain that prevents positive feelings from emerging. All kinds of environmental influences may be the cause.

I´m no fan of Prozac etc. either, any crude meddling with brain chemistry is very risky and may backfire too.
Still I think that suicide must be prevented at any cost.
Best, M.Lehn

JennyJune 6th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Alternatives to ect. well how about acupuncture, anaesthetic telling the patient and their families they’ve had ect then wake them up and see what happens, pet therapy, horse therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, training,/education, CBT, person centred therapy, life skills including guided visualisation, healing, or you could go for equally proven to be effective methods such as ducking in a ducking stool, branding, blood letting, lobotomy, they all had an effect and equallly strong believers in them. I believe there was one report that pulling someone out from a cat scan could cause remission too and that sounds a lot better idea to me. the brain is more sensitive than a computer and nerve cells do not recover. Magnetic fields could affect brain functioning and would be less likely to cause brin damage. ECT is a very dangerous treatment . I should know. It has taken 30 years to be able to talk about it without feeling terror and an awful lot of counselling, therapy. I have suffered a lot and no one knowing how to handle it or making allowances for it. It took my memory emotionally. Also have had worse memory altogehter than before as well as suicidal thoughts which i nver had before, as it is so difficult coping with the memories and the brain changes. I only know one person who has had it and genuinely thought they’d benefitted. You can tell people who have had the treatment often. No one ever talks about the failures of the treatment and they minimise the bad effects. I wasn’t depressed when i had it, just ill, so it definitely was the effect of the treatment tha caused my depression. I became very depressed after the ECT, unable to get out of bed etc etc and very angry. I am very upset people still believe it can help. People get depressed for all sorts of reason but I am convinced none of them do from lack of electric shock. People need to start to listen to the traumatised of us to prevent others suffering the same fate. I had to take an extra year to complete my studies becaue of what they did to me. I also feel extremely angry with all those who signed the consent for it and it was given against the advice of one doctor so the protective legislation also failed me. I am saying this not because i have an axe to grind but because i am medically trained and i believe I was seriously damaged by this barbaric treatment and i believe most of my friends would agree. Student counselling were horrified at the state i ended up in. I didn’t sue as I didn’t think I’d get through the process. I am lucky to be alive although for ages i have felt i was unlucky to have siurvived. I have found it very difficult to live with the after effects. It didn’t help me. In my case it LED to severe depression which required me to have medication to function and has taken a long time and lots of hard work to wean myself off. I would ban it without hesitationl as I do not believe it has ever helped anyone longterm. It can’t; there is no logical way it could. Acupuncture, shiatsu, reflexology, person centred therapy, family therapy, love as in acceptance and proper and approprate handling, healing from abuse which often has gone unrecognised, these i could believe could have a positive effect but not subjecting brains to electric shock. For one session I was not properly anaethetised either and it really was very aversive indeed. I would kill myself rather than undergo the treatment again and that is not an idle threat either. It is waht keeps me sane knowing I don’t have to go through it again. Torture is a word that springs to mind.

JennyJune 6th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Paul your nalogy works for me. Neurones do not recover. Brain plasticity does exist but this is not healing. new connections hve to be made and different brain areas take over the function of old areas. ECT causes brain injury. That is what causes the effect. With animals electric shock is used aversively to train and extinguish serious behaviours such as sheep chasing with effect but it is not done to the brain, neither is it so strong as what they do to us. I try to be positive about the fact that i have had an unacknowledged brain injury. Even after thirty years i still feel it and still often have trouble with hypervigilance and difficulty feeling safe anywhere. I can no longer play chess but my drawing skills have improved. I would never have it again. I would rather die. Also the people who signed for consent, and one doctor refused consent so the legal system also let me down, are the ones who are least sympathetic or tolerant to my current problems and who criticise me the most, not surprisingly. My godfather who has a brain tumour with memory problems is the only one who seems to understand and my mother got likeI am when her brain tumour hit her hyothlamus. She hated it which was particularly hard for me to witness after all the pull yourself together comments i’d had to suffer and anger at my lack of emotion that she had translated as ungratefulness. I ws completely numb after it. I still remember it happening and it is as if it happened to someone else and i see me in a dream film like state and then if i really feel it i become terrified. I have never thought the same way or seen life the same way as the majority of people but shocking me with electricity was a very cruel thing to do and has not helped at all. i had an excellent brain before even with CFS, now it is dodgy. I have problems with word recall too which is frustrating. We need to seak up and not be afraid of what occurs as there is not enough people speaking out. We are too afraid most probably! after ll they only give it to seriously deranged people don’t they, and they aren’t really people just mental objects!!!!!! I’m not going to apologise for feeling angry – doctors take a hippocratic oath and should honour it. …..first …do no harm.

PaulJune 6th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Hi Jenny,

Your testimony has the ring of truth to me and agrees with my experience.

My elderly mother had a series of slight strokes, when in her 90s, the last being the most severe and leaving her unable to speak or write. It was a most difficult and frustrating time for her, but over time she recovered. Amazingly and contrary to what one might expect, she gradually regained her power of speech and writing ability. This shows the amazing power of the brain to reorganise its memories and knowledge to other parts of the brain when the primary parts for such functions have been impacted by brain injury.

Initially, my mother’s speech was totally garbled and her writing also. We had to guess at her needs much as one does with a new-born child. Gradually however this improved, with some words being garbled but the meaning able to be deciphered, just as we can read words with the spelling garbled if the first and last letters and the word length are correct.

Later on, the garbled words were only occasional and became the subject of some mirth to all of us, mum included, and before she died some time after her 100th birthday they had been eliminated entirely. Such is the power of the human brain to heal itself.

None of the above gives any support to the barbaric practice of brain-injuring people in order to supposedly help them with mental or emotional problems. It does however give support to the theory that ECT works by artificially creating brain damage and only by doing so. Adding brain damage to the problems that the ‘sick’ person has to deal with can only harm them and make the healing process that much longer and more painful. In every case, no matter the age of the patient or the severity of their problems, ECT is counter-indicated. The sooner this is recognised and the barbaric practice stopped the better for all who are exposed to this risk.

Paul

SeanJune 26th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

What a bunch of uneducated conspiracy loons. Sheesh. Not one fact. A lot of hopeful lawsuits from the sound of it. No scientific or professionally credible information at all. Computer guy saying “electricity is bad for you”. Morons, the lot. Sorry. Name calling is not nice, but you have no idea how totally unintelligent you lot sound; it is really sad. So many facts and dates and figures and MEMORIES from all of these severely memory-disabled folks. Amazing.

PaulJune 27th, 2010 at 12:36 am

Sean, You talking about yourself?

Perhaps what you don’t understand is that after forty years of ‘recovery’ and adjustment one can gain some insight into what was done to oneself in ways that were not possible at the time.

Another thing that you seem to underestimate is the corroboration that has come about only through the Internet. So many survivors of the barbaric practice of ECT have found that others have had a similar experience to their own.

Something else you may not know is that, all these years after this ‘treatment’ has been in widespread use there still have been no long-term studies to verify its claimed benefits. The only study that I know about, done by other than the suppliers of the ‘service’, showed that twelve months down the track there were no statistically significant differences in suicide rates or recurring depressions compared with the control group.

There is a growing awareness that some of the long-term damage, including loss of memory function [in the present] and cognitive deficits, last for a life-time after the treatment has been administered. Causing permanent damage to ‘cure’ a short-term problem is always to be contra-indicated. At the very least there should be full disclosure of the possibility of such damage before an informed consent can be given, and compulsorily administering ECT should never be allowed.

Paul

JennyJune 29th, 2010 at 10:24 am

Sean,
Which bits exactly are not factual? ‘not one fact’. Can you read I wonder? Maybe you didn’t understand that an eeg trace is a printout of brain activity. Mine showed epileptic traces after ect, but that had been checked out before and was negative. There are no ‘facts’ to show that ect works becuase it isn’t even given for a recognised brain abnormality. They ‘don’t know’ ha irony how it works.

If you haven’t had ECT yet maybe you would like to do a trial. If you have had it maybe you can’t remember yet what you were like before.

Also how do you define uneducated and loon. A loon is a water bird I believe and don’t usually post on the net. ‘sheesh’ don’t know what that means but assume it is derogatroy.
If you define uneducated as someone who has attended a top university and achieved a high ranked degree, and later gone back to the top scottish university and achieved a masters then I would have to agree with your comment. Do you make the machines by any chance or are you a mental nurse who is sure they have seen people ‘recover’, even if the recovery is to keep away from seeking help!

You don’t sound as if you have much knowledge around memory, neuroanatomy or neurophysiology or you would know it is a complex process and different areas of the brain are involved. In my case it is working memory that has been most affected and it makes life hard. to put it in laymans terms befoer ect i would hold * chess moves in my head for example. now at best I can manage two so I can’t really play. I hope this eplains it a bit to youwat we mean by memory. there is also emotional memory. I see things and have no connection to any cognisant emotional memory. It is a strange way to have to live.
I hope this helps clarify things for you and next time ask a question instead of stating your views of people who have said something you disagree with. deal with the evidence. I would be interested to know why you think electircity is good for your brain. In fact all of the human body relies on elctrical charge to maintain membranes and things but what this person meant was electric shock of the manner of ECT is bad for your brain.
I don’t know what rompted youto look at hte site but maybe you would like to tell us more and we can start an informed discussion. Also I like loons- they are rather cute.
I am wondering what led you to leave a post like the one you did. I await your reply with interest and please could you explain to me what point you were trying to make exactly. I didn’t really understand where the point was and would be glad if you could make it a bit clearer for me to understand. I am only educated as high as a masters and am actually a professional so I don’t really think you can say it is professionally uncreditable. I’m not sure how you would define professional or why professionals have higher moral standing than people without professional education. Everyone’s experience is their own and unique. professionals should respect the uniqueness of everyone so I can’t really see where you are coing from onthat one. I think many people have suffered ect as result of conspiracy possibly professional conspiracy to hide the known facts of possible side effects and to minimise the trauma. Certaily one of my reasons for not suing at the time was that i didn’t think I woud be believed or listened to. I wish now I had sued and made the headlines nationally but t has taken 25 years and a lot of work before I can talk about it. even now I felt very sad to see your comments. I fear you may be deluded ie failing to see what is really there. in freindship.

kyleAugust 4th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

ects ruined my life. i am 23 years old-wait-24, shit who knows. who cares. i was a straight a student. i was going to be a writer. i loved to read. now i can’t even retain a magazine article. i was told that it would cause short term memory problems that would resolve in a couple of months. its been two years and i can’t remember my life prior to the damn treatments. i wanted to go to school. i wanted to use my intelligence to change the world. my family are strangers. i am an emotional zombie. i have lost my sense of humor. my loving personality. i can’t watch tv. i can’t feel love. ects turned my life into a living hell. i can’t connect emotionally to anyone. i can’t remember where i am. i can’t go too far from the house because i’ll get lost. life is a giant terrifying dream, a deja vu i can’t wake up from. this treatment needs to be banned. every day i wake up and cry because i don’t know who i am or where i am. my family doesn’t believe me they believe everything the drs tell them, that ects are safe and are not causeing this. why why why would i ever have agreed to having my brain shocked? i died two years ago when i had my shock treats. what did i get myself into? will this get better in time? i cannot feel anything for any body! i used to be so loving, so compassionate. i want to feel again! i don’t recognize my family. i cannot be around them because it hurts too much. they are strangers to me, and they don’t get it! i feel so selfish. i used to love to work. no i can’t even be around people because i feel so stupid. i’m only 23. it’s not fair. ects took my ability to learn, to love, my life. it’s put me in a terrifying dream i can’t wake up from.

is there hope?? will time heal it or am i like this forever? somebody, please respond. i’ll tell you everything. my name is kyle wieczorek. i live in indiana. i just want to know if it’s gonna heal. if i will ever be the same. i need some answers from somebody who’s made it thru the darkness of this horrific ‘treatment.’ i don’t want to live as a victim of psychiatry. i am such a smart, loving person trapt in a damaged mind. is this permenant? i need to know if i will have to live like this for the rest of my life. i’m not looking for sympathy. only answers. sometimes i think that death would have been easier. because now my life is just a lonely, living death.

sorry for the drama. i just want to know if theres anybody out there like me. i had 30 treatments in 2009. is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

NinuccioAugust 4th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Kyle, you wrote this at 4:05PM. I am reading this at 6PM. My computer is always on. I cannot live without it. For you it has been a few years…for me a lifetime. Yet…I, who live in New York City, and not that I live in New York City makes any difference…but the fact that I was injured by doctors who were able to lie, openly, and without regrets. None of them was even touched. I barely was able to make it to one of my doctors…(who did didn’t remember)…to ask…”why did he do this to me”.
My presentation not too strong…but I want to make a point to you. ECT. has been around for many years. It can be detrimental. It was for me…and I don’t know how many others. The other problems is that today, as I finally was able to reach the Rusk Institute in Manhattan, and receive “cognitive remediation”…after neuropsychological testing…ESSENTIAL…to understand…”THE FULL EXTENT CAUSED BY YOUR ECTS.”…the treatment I received no one seems to be aware of. ECT. can cause tremendous damages. The medical system itself is very well shielded and protected from taking any blame for what has happened a result of your ECT. damages. I was injured in 1980 by neurosurgeries. 1982 by shocks…that took whatever memory I had left. I finally found my Business Administration Degree in 1987-88. I had thought I was a high schoold drop out. In 1991 finally I began receiving cognitive remediation. ESSENTIAL…to bring awareness as to the extent of your injuries. I was never able to return to work. It is a screwed up world I live in now…(sounds just like yours)…except maybe that I was made aware of what I thought was the full extent of my injuries. It is extremely important to understand the full extent of your injuries…because through my experiences from the Rusk…EVERY SINGLE INJURY has its similarities…and yet also its differences. You, at this time, may be in the “despairing stage”. That may be necessary…but what is also necessary is to understand the full extent of your injuries. To understand if you are able to return to work. If you are able to get on SSDI. (Social Security Disability Insurance). It is important to understand the full extent of your injuries. Only then you will be able to manfuacture ways of compensating for whatever deficits you may have.
You will meet many folks in this group who may have beneffitted from ECT. You will also meet a few…(like myself)…who have not…and have been terribly injured..but YET…been rehabilitated to understand what I thought was the full extent of my injuries…by doctors whose only concern was to go to work to make their money. Also to realized years later the damages can be compounded by what they call a syncope. A syncope is simply a condition they know nothing about. Been in the hospital again. So about ECT. I can only tell you that I can give you some insight into what you need to know. All ECT. damages are different, yet many similarities. All ECT. doctors you simply have to watch out from. I don’t how many of them are simply no good, BUT able to hide very simply behind their medical shield. The assistance to rehabilitate is there. I was lucky to receive it. I can tell you what it is…good luck…my friend. I am always on the computer from AM. to PM. My memory simply does not work…Ninuccio.
PS. I want to also say…the light at the end of your “tunnel” is understand the full extent of your damages. Believe there are many folks not even able to make it to a computer, who are also suffering…Ninuccio.

KaranAugust 4th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Paul, you said that you were in touch with organizations representing recovering patients. I am presently and have over the last few years been recieving ECT. I cannot remember when I felt positive about recovering. To be again the person I once was. I periodically look for info and groups who know about ECT side effects, and any info about it. I want to be hopefeul again. All and more of the symptoms mentioned I have and still suffer from. Im not a talker,so if you could send me the names of these organizations, I would appreciate it.

NinuccioAugust 4th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I am about to retire. I enter this site again. Let me give you…if you wish…some of my insight. I was injured by ECT. in 1982. The damages caused me are lifelong. I live on a computer program called “sidekick”. It was established years ago, when I was in my cognitive classes in the Rusk Institute in Manhattan. NOW…let me explain to you what cognitive classes are and how they function. This I presume is what you should be interested in understanding. The classes in the Rusk are designed for you to become fully aware as to the “extent of your injuries”. They are coupled with a neuropsychologist. A doctor who is aware of head injury. Like a clinical psychologist a person goes to…this one is one connected to the Rusk and who has meetings with the cognitive doctors…and also in the later stages…to the DVE. and WPAT. doctors. Don’t know about DVE? Let me explain. After a while in the cognitive classes…and the doctors and you coming into some sort of understanding at to your full deficits…neuropsychological testing…(properly done)(the only place that does it properly is the Rusk Institute. Few tests a day…not hours of testing in a person whose been compromoside by head injuries. After that you enter…depending on what the doctors decide…1 or 2 cognitive classes. Now why two. The cognitive classes are designed to begin with you neuropsychological assessment…and from that to build up your symptoms and to practice those new symptoms until they become part of your awareness. Bottom line. Then there is a WPAT.-Work and Personal Adjustment Treatment…by which they put in a worksite…within the Rusk…After 3 months…and you go to the same cognitive classes as before…and a counselor comes to your worksite to see how you are doing every once in a while…by that time the doctors have decided the state of your improvement…with the realization of your deficits. With me…they decided too head injured to work a regular job. For others…they return to work. It all depends.
If no one makes you aware of neuorpsychological testing and cognitive remediation…you are probably in the wrong place. Another thing I want to add is that now I am afflicted by a syncope situation. Dizzy spells and feet weakning…all this attributed to my head injuries…Ninuccio.
PS. I stay away from organizations…and the ones I have met…none of them are aware of cognitive remediation. Also let me tell you one more thing. I received my treatments in the early 90′s. Today 2010 the last doctors I have met have no awareness at all as to head injuries…and I am in New York City…(so is the Rusk ironically)…Ninuccio

NinuccioAugust 4th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

So, I don’t think I answered your question…(even if not to me I happen to have been lucky enough because of my mother, to be admitted to the cognitive classes in the Rusk). Now who can tell you or your cognitive setting. Only the treatments. If you wish you can get in touch with the doctors in the Rusk…However…they will tell you nothing. Let me explain. One time as I was still attending the support group that met once a month in the evenings in Manhattan…I saw one of my cognitive doctors there. She walked on as I had walked in. When the folks there started talking I realized the doctor that had just left should have stayed and advised the members of the support group of the function she held in the Rusk. She ran one of the cognitive classes. She was the one in whose class, my poster…(begun with the neuropsychological testing)…that mentioned three symptoms. By the end of the year it mentioned close to 10 symptoms. A few months later, she walks in, as the group begins. She never looked in my direction once…(It was a Tuesday, and I had been in her group, in the same room that very day). She never mentioned “cognitive remediation”…the treatment she had given me and approximately 5 to 6 other people that day…and I have a few other stories just as demeaning as this…you’re going to have to stumble into it. These people don’t care…Ninuccio.

PaulAugust 5th, 2010 at 1:03 am

Kyle,

“sorry for the drama. i just want to know if theres anybody out there like me. i had 30 treatments in 2009. is there a light at the end of the tunnel?”

I am truly sorry to hear of your experience. My understanding of ETC is that it ‘works’ because it damages the brain. With thirty ‘treatments’ your brain has sustained massive injury.

The only good news I can offer is that the brain can and does heal, to some degree and over considerable time. Just as some stroke victims make remarkable recoveries so it is possible for you to make some recovery, but I cannot tell you how much or how long it will take. Keep pressing on and don’t give up hope.

Paul

PaulAugust 5th, 2010 at 3:53 am

Cross-referencing another article : –

http://www.ect.org/cognitive-rehab-after-ect-new-journal-article/
“Cognitive Rehab After ECT: New Journal Article

Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2007), vol. 13, 90-100 doi: 10.1192/apt.bp.106.002899

Cognitive rehabilitation: assessment and treatment of persistent memory impairments following ECT

Maeve A. Mangaoang & Jim V. Lucey

Abstract
Few tests address the types of memory problem commonly reported after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Here, we focus on the importance of neuropsychological assessment in ECT-treated patients and describe a number of tasks that may be useful in measuring the everyday memory problems of such patients with ongoing memory difficulties. At the time of writing, no attempts have been made to rehabilitate patients who experience persistent adverse cognitive effects, but clinicians should be aware of the potential beneficial role of cognitive rehabilitation in the treatment and management of these effects.”

NinuccioAugust 5th, 2010 at 10:47 am

Well, this is a discussion group. People need to find out some reality in regards to ECT. Here is some more…and I presume it would be considered “competent”…since it is from the Rusk Institute in Manhattan…(NYC). This is the report that was made post neuropsychological testing…(properly done for weeks)…and thus the writeup to commence the cognitive remediation classes…91 to end of 94. NOTICE…this is from my admission sheet for the classes.

“Cognitive strenghts include basic attention and conentration skills, common-sense verbal reasoning skills, and problem solving, when structured with feedback. Visual memory is severly impaired, which is consistent with research findings on neuropsychological performance following electroconvulsive therapy”. Because of the severity of this impairment, his world is fragmanted and his level of participation in life skills is significantly decreased from his premorbid status. He is aware of this decline in functioning and responds with anger and frustration and sadness. It is recomended that Mr. Ninuccio be seen in individual cognitive remediation to develop compensatory strategies for memory, four times weekly for six months. The goal would be to develop strategies that can be used in a work site.”…I was there for almost three years.
This should give some solid insight. Now I want to make a point. When I was in the cognitive classes I also began to realize that I was lucky to receive this new type of treatment…which in “due time”…(very slow treatment as your whole brain will be reorganized to think with its deficits…once they are brought out into the exercises). Extremely effective treatment…not only for head injury…but for ANYONE who wants to understand his thinking status. You would be made aware of your distractibility, when it happens, why it happens. You will be made aware of your impulsivity, when it happens, why it happens. But most important you will be made aware of your shock damages…It will bring out the whole picture…Ninuccio…PS. Today, I still live by the index card I made close to 20 years ago. The damages are for life…this nonsense about ECT. not causing head injuries should be despelled by my tasting. This nonsense about ECT. not being potentially permanent should be dispelled. Does ECT. help…sure…some folks. Does ECT. injury. Sure, I am one of them…Ninuccio

Marie AgnesFebruary 23rd, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes, I am convinced that shock therapy causes permanent brain injury. Over 40 years ago I had these treatments. I was 19 at the time and no one explained to me about any side effects. My father had very good medical insurance, and I am convinced that this was the motivation for the number of treatments. I did succeed economically as a middle class person. In retrospect the economy was good, I was somewhat attractive and pleasant. I dread to think had I had these treatments at age 19 in todays extreme emphasis on high grade point average. Yes, I did obtain a B.A. I struggled through to get a University degree. They were very kind and knew my situation. My high school grades show that I should have easily graduated from college. My question is does the brain ever fully regenerate from this electrical assault? These treatments should be banned with a full court order and family and friends to testify the necessity for them in extreme cases. I understand that Texas bans these treatments. The only consolation is that the Psychiatrist that gave the treatments was run-out of my city. My long term memory is excellent. I still have some problems with short-term memory. Now nearing 70 I’m wondering if this is due to advancing age. This has created a low level of anger ever since the trearments. I try to overcome this as chronic anger is bad for the health. I also blame the M.D. and the health insurance industry looking for easy money. Greed! and More greed! Thanks for hearing me out.

Marie AgnesFebruary 23rd, 2011 at 10:30 am

Correction. The treatments were over 50 years ago.

NinuccioMarch 2nd, 2011 at 12:31 am

The doctors who lied on my papers…in 1980 and 1982…what would stop them from lieing on yours…or anybody. This world had better get it together. There are lots of bed people out there…OPEN YOUR EYES…they are still there. The doctors who injured me were never touched. I had the priviledge of confronting Dr. Stanley Stellar. He didn’t even remember who I was, and yet on his papers were all lies. These people, as professional as they may look…some of them are nothing but animals. Allowed to have filtered into what would otherwise have been a great medical system…OTHERWISE…look closely…and simply follow the right procedures so you don’t get hurt…IT IS VERY POSSIBLE…Ninuccio

karanMarch 2nd, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Has anyone ever tried “Keyamine Infusion Therapy”. It took the place of my ECT. With practically no side effects, and no memory lost of any kind. It is so effective that I can now see my goal of working again. Something ECT ever gave me. Ask your psych. about it or look it up on internet. You will not regret it.

karanMarch 2nd, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Correction. Ketamine in stead of Keyamine.

JennyMarch 3rd, 2011 at 3:51 am

I have known for ever that ECT causes brain damage. There is a 9to my mind stupid0 experiment that was done to test sheep as to whether electrical stunning was aversive or not. The stun was done without anaesthetic and consisted of getting sheep to go down a race (passageway0 with a divide at the end and they were conditioned so both ways were equally attractive ie neither aversive. Then they were given a stun at the end of no fork and the re run showed no change in their choices the conclusion being electrical stunning is not aversive. One of my treatments was done without proper aneasthetic as I was so ill one psychiatrist had already refused consent ( I was under section and physically very ill -toxic delirious-etc) which was why the psychiatrists were involved in making the decision as I would never have given consent and it was one of the most aversive things that has ever happened to me. I would liken it to torture.
I felt extremely uncomfortable and distressed even listening to this experiment in class althoug hi was able to control my physiology and behaviour to simply mild agitation externally.
I put my hand up and said ‘but doesn’t ECT cause amnesia@
‘Oh, said the lecturer and the class laughed. I was trying to make a serious point however and i think this experiment proves that ECT does cause brain damage and amnesia proably and the total effects will depend on which parts of the brain are injured. It is an obvious brain injury adn how any rational person could ever have thought it benefical beats me.
I am still slowly trying to recover and repair (not stricltly correct as brain cells do not recover they are gone forever though due to brain plasticity new connections can be formed).
i have found trauma therapy helpful and family were perhaps the hardest of all to cope with as noone would recognise or acknowledge what was obvious so I have been having to live with a large sense of bereavement and rejection and also I didn’t sue 9even though the law was broken) as i rationalised what was required was education. I said I would write a book.
I am still too traumatised to be able to do this.
Every time i do a bit of writing I tend to re experience the feelings and it can feel overwhelming.
What helped me was the knowledge I could kill myself as the option to avoid this happening again. I jhustified it to myself by thinking of suicide pills given to agents so that if htey wqere captured they could avoid torture.
Equally I tried to carry on living for my mother as i knew it would traumatise her if I killed myself and at times it has been very difficult.
my experience is that people who do others harm rarely want to acknowledge this and it is a very brave and courageous person who is able to admit their mistake.
I am really pleased it at last is getting acknowledged.
What i would say is whatever is is and has happened. If there is any injury there is always a grieving process to go through and specialist help may be required. I feel that ECT is a form of abetted self harm but cosmetic surgery is also a way people try and change themselves and your brain and mind is not you the person. It is just one component of your earthly existence. Acceptance is hard and being able to acknowledge and have the brain injury validated is the first step.
I am no longer as clever as i used to be.
I have received benefits though which I try to see bas benefits though I miss my former self I have now experienced not being able to understnad things (this had never happened befoer0 not being able ot remember things and it is frustrating i can not engage in intellectaul converstaion where facts have to be known or remembered but in other ways i have found compenstaion as I have realised I have to accept myself where i am.
What happened was not my fault. i did the best I could at the time and no one least of all myself should hold htat agianst me. If people didn’t understand me that is not my fualt. If the medics had done their job properly they would have first treated my dehydration and infection and then tried to reason why i had got so exhausted (ME actually)- and I fel tvery ill but no one listened to that-
I have been terrified I would kill myself. I now feel some safety s people have helped me re learn abouut emotions ( I was emotionally numb afterwards0 and although i show feeling/passion even, there is nothing going on in my emotional centre. It has been very hard. I feel the corpus callosum was damaged in my case and that my higher centres are probably ok. In my art I coudl even see a left /right split and it feels as if my two body halves are not always properly communicating. I try to accept it.
It is also obvious beyond belief I had genuine pTSD and this has been equally difficult to cope with. i don’t know when if ever I will recover but i have to go with the process.
Some people i know have siad they have seen ect have spectacularly good results and I suspect it is a from of projected self harm or if you forget things then you just have to live in the moment. I have met only one person who said it helped him. Everyone else has felt the same as me. SOmetimes I think we’d like to believe it helped in order to feel we’re ok because to think we may have brain damage is too awful to think about. BUT brains can make new connections and people do have strokes. How you think affects your mood and function and emotional state so what i would say to anyone (had ect or not) is make the best of yourself whoever or what ever you are. SPeak the truth as you know it and love yourself and if you don’t know how to do this find someone who can help you to do this. For me I found giving thanks for what I do have helps enormously.
My ECT was given iin 1986. I blieve I am just beginning to acknowledge and work through it and i would like to see hte law changed as i have just got to the stage now where I would like to face that psychiatrist across a court and argue my case. I was too traumatised and ill to have been able to do this before. They would just have said I was mental and I didn’t feel I could take that anymore. I guess I feel today I made the right decision for then as I didn’t want to lose my mind and I came close due to the things they did to me. All i needed was penicillin and a drip and I got better when they gave me this. not becuase of the ECT. People who validated me as normal helped as it has being validated that waht happened was wrong and not my fault. Progree is slow but i did survive unligke the human nurse who came in to tha thospital after me. SHe hanged herself on her dressing gown belt. There is no possiblity of progressing from survior to thriver for her. God bless. Mr Davies if you read this ever I hope you learnt that mental disorientation and dissociation can occur from infection and trauma and are not necessarily a sign that psychotropic drugs are required and certainly not in the large quantities you drugged me up with. If any other medics are reading this I would like to comment that from my own experience i was very sensitive and still am to fany drug that alters consciousness including alcohol and it is real sensitivityl I consider it very porvidiential i survived- i gather it was a close thing and i would urge you to be cautious and supervise properly when giving out drugs such as antidepressants and tranquilisers. Their effects are hard to cope with and lasting harm can occur that adversely affect self image and personhood and sense of self and sense of self worth.

JennyMarch 3rd, 2011 at 3:59 am

regarding ketamine therapy. Ketamine is a dissociative drug. I would suggest meditation would be more constructive and lead to better results in the long run as control over your mind and brain would be achieved rather than simply going for a durg effect. I have always felt any possible benefits that did occur from ECT were mmore due to having had an anesthetic were the thought patterns are interrupted and ou are forced to relax an lose your ‘busy brain or cycle’ for a bit. I am uncomfortable with the idea of ketamine infusion personally. Cats do seem to enjoy it. It is also known as the drug angeldust i believe.
Kids usually enjoy it as an aneasthetic though adults don’t usually we were taught in lectures as they don’t enjoy the feelings it produces of disorientation. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable and with better memory can remind me of the exact mechanism of action and effects of ketamine. I think it was something to do with alpha receptors tbut this is something that has come in my head as an intuition cf a memory and this is what i find so difficult about the ECT. I am very intuitive and often can’t remember but my intuitive guesses are right so it could be i do have memory still but it no longer ‘feels’ like memory. Anyone out there want to expolore this idea further.? I have not studied neuroscience or neurobiology but i think this could be a way forward. i suspect esch person’s experience of ECT will be different as we will all have had different numbers of sessions and also different areas of our brain will have been zapped. i would be interested in hearing form anyone who had ECT without anaesthetic too if htey were able to comment.

NinuccioMarch 3rd, 2011 at 8:38 am

One aspect of rehabilitation by cognitive remediation is that it does not take into consideration any type of medications. IT simply works on re-establising your cognitive function, which is definetely impaired post ect., to its best potential. It basically teaches you…or allows for them to be taught. It is a slow proces…and it’s one of the first processes that a person needs to engage.
If you were not head injured cognitive remediation would also be a very effective way for you to look at your cognitive function. It will give awareness of your thought pattern which I am sure noone prior injury had ever looked for by anyone. Prior to ECT. It should diagnose very few minor characteristics. Post head injury, more added to them and will have become symptoms. You will need to understand these symptoms.
I don’t believe too many folks have seeked out cognitive remediation post ECT. Medications may be necessary…but need to be kept away from cognitive retraining…Ninuccio.
PS. My cognitive remediation…(which took approximately 5 years overall 20 years ago)…SET a pattern as to my cognitive potential. That is the pattern I have been living with. Now the main jest of my injuries were caused before the further damages of ECT…but the cognitive awareness established to me showed me…(by neuropsychological testing) and taught me (by practice, repetition…and a cognitive remediation specialist for three years), how to offset my injuries by having recognized them, and compensation for them…Ninuccio

NinuccioMay 21st, 2011 at 8:42 am

“In a stunning reversal, an article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in January 2007 by prominent researcher Harold Sackeim of Columbia University reveals that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities, which affect individuals’ ability to function.”
It is quite evident the medical system has many issues…and if by chance you are going to allow it to touch your brain the consequences can de deadly.
One issues is that I injured early 1980 and 1982…and now they come up with this crap…this “stunning reversal”. Many, many years later.
Another thing you need to understand is that doctors are very well shielded…so shielded that they not only dismembered me years ago…but murdered my mom a few years ago. Here again, the law itself protects them…been there done that.
The other problem. You will realize that neurosych. testing is minimally given prior to these life changing events. You will also realize that once the cognitive is impaired…first and foremeost you would need to testing to “predeterme” the amount of apparent damage. That is never done. And if done…it is minimal. The other things people don’t realize is that instead of these clincial psychologists…who don’t really knows their rear ends from their elbows when it comes to head injury…you would need…NECESSARY…a program with a combination of doctors and treatments to allow you to recognize…”the full extent of the cognitive changes caused”…that is never done. And last…but not least…IF you do end up in a cognitive setting one doctor will protect the other…MAN…you step into this…THERE IS SIMPLY NO WAY OUT BUT TO RECOGNIZE the extent of your new injury…with new SYMPTOMS…which had never been taught to these beginning doctors…BE CAREFUL. I wasn’t and I am destined to live my life with severe head injuries with a possibility of a retrograde degeneration…BE CAREFUL…Ninuccio

BubiApril 12th, 2014 at 9:33 am

I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knelbedgealwo?

NinuccioApril 12th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I am surprised this site ever came up on my Yahoo site. Of course I don’t remember writing it. Now, I guess, luckily I was put on a program with VNS-Choice. Unlikely I have retrograded. Ironically this computer has been my lifeline ever since my cognitive remediation classes in the Rusk…Unfortunately not even the nurses who interviewed me no “nothing”of shocks…and that they were still being given. Unfortunately…and do listen to this attentively…ATTENTIVELY…I had a syncope and was taken to a hospital in the Bronx. I was discharged a week later. I told them I am not feeling well. The patient’s advocate met me at the door and told me she had called Cornell Medical Center…for me to make it there by cab…by cab…to Manhattan…Luckily I had a friend who had come to pick me up and he brought me some money…Now to make this short…I ended up in Manhattan…(where years ago I used to drive Cadillacs or a former employer…Lost consciousness while waiting to be admitted. Was admitted to the waiting room where I told my friend to go home. He was tired. At 4AM 3 security guards came to me…told me to get in a wheelchair.
Took me to the front and the person there told them to take me into the street. Into the STREET at approximately 5AM. Left me in a wheelchair on the corner of 68St. People were beginning to go to work. I found my cellphone and called 911. The ambulance came that took me back inside. The attendant would not let them take me in. Was taken to the psychiatric ward where I was for maybe 12 hours and they finally released me. Luckily I had some money and was able to take a “cab”…(quite unusual unless on non rush hour)…Made it home. Ended up in Jacobi hospital a week later for same problems…”dizzyness and syncope”. Now they finally put me on a program for disabled people…and I have an aide coming to my house 5 days a week…BE CAREFUL…THE WORLD HAS NOT CHANGED ANY. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ME I AM SURE STILL HAPPENS TO MANY. The lawyers who were taking care of a lawsuit that caused my head injuries, tells me, upon me calling him about suing them for that…(This is a top Manhattan lawyer)…John…let it go…so having said all this hopefully you get awareness that there is lots of incompentence…and it is very well shielded and protected by lawyers who make top salaries shielding doctors who pay lots of insuarnce. Be very carefu…Shock do injure…BUT DOCTORS ARE SIMPLY TOO WELL PROTECTED…It’s like you playing Russian roulette. If you decide to play Russian Roulette, make sure you have someone around you to overwatch your situation. What I am surprised about is that this is the greatest country in the world. Supposedly the most competent medical system out there. UNFORTUNATELY that is a FALSEHOOD…so just be careful…Ninuccio…
PS. By the way head injury assistance does exist…I took mine 20 years ago and all the people I speak to…NO ONE knows anything about it…Bye…

karanApril 12th, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Ninuccio, you did not answer Bubi’s question. I have been reading some of your previoearsus posts from past yyears. Are you schizophrenic. I’m not trying to be cruel, but you seem very intellignt and knowledgeable , but your words seem to be more of a ranting . Maybe someone has brought this up to ypu before? You may need to check into that. Just a thought. Good luck.

NinuccioApril 12th, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Karan, I thank for you comment. Surprised you used the word schitzophrenic. My words are ranting. I am ranting over and over the same information which I know is not being properly conveyed. Let me rant again. I was in the Rusk for 3 years. The treatment I received is “specifically” for head injured people.I have used it continuously and it serves the “cognitive” awareness that we all need to have. I BELIEVE that only after you are able to understand your cognitive function you can say you are rehabilitated. I mention it over and over again because it seems no one is aware of cognitive remediation. So,let me ask you, if you are aware something…not only true…but given…(I am sure even today)…by the Rusk’s Cognitive Classes…which I may add I didn’t understand at the time…(and I still utilize today)…would “YOU”…as a caring person would not want to pass REALISTIC information out. Why so many years later, seeing that information is not being passed on to others so they can UTILIZE it to live a BETTER LIFE. Why should I not pass this information on…IF NO ONE ELSE does it. Have you done it. Do you remember ever telling someone that when you think you a short term memory loss that through the Rusk’s Cognitive Classes…through a long time…(another point which I also made repeatedly)…you will recognize a “DISTRACTIBILITY” factor. Don’t you think that is important. Have you as a member of this group ever passed that information around. THIS INFORMATION IS THE GATEWAY TO REHABILITATING A HEAD INJURY? Is it not. And if it is, I wonder why you get annoyed in me constantly telling someone who will need to know?…Is it me ranting?…or is it SELF-CENTERDNESS on your part. Look at things properly. I have talked to a person who seems to be a kind, well structured person, who says that once you understand your symptoms. I am just curious…HOW CAN ANYONE UNDERSTAND THEIR SYMPTOMS UNLESS RECEIVE THE PROPER TREATMENTS?…That is why I keep on talking on the cognitive classes in the Rusk…Answering the question by Rubi…No, I had aspired to become a writer before I was head injured. Yet I hope you have given some importance to my MAIN POINTS…This being one of them…I take it as insult that you ask me if I am schitzophrenic when all this information is not from me…but simply telling of the proper procedures STILL FOLLOWED…today…“In a stunning reversal, an article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in January 2007 by prominent researcher Harold Sackeim of Columbia University reveals that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities, which affect individuals’ ability to function.”
It is quite evident the medical system has many issues…and if by chance you are going to allow it to touch your brain the consequences can be deadly.
I wanted to a writer when that option happened to me…I also was put in the street by Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan…by something that you don’t think happens to people…later diagnosis turned out to be a “syncope”…(By product of head injuries)…Karan, live and learn…and then pass your awareness to others so they won’t end up in the same situations…Ninuccio…aka. Nino

JennyApril 13th, 2014 at 2:30 am

Karan,
He (Ninuccio) has had ECT. It can affect communication. Also language. It is clear form his writing that he is speaking from personal experience and personal research. He is also writing about things which would reasonably be distressing for anyone who experienced them which would be likely to affect him and in writing about it he may well be being ‘triggered’ emotionally. Also he has choice to avoid specifically answering if he wants to any post put up.
The way I read his posts he did answer the question of whether he was a professional or just very knowledgeable and he explained where his knowledge came from. It is clear it is not from a lecture room by his answer. I am guessing you are a ‘professional’ by your comment though you may just be trying to be helpful. Perhaps you would like to give us your CV on this site and other information about yourself including why you would post a suggested mental diagnosis on line?
What is your rationale behind suggesting schizophrenia and what do you understand by that term and what is your understanding of the causation and neuro-chemico-physiology of that condition? I am generally interested to know as you must have reason for writing what you have written and presumably ‘professional’ training or alternatively a diagnosis yourself which allows you to recognize the suspicion you voice.
I am genuinely interested why you think he may have schizophrenia. Why schizophrenia and not traumatisation? and why would you suggest it in this manner which if you can take it feels aggressive as a bystander. Do you have a personality disorder of some kind?
When you had ketamine, did the effects last and what was it like immediately afterwards? How did it compare to other anesthetics if you have ever had any, apart form the ones you presumably had when you had ect? Its other name is angel dust. It is a controlled drug isn’t it? It is used as an anesthetic. I am pleased it helped you. If you read one of my earlier posts I proposed that there could be a better response to anesthetizing people to break loops in their brain activity (and then simply tell them they have had a treatment) and wake them up afterward. ie no brain damaging ECT only a break and shutting down of the brain temporarily to decrease their internal ‘stress’ and your story seems to corroborate my hypothesis.
I wonder what your feelings are after reading ALL the comments and seeing the posts. I already let you know why it is likely your ketamine treatment helped you. You could have learnt to dissociate with a trained therapist without the use of drugs. I hope you will keep an open mind and dissuade other people from having this or other brain damaging treatments if it is in your power to do so. Just because there is nothing grossly to see up until now, when the technology is there I am sure you will be able to see before and after pictures that will show which parts of the brain are damaged during Ect and my guess will be that they will not be consistently the same for each person and not just due to variations in brain anatomy. I have no doubt whatsoever this treatment severely damaged my brain and its functioning. There are too many people reporting similar effects for side effects, many of them serious, to be written off and some of those people had even given consent for the treatment and they feel let down and lied to.
It is really important for consent to be informed, ie talk and mention the adverse effects and make sure the patient has fully comprehended. I wonder if this was done in your case. e
Every now and then someone does mention a positive benefit. My guess is that in these instances there is a malfunctioning area of neurons in the brain which are destroyed and the patient gains relief because of this. IE there is still brain damage but in that case it is beneficial as that part of the brain was not working properly, ie akin to cutting out an abscess or bit of cancer to allow function to restore. As also stated above the brain does have neuroplasticity BUT nerve cells do not recover. once dead they are dead forever.
This is why i believe the treatment should be banned as it is not only very painful and distressing experiencing, it is not precise in its effects.
By the way don;t take the PD suggestion too much to heart. There is a lot of controversy whether they actually exist at all or are just the human condition. People make a lot of money out of ‘treatments’. There is a really good story called the emperor’s new clothes.

JennyApril 13th, 2014 at 2:44 am

Sheree
your psychiatrist may have been right when he said it makes the drug treatments work better as i read somewhere(sorry can;t remember where so cant give reference ) that it damages the blood rain barrier. This means a lower dose of drug would be required to pass the blood brain barrier after as compared to before ECT,
However the trouble with damaging the blood brain barrier is exactly that. it is a barrier in the membranes surrounding the brain with the function of keeping toxic and harmful substances away from the brain.
It is not something I would consider trying to achieve.
I would suspect blood brain barrier damage is real however and means some drugs that would not normally get through into the brain circulation but stay in the peripheral circulation are able to cross into the brain in patients that have had ect. It is something i believe doctors should be more aware of and yet another reason not to give ECT to anyone. Increasing the dose of a drug would also tend to increase the brain concentrations. There may be reasons why this could not be done legally.
Ps I am still upset about the effects of ECT on me and have difficulties to this day. The effects can be long term and very detrimental. Brain cells do not recover. Other cells may take over function but this is adaption and plasticity. Brain function is altered and surely it would be better to avoid brain injury in the first place if at all possible.

karankaranApril 13th, 2014 at 6:15 am

Ninuccio, I am truly sorry for my words. They were not meant to hurt. I use the word schizophrenia because his writings sounded so much like my brothers 20 years ago. Who through trial and horrific error Was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia. I am a patient who from 15 years ago until this past March Has on and off been receiving ECT. ECT along with medication, Which has also been through trial and horrific error, only works temporarily. I hate the procedure with everything in me. But because of it I am still alive. I know this. My short term memory is So bad I will forget a movie that I saw just last month. For long term memory I don’t remember my own children’s birth and many many other things. And yes penny you are right about ketamine. The effect is wonderful, but so very very temporary. Again I am so very sorry for my words it was It was not to be unkind. Ninuccio forgive me.

NinuccioApril 13th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Of course you are forgiven. From time to time I meet up with this. I know I do not properly coordinate my messages…but I am the by-product, not only of bad doctors…and 16 bashings to my brain…(3 neurosurgeries and 13 shocks)…but inappropriate assistance for years. The doctor who injured me with neurosurgeries without any possible fear or negative effects, which he never diagnosed post causing them…The shock treatment doctor did the same. It was God sent that my mom, an elderly Italian mother, who could barely speak English, stepped up and got admitted to the Rusk. The only thing that could have assisted me was the “full” recognition of my head injury. THAT DID HAPPEN years back. The same time when the doctors were almost taken to court. Of course that didn’t happen. It rarely does. The reason why I show this is so that others can become aware of this information.I don’t remember him…Dr. Kalinowsky was a “top” (?)(?)(?)…doctor, and retired as one of the top shock treatments doctors. Most of the papers from him at the time, ironically were true…They allowed a young man at the time of 27 get on Social Security…I am now 61)…except that he “openly” “and without any kind of fear of “retribution” protected himself and the very the doctor who had caused me my prior injuries…His papers were never released…when a lawsuit was in the works years ago…So I simply want…(in my awkward brain injured way)…WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE. I am “pretty” sure these doctors are still there…Anyway…there is no anger in me in your words. I actually do understand them as I have had to adjust to my own anger and frustration of losing my thinking ability and everything else that went with it…Here are some papers from Dr. Kalinowsky…a complete animal…complete animal…here is what he had the audacity to do to me and just bail out…Dr. Lothar Kalinowsky 1)-Subjecting the patient to controversial and potentially damaging without informed consent…2)-When the patient’s brain function was already impaired, subjecting the patient to another brain disabling treatment in the form of electroshock. 3)-When the patient suffered from an extreme reaction to electroshock, continuing with the treatment. 4)-Failure to inform the patient and family that malpractice had been committed by Dr.Stellar. ..5)-Failure to inform the patient would never recover from the brain damage inflicted by the neurosurgeries and compounded by the electroshock. 6)-Giving electroshock to an obviously incompetent patient, with no legal guardian,and therefore without consent.7)-Inapporopriately prescribing electroshock ina patient in whom it was unwarranted…Now I could go on…but THE REASON WHY I PUBLISH THIS IS BECAUSE THIS WAS DONE BY A “TOP” PROFESSIONAL…Supposedly. In a top medical area…NEW YORK CITY. In a top hospital…GRACIE SQUARE HOSPITAL…where even today…the cognitive remediation classes are not recognized…Here again Karen…One of the problems I have is IMPULSIVITY…but all the information I give…is from my personal papers THAT WERE NEVER ABLE TO MAKE IT TO COURT. I have no memories of my neurosurgeries and shocks, what I do know because of my report is that there was plenty of negligence and incompetence by top professionals.That is what I talk about…NOT not to ever have shocks. I don’t know about that…but TO BE AWARE…that the very doctors who will give you shocks are able to disable you for life and simply walk away…Under the shield of the very law which is supposed to be there for us. My mother, years back suffered tragedies when being given the wrong medications. Under the “rules of professional ethics” that doctor was able to walk away?…Therefore these things simply need to be known…that’s what I do…that “unwillingly” has become my purpose in life…Ninuccio.

Regina SourwineNovember 18th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I was put in a psychiatric ward for Major Depression and was. told by the attending psychiatrist that a series of ECTs would help to alleviate my depression. I was given ECTs for 12 years and I finally said enough is enough. I kept telling the doctor that I could remember big portions of my life over the years yet he still continued to not only deny this was happening but he continued to give me the treatments. I had two degrees prior to these treatments, a BS in Applied Physics and worked in Holographic Research till I moved to live with my husband. I then went back to college to get my MS in Secondary Education to teach Physics, Biology and General Science. I taught for 10 years and never had a problem with depression in my life. Then due to being over worked with 7 different classes I broke down mentally. The psychiatrist immediately recommended ECT treatments without trying anything else first. I have had over 400 treatments and now I can’t remember any of the material I knew in the past and many parts of my life are erased permanently. I can’t am unable work because I can’t remember anything. My short term memory is destroyed as is so much of my life. He destroyed my brain due to ECTS. ECTs do destroy not help.

SofiaDecember 13th, 2016 at 3:55 pm

My advice to anyone who is being told they need this procedure to fight against it like you’ve never fought before. I had ect in 2013. It was forced on me like it almost always is for everyone as it doesn’t require consent for them to shoot 600 volts of electricity in a forced seizure to the most important asset you’re born with. My dad fought against it and I kept saying I don’t like the sound of this, this sounds like they’re literally going to ‘fry my brain’ which is no exaggeration. I was never informed of any of the severe cognitive damage it does and has done. The psychiatrist said if she doesn’t have it we’ll have to discharge her and she won’t ‘get better’. I been diagnosed with a major depressive episode. My dad felt his hands were tied. After I had been given 24 ‘treatments’ after six months I couldn’t remember where we had to stop on the way home for two years afterwards even after asking five minutes before. I couldn’t remember names of streets when I needed to, couldn’t find my way around the city without someone in the car with me and still can’t when none of these things were a problem for me prior to ect. I couldn’t recall words, the last names of actors I had known all my life, couldn’t remember anything from our vacation to New York in 2013 before I had the ect, or anything from my four year relationship I had had with my boyfriend prior to the ect. I have lost and still can’t remember the bulk of memories that made up my entire life, as seems to be the case for many ect victims. I couldn’t remember all of the knowledge I had worked to acquire over my four year long university degree which I received an entry scholarship for because of my academic and musical potential. I was an A student and memory of large volumes of material for six and seven courses was never an issue. Now I find it difficult to retain one or two points of an online article no matter if it is only a few paragraphs long. It is also very difficult to put it into my own and not the author’s words few of which I can remember. I can’t tell you in much detail or very fluently what I read in the book I read last night. I also can’t tell you the names of the books I’ve read in the last four months or what they’ve been about. I have practically no memory retention of these things. Someone will ask me what I did the day before and I can’t remember a thing that happened that day. I can’t follow or understand sometimes what’s happening in a show or movie where you have to connect the dots so to speak and put the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out what’s going on which used to happen just automatically. I find it very difficult to learn and retain new information and in an effort to improve this, could only manage one university french course per term over the past two years when I excelled in all six of my university courses per term during my four year university degree, and could memorize pages worth of music in couple of days, without conscious effort. My conversational skills have been reduced to a minimum. I have trouble spelling words, and have to write them down or look them up, which I never did before having ect. It feels like the part of my brain that is responsible for these things has been virtually disabled. Writing was one of my gifts as well, and now it is if my imagination and creative instincts have been removed. I no longer have and most likely never will have the skills to analyze things, critically think about things and put together information in a way that one would have to for a university paper for example. Those things just aren’t there anymore. My judgement has been affected in making quick decisions and I have distractability issues, both of which were non-existant pre-ect. Not only that, but it is like the whole range of my emotions-fear, love, joy, anticipation, excitement, pride, contentment, and so many more make that the human experience what it is, just the spontaneous emotional response that happened prior to ect, is entirely non-existent now. If you read about other victims of ect this is common among people who have received it because according to the research on damage ect does to the brain, the effects are identical to non-ect brain injuries. The first time I read of someone else experiencing this horrifying reality of not having any spontaneous emotional response to things, it at least affirmed for me what I had experienced post ect for the first time in my life, knowing others had had this totally abnormal, unsettling lack of response to things after having ect as well. When I had neuro-psychological testing done at my request,the psychologist said you know sometimes it takes up to a year for symptoms ‘to resolve’. I so badly wanted to believe her but because I wasn’t seeing even incremental improvements before this, my intuition, which is probably the only thing which hasn’t been affected, told me it wasn’t going to happen. It’s been three years since I had ect and not one ‘symptom’ as the psychologist called it as if it were a common cold, is less pronounced. I had my life’s abilities taken from me. And the damage as far as I have been able to ascertain from my own experience and from other victims’ accounts, even as long as thirty years afterward- is irreparable. Don’t sign away your life to any doctor who tells you to have ect. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have.And will for the rest of my life. They lined their pockets with what they did to me and it cost me everything. Your brain and your emotions are irreplaceable. They are what make you who you are. Protect them with your life. Do whatever you have to do to keep the lifelong abilities you were born with. I am 38 years old and go through everyday like a dementia patient when in my life prior to ect I was a bright, well regarded, well spoken and successful adult in every area of my life. How I wish I had known all the information that is out there when I was in hospital. Please please educate yourself, get a lawyer, drain your bank account if you have to, get whoever you have to intervene to stop this from happening to you. Don’t take the risk. You will be saving yourself from the worst kind of irreparable damage you could possibly have inflicted on your brain.

PaulDecember 14th, 2016 at 5:37 am

It is several years since I last posted on this forum. I still view ECT as a harmful procedure and I now believe that all psychiatric drugs are also harmful.

One very hopeful treatment I have recently come across is nutritional/detoxification protocols that are proving to be far more effective than any prescription drugs in alleviating depression, anxiety and other maladies for which the standard treatment is drugs. The only ‘side effects’ of this approach is general good health for the whole person!

Look up “A Mind of your Own” by Kelly Brogan MD, or “Kelly Brogan M D” on YouTube.

Her first book is available on Amazon.
“A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives 1st Edition
by Kelly Brogan M.D. (Author), Kristin Loberg (Author) ”

From the publishers : –
“From the Publisher
The Silent Tragedy in Health Care Today

By Kelly Brogan, M.D., Author of A Mind of Your Own.

A silent tragedy in the history of modern health care is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in seven women (one in four women in their forties and fifties). Millions more—maybe you—are tempted to try them to end chronic, unyielding distress, irritability, and feeling emotionally flat—trapped by an exhausting, unshakable inner agitation.

It is time to let go of this false narrative and take a fresh look at where science is leading us. Before you try an antidepressant, I implore you to read this book. And if you do currently take these drugs, then I have an important message for you, too. Let me give you a primer.

Believe it or not:

- In six decades, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

- The serotonin theory of depression is a myth that has been supported by the manipulation of data and an echo chamber of industry and media rhetoric.

- Depression is not a genetic disease. It is an epigenetic syndrome. In 2003, a study published in Science suggested that those with genetic variation in their serotonin transporter were three times more likely to be depressed. But six years later this idea was wiped out by a meta-analysis of 14,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that denied such an association.

- Depression is often an inflammatory condition, a manifestation of irregularities in the body that can start far away from the brain and are not associated with the simplistic model of so-called ‘chemical imbalances’.

- Depression is an opportunity. It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance.

The human body interacts in its environment with deep intelligence. Your body creates symptoms for a reason. We usually suppress these symptoms with medication, but that is like turning off the smoke alarm when you have a fire going on.

I get the allure of the quick fix cure via a drug. I used to believe in the magic pill. Then, after my residency and fellowship training, I took a sharp turn.

I have spent years voraciously researching to find better health solutions for women, hungry for the truth about what works and what doesn’t. In my research and work with patients—people just like you—I’ve been analyzing data and connecting the dots.

First we have to ask why you are feeling the way you are feeling, and the sources of your symptoms may surprise you. It may be your food, your gut, your thyroid, or even your go-to pain reliever. I continue to be amazed at the power of the body to heal, after decades of abuse by our lifestyles, within time frames as short as thirty days.

My goal is to:

- Help you change the beliefs we’ve all been fed by a system that is not really focused on wellness, but on symptom suppression—and profit.

- Help you discover your body’s innate ability to recalibrate, reset, and recharge so you can heal.

- Give you simple, highly practical steps in a comprehensive plan that activates your own healing power so you can start feel freer and healthier in thirty days or less.

Because you deserve to experience a mind of your own.”

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