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Perhaps it should be no surprise that there are few books for the layperson on electroconvulsive therapy. I once asked a psychiatrist why this is, and his answer was that by the time patients consider ECT, they're too sick to read a book about it, so there's no market for such a book.

Condescending? You bet. But the grandfather of American ECT said a couple of years ago at a conference that in order to be a candidate for ECT, a patient should be so ill that s/he is unable to think coherently, or even access the internet.

So there remains a large gap in the books on electroconvulsive therapy for the person considering ECT. The books that do exist are generally out of print now. I am at work on my own book, and I hope to help fill that gap eventually.

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In the meantime, here are some books about the subject.

Electroshock and Minors : A Fifty Year Review
by Steve Baldwin, Melissa Oxlad


Our Price: $62.95
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In an attempt to explore the explanations why psychiatrists continue to use electroshock with minors already at risk from damage, this text investigates reasons why electroshock remains popular, despite the widespread availability of proven psychosocial alternatives. The text locates all of the literature since the 1940s about the use of electroshock with minors from three years of age through adolescence.


Electroshock Treatment over Four Decades : The Case Against
by Dr. Robert Morgan


Our Price: $23.75
This book by Dr. Robert P. Morgan explores the history of ECT, as well as its re-emergence as a treatment of choice, based on the marketing of a new and improved ECT. Says Morgan: "The only depression it cures is the economic depression of psychiatry." Anyone who is interested in the history of ECT and the medical issues surrounding it should read this book. It includes chapters by Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. John Friedberg and Leonard Roy Frank. If you only read one book about ECT, let it be this one.


"What Difference Does It Make?" (The Journey Of A Soul Survivor)
by Wendy Funk


Our Price: $14.95
Barbara C. Cody B.Sc., R.N. Electroshock Survivor, Activist, Writer, Speaker "What Difference Does It Make?" is a courageous young woman's experience of psychiatric hospitalization and tragic life altering, memory robbing effects of Electroshock "therapy". A true story of survival. Recommended reading for ECT survivors, their families, activists, and anyone considering ECT as a treatment option for themselves or a loved one. If you want to know what ECT really does, read this book."


ELECTROSHOCK: Restoring the Mind
by Max Fink


List Price: $12.05
Our Price: 10.36
You Save: $2.59 (20%)
NEW - Read a full review, CENSORED BY AMAZON, by Linda Andre, head of CTIP. Linda speaks her mind at all times, and this isn't the first time she was censored.

Read the review!


Electroconvulsive Therapy
by Richard Abrams


Our Price: $62.50
I have read Richard Abrams' book, "Electroconvulsive Therapy," numerous times, and refer to it often. It is considered the bible of ECT, although the contradictions between the book and Abrams' other works are apparent. It's also interesting to note the subtle references to the Thymatron, which Abrams' company manufactures. (For example, he often makes comments about certain features of ECT machines that are crucial, yet oddly enough, the Thymatron is the only machine that has them. And frankly, those 'necessary' features are mostly cosmetic.)

While I'm not thrilled with giving Abrams *more* money, I think it's a good book to have, if you're truly interested in the issue of ECT. It's the book that ECT docs refer to when they've got a question, and it does a good job of organizing the technical information, including some explanation of the electrical issues. However, it is not light reading, and if you are looking for a general book on ECT, this isn't it. (You also might check libraries rather than spending the money...I'm certain medical libraries carry it. My copy is a permanent loan from my shrink.)


No picture available Shock Treatment Is Not Good for Your Brain
by John. Friedberg


This book is out of print
Amazon.com will try to find it for you in their used book stores.
Dr. John Friedberg wrote "Shock Treatment Is Not Good for Your Brain" back in 1978. I've read this book a number of times, and it's my favorite. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but amazon.com will try and find it in their network of used book stores. (you also might try your local library)

Toxic Psychiatry
by Peter Breggin


List Price: $18.95
Our Price: $13.27
You Save: $5.68 (30%)
A psychiatric reformer takes aim and blasts away with both barrels. Breggin (author of the novels The Crazy from the Sane, 1971, and After the Good War, 1972) launches a full-scale attack on the popular view that neuroses and psychoses are diseases with biochemical and genetic causes best treated by drugs--even by electroshock and incarceration. (This book has an excellent section on ECT, the role of the FDA, and more)

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