A student working on a paper asked for information about the history of ECT, so I put these files together for him. I was pressed for time, so nothing has been OCR'd - it's all in graphical format. You can view the gifs, one per page, and print them out.

Read about the earliest beginnings of ECT, from Leonard Roy Frank's wonderful book "The History of Shock Treatment." If you're interested in reading a very detailed book on its history, this is THE book I recommend. It's absolutely fascinating reading. You can try and order it through the amazon.com bookstore, but it's now out of print. You can order a copy via Support Coalition (discount if you're a member of this wonderful organization) via the Mad Market.

These are only the first few pages of this huge book, to go into the earliest beginnings of electricity as "treatment."

Included:
Electric Eel Therapy
Devil Expulsion with Electricity
The Efficacy of Camphire
A Cure for Devils
Commotions Electriques
Hellebore as a Convulsive Agent
The First Electroconvulsive Treatment
Electrical Treatment to the Head
Electric Shocks End Panic
Nonconvulsive Electrotherapy
The Power of Suggestion

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From Richard Abrams' book (the textbook of ECT), a general history of the use of ECT, including its beginnings with electric fish.

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An article from Comprehensive Psychiatry (May-June 1999): The history of electroconvulsive therapy in the United States. Author: Zigmond M. Lebensohn.

Abstract: The history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the United States is traced from its crude beginnings in 1940 to its emergence as a highly sophisticated and effective treatment for many severe psychiatric disorders. The general distrust of all somatic therapies in the 1930s and 1940s expressed by many prominent psychiatrists (both analysts and nonanalysts) contributed to an ambivalent relationship between ECT and the rest of American psychiatry. The media coverage of ECT is reviewed, and suggestions for dealing with the antipsychiatry movement and anti-ECT prejudice are discussed.

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An excellent article on ECT from the late Quinn Rossander. His article examines the history of shock treatments and contains some personal observations. Ross was an amazing person himself, fighting hard for the rights of mental patients, and putting his money where his mouth is. Sadly, Ross died in May 1998. The world lost an amazing human being. We miss you, dear friend.***