SHOCK THERAPY ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY (ECT) Shock Therapy is banned in several countries, and severely restricted in many others. Up to 400 volts of electricity are pumped into the brains of the mentally ill, often against their will. The aim though psychiatrists admit they have no idea how it works is to induce severe convulsions to make the mentally ill better, the depressed happier. The result, say critics, is memory loss, brain damage, physical disability, paralysis and, too often, death. There s many patients whose brains are frankly fried. Pat Butterfield, founder of the pressure group ECT Anonymous, boycotted the high-profile debate on ECT. He thinks it is a bit of a PR job. They are trying to gain a bit of credibility. His group has 600 members, who say they have been harmed by ECT. They think it is beyond debate. There is so much evidence that it harms people. Doctors are certainly in favour of ECT as a treatment of last resort. It is the one reliable treatment for severe psychotic depression, which can kill people. Some severe depression drives people to kill themselves for no particular reason. There is no doubt that it is a physical disorder and ECT cures that. The change after a couple of ECTs is incredible. You are saving them and their families. Although one patient resisted treatment or said he didn t want it, he had been given it against his will. The doctors didn t even get a second opinion. He became hyper and permanently confused, in the end he ...
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