The term electroshock is favored here because ECT is seldom therapeutic, so the term “therapy” is misleading. After electroshock the patient is dealing with the kinds of things shown in this word cloud. The focus for this page of the web site is the family, caregivers, and friends. Your support is critical to the patient’s recovery, now and in the years to come. You have a voluntary yet pivotal role in the patient’s recovery because the nature and experience of electroshock can perhaps for a long while, greatly delay or inhibit the patient’s own ability to recover.
- There is a detailed Patient page for the person who had electroshock and family or friends may find it helpful to review the Patient page.
If you begin to discuss this with your friend; gentleness patience and respect are crucial. They may not want to hear this (TBI or complex PTSD related) news. Their self-examination as they review this information, will be upsetting.
This recent book by Bonnie Burstow Ph.D. is thorough and insightful. As explained on the blog, all use of electroshock is based on the distorted disclosure of faulty science born of a complex and richly rewarded system of academic personalities and corporate arrogance. An older and well written overview of electroshock by Linda Andre is here.
Many families are eventually touched by a mental illness; anxiety is widespread depression is not uncommon, and medical professionals who lose confidence in their present approach seek alternatives like electroshock. Because the patient is restrained during electroshock the normal fight/flight response is suppressed resulting in a chronic state of physiological arousal (aka autonomic arousal) which is stressful. Electroshock always results in doctor induced illness, it is iatrogenic. In spite of belief and prudent precautions, electroshock is always traumatic. Every physician who administers electroshock is, without malice, ignorant of healing and engaged in cruel punishment. You cannot treat or cure a mental illness by electrifying the brain, the brain does not contain the mind. Rather the whole body is within the mind. Electroshock is merely punishment in disguise.
Except for the placebo effect, electroshock does not heal any illness; if your friend was mentally ill before electroshock, they likely go home with a mental illness plus
- TBI (temporal lobe(s) for sure, possibly frontal lobe) and
- the complex PTSD introduced by the trauma of electroshock and
- a nervous system like that of a frequent coffee drinker (even while not drinking any).
Perhaps someone noticed the hyper-alert nervous system, the flashbacks about electroshock, feeling over-stressed, or disturbed sleep.
Electroshock always harms the patient yet few notice, other than family/colleagues or the person shocked. Complex PTSD and TBI are the tender scars of electroshock that seldom fade by themselves. A long discovery process has revealed many electroshock scars which can be addressed. Many aspects of the patient’s life are affected by the complex PTSD:
- less sleep, less tolerant of coffee (makes things worse), poor digestion, less composure/more vigilance, diminished adrenal function, strained relationships (marital, family), teeth problems, more fatigue, intolerance for chaos, higher blood pressure, skin problems … as explained more fully here .
Just because a patient isn’t consciously aware of what is happening (i.e. anaesthetised) doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. A bodily experience can still happen while they aren’t paying attention e.g. the college student who is date raped after a Rohypnol spiked drink (they still feel violated later on, after waking).
- If your friend has not yet had a first electroshock session help them avoid that first one. If they had a first electroshock treatment, help them avoid the next one. They deserve more capable and humane medical care.
The Recovery process for doctor induced complex PTSD is clear.
Effective humane treatment of mental illness requires helpful meds, psychotherapy great communication, and no electroshock.