My first scar came as a child, from riding my bike too close to a wire fence, a faint reminder of an otherwise great ride! Wounding often yields a scar. Therapy can scar too as when skin cancer is treated by surgical removal. Some scars are tender or less visible or discounted entirely. Scars from electroshock aka electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are usually ignored by physicians.
A few weeks or months after electroshock you feel somehow different, perhaps not substantially better, mostly just different. Something changed. If coffee was a pleasant beverage, it becomes less so. Because you were restrained during electroshock your normal fight/flight response is blocked resulting in a chronic state of physiological arousal (aka autonomic arousal) which is stressful. You are likely to feel a free floating (nonspecific) anxiety, like what Dr Edward Bach describes as an Aspen state. Also, with trauma something imprints; in the moment, a tiny aspect is associated with the traumatic event. One or more imprints occur at every electroshock session. For example, each electroshock session causes at least 6 hidden scars on the body. The aggregate of what imprints during electroshock varies with each person/session; a sound, a smell (e.g. an inhaled anaesthetic), a feeling, an image, a color, a sensation.
Later, as you move through life the unease or terror of a prior trauma is triggered by a similar sound the same smell a similar image … whatever imprinted for you and was triggered. You are experiencing PTSD but nobody gave you a heads up, it just happens as part of your life after any electroshock. These episodes of unease or terror are the tender scars of electroshock. Your anguish and calls for help are not unnoticed. Your prayers were answered in 1978 and here; we need not underestimate the power of prayer.
Aside from PTSD you also now have a coffea overlay (some of the attributes of coffea will surface in an unpredictable way for as long as you breath). In the history below for Sue, these attributes for her have a # symbol at the end. The full set of coffea happenings for any person is shown here for coffea cruda (coffea tosta has a similar profile).
When electroshock is repeated (i.e. any second or third or … electroshock session) the new trauma may trigger a prior trauma; as a traumatic cascade unfolds. Dr Judith Herman calls this a chronic trauma syndrome. I have not seen clinical studies on “Complex PTSD” but my sense is that 5 or more electroshock sessions will always induce chronic trauma syndrome.
- If anyone decides to study this, the threshold for Complex is likely fewer than five electroshock sessions.
Circa 2001 “Sue” (not her real name) came for acupressure. In the spring of 1968, Dr Fritz Lowenstein was her physician. He prescribed a weight loss pill (an amphetamine). A few weeks later she had an adverse drug reaction to the weight loss prescription and was hospitalized in the care of Dr Quinton Schubmehl. The three of them met that day in her room. Dr Lowenstein was anguished about what had happened (and probably wondered about a possible lawsuit). Dr Schubmehl came to the rescue ensuring that by the time of discharge, Sue would have no memory of the Rx. She was then misdiagnosed (just needed the detox readily available there) and given Thorazine which caused another ADR and soon after received several in-patient electroshock sessions and psychiatric aftercare (Stelazine , several monthly office visits, then discharge) by Dr Schubmehl. At the time of hospital discharge Dr Schubmehl had no explanation of how Sue got sick. Sue decided she needed to figure it out because the getting sick part was fun, but the treatment was a nightmare she wished to forever avoid. She changed to a different family doc and did volunteer work with Dr Schubmehl’s patients at the hospital.
Her triggers for the trauma of electroshock included
falling asleep, coffee, electricity (crossing the skin), restraint, cold, and light
- She had a frequent twitch of the jaw, a limb, or a brief full body spasm as sleep begins to deepen.
- She can’t use a TENS unit for back pain relief.
- Cannot tolerate restraint at ankles and wrists.
- Is more easily startled.
- She is on guard for danger, hypervigilant.
In retrospect, Sue had Complex PTSD which was not noticed in 2001. Her Complex PTSD symptoms in the approximate sequence of appearance (1968 to 2017) are:
an occasional twitch of the jaw, a limb, or a brief
full body spasm as sleep begins to deepen.
more easily startled.
*hypervigilance, being on guard for danger
marital separation after family members threaten
psychiatric hospital commitment (idiosyncratic)
In 1979 her family doctor said to “stay away from doctors of all kinds”
(he worked in the same hospital, checked her file, saw malpractice)
*more worry, being more anxious
agoraphobia, fear of heights (phobias)
hygienist/dentist report evidence of bruxism
teeth misaligning means repeat orthodontia
*feeling stressed out, fatigue
————- circa 1995————-
can’t use a TENS unit for back pain relief.
*an often unrefreshing sleep marked by endless turning
(starts on her back but then prefer
side sleeping, then the other side) #
adrenal insufficiency (DHEA low)
inability to stay asleep, early waking to write #
becoming hard of hearing #
white coat hypertension
chaos is uncomfortable;
the noise of chatter in a crowded restaurant #
the house is open plan and too noisy, noise seems intolerable/stressful #
the dog next door barks often and loudly and it is disturbing #
chronic adrenal insufficiency (DHEA low)
root canal molar with Prosopalgia (pain = her the worst ever) #
increased food sensitivity (allergic)
eczema @ arms & legs
prior root canal gone bad (very painful) #
more prone to infection of any kind
increased anxiety about diminished health
despair of recovery; feeling broken
chronic colic (worse at night, clothes must be loose) #
dentist reports evidence of prolonged bruxism wear
abdomen feels much better with warmth at navel #
marital stress increases, a shocked person can be difficult to live with
The circumstances marked * are likely present in many who have had electroshock. It is imperative to treat the adrenal fatigue. If it remains untreated, the shocked patient will have less and less immunity as time goes by and can later readily experience premature death from a flu or pneumonia.
The trauma of repeated electroshock strengthens depressive symptoms (fatigue, insomnia). The patient becomes increasingly hard of hearing. You can see Chronic Trauma Syndrome unfold recently by checking in with Alycia on occasion.
- Alycia prefers electroshock (at least 28 sessions so far, as of March 2016 and additional weekly electroshocks planned ) and blogs about her experience. As of July 2016 she stopped blogging, not sure why.