Ect Essay, Research Paper
ECT, Shock, Electroconvulsive Therapy, ElectroShock, EST, Shock Treatment and Electric Shock Treatment are all the same thing. They all refer to a treatment where psychiatrists send large electric currents through the brains of their unfortunate victims. ECT is one of the front-line treatments used by psychiatrists to treat depression and other psychiatric problems.
I believe ECT to be a very modern horror story. Psychiatrists who use ECT try to play down its use by saying that it is a last-resort treatment; that it is only used when other treatments have failed. In the UK, it is now very often the first treatment used and its use is not limited to severe depression. It is now used to treat post-natal depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, eating disorders, bereavement and a variety of other symptoms.
Psychiatrists would have you believe that ECT consists of sending a small electric current through the brain of the patient in order to snap him/her out of depression. Nothing could be further from the truth. They send a large amount of electricity through the brain. The voltages can be as high as 450 volts; the currents are between 0.7 and 0.9 amps (more than enough to kill if applied across the chest); and the shock can last for more than five seconds. One of the most commonly used ECT machines can drive enough current through the brain as would keep an 80-watt lightbulb brightly lit for more than five seconds. That is not a small amount of electricity.
ECT causes brain-damage, amnesia, epilepsy and sometimes death. ECT is an extremely dangerous treatment practiced by psychiatrists for economic reasons at the expense of the patient. Psychiatrists who use ECT try to conceal the high mortality rates; the brain-damage; and all the other little problems that are side-effects of this treatment. They try to justify their own actions by saying that it is a safe and effective treatment for depression and try to disguise it as a therapy, hence the term “Electroconvulsive Therapy”.
ECT is being banned, or severely restricted, in some countries but its use in Britain, America and Canada, the Countries that put economics first appears to be on the increase. ECT is performed on at least 20,000 patients annually in the UK, and estimates for the USA vary from 170,000 to 300,000 annually.(Barton). It is forced on at least 10% of these patients. Male psychiatrists are more likely than females to prescribe ECT, and they are more likely to prescribe it to female patients. It is also perceived to be used more on the elderly.
The aim of ECT is to produce a massive convulsion in the brain (a massive epileptic seizure). For some reason, psychiatrists seem to think that causing an epileptic fit will relieve depression even though nobody has ever demonstrated a link between the two problems. If you could cure depression by having epileptic fits then people suffering from epilepsy would never suffer from depression; but they do.
I believe the procedure causes brain damage as well as severe memory loss in thousands of patients. A report from the President’s Council on Disability states: “public policy should move toward the elimination of Electro-convulsive therapy as unproven and inhumane.” I feel the same way towards this so called “therapy”. At the very least, patients should be warned of the side effects before agreeing to the treatment. People need to know that there is a very definite possibility that you can lose your memory. You can lose yourself. You can lose the ability to do your job that you’ve been doing all your life. Is the risk worth it?”