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Journal Articles on ECT
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Journal Articles on ECT

As long as professionals here are recommending we read journal articles for the "latest" on shock treatment, here I one I believe you should not have yourselves missed:

Electroshock: scientific, ethical, and political issues
International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 11 (1998) 5-40
IOS Press
http://www.cjnetworks.com/~cgrandy/ecb/breggin_risk&safety.htm

I have known several people who chose ECT, and the long term result was not good. Most people do not realize dotors make no attempt to follow these patients to see how they have got on after they were shocked, or else they blame all their subsequent difficultes on mental illness. How convenient for them.
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Dear Kathy,

I reviewed briefly the article you mentioned at the website.
From my clinical experience, and the experience of other psychiatrists and numerous research articles published, ECT is very effective (up to 90%) in treating depression. It is often used as second or third line treatment after medication failure.  The research does follow patients long term to review their
progress and any adverse effects.
I am unsure why the persons you know failed ECT, I wish them and you the best.

Sincerely,

HFHS M.D.-SW
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In the Answer, you state:

I reviewed briefly the article you mentioned at the website.
     From my clinical experience, and the experience of other psychiatrists and numerous research articles published,
     ECT is very effective (up to 90%) in treating depression. It is often used as second or third line treatment after
     medication failure.

The studies show also that the results are temporary, lasting no more than 6-8 weeks in most. One risks gaining a TEMPORARY relief of depression by trading for long-term memory and other cognitive problems. MEDICALLY memory loss historically is proved to result from SEVERE brain damage, and little else. Amnesia is historically the result of brain trauma. That is how memory loss, even if it is temporary, and much evidence disputes that, from ECT results, from trauma and brain damage. The medical establishment persists in sticking by this "treatment" that is more damaging than helpful. I think you [as touting the line of organized psychiatry/medicine are painting yourself into a corner, and your denials will one day prove your undoing, and you will lose a lot of the public trust, of which you are proving to be unworthy.

Also you have failed to note: that ECT is increasing in use as a 'frontline' treatment, and granddady shockdoc Max Fink has stated: If the depression is bad enough to warrant hospitalization, then it is bad enough to be treated FIRST with ECT. ECT is easy for hospitals to perform and also remunerative. A course of ECT can bring in $30,000.
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Psychiatrists seem to think they know everything about the effects of electricity on the brain, but is this "knowledge" that should earn them the mantle of expert on such matters?

Here is what one Neurologist, a specialist of the brain, (psychiatrists are not specialists of the brain, they deal ostensibly with the mind, arguably not an organ at all) has to say about psychiatry's electroconvulsive shock:

This is a recent letter to the Surgeon General, who intends to pronounce ECT "safe and effective" very much without doing his homework.


Dear Dr. Satcher,

As a neurologist with 25 years of clinical practice and
a long-time student of Electroconvulsive Treatment (my
book, Shock Treatment Is Not Good For Your Brain, was
published in 1976) I am writing to urge you to withdraw
your recently publicized support for this Nazi-era
anachronism.

Today's ECT machines are more powerful than ever,
capable of delivering up to 200 joules, twenty times
the energy necessary to kindle a convulsion. MRI brain
scans have shown cerebral edema following each shock.
The blood brain barrier breaks down and the brain
swells with each shock in a manner similar if not
identical to hypertensive encephalopathy. And the
amnesia is universal.

Amnesia is a rarity in neurology. You probably know as
well as I that it takes a lot to wipe out memories -
severe head trauma, severe anoxia, severe hypoglycemia,
severe thiamine deficiency etc.

As one physician to another, do you really believe
electrically induced convulsions are safe?

Very truly,


Please feel free to copy or use it as you please.

John
John M. Friedberg, M.D.
Neurologist 510-644-2282
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