Do they really believe shock therapy cures mental illness?

Thursday, 23rd June

MECTA_spECTrum_ECT machine

Electro­convulsive therapy: ‘Professors in white coats are still kicking vulnerable people in the head under the pretence that this is a cure for mental illness

• A LONG time, back in the early 1970s, my friend Pete, who was suffering from mental health problems, was taken away and given electro­convulsive therapy (ECT), (Medics in row over ‘brutal’ brain therapy, June 16).

When he came back a few weeks later his personality had completely changed; an intelligent Oxford literature and modern poetry scholar had been turned into a submissive, hunched-over shadow of his former self.

I asked him what the ECT was like. He said: “It’s like someone kicking you in the head, really hard. You don’t want them to do it again, so you try to behave the way they think is normal.”

So I was very shocked to read in the CNJ that windbag professors in white coats are still kicking vulnerable people in the head under the pretence that this is a cure for mental illness.

On this and other mental health matters I recommend the work of Dr Joanna Moncrieff, Professor of Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London – a voice of sanity in an insane world we have created, in which any kind of behaviour that doesn’t seem “normal” is treated as mental illness.

The effects of ECT were famously portrayed in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson.

TOM MUIRHEAD
Address supplied

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