What are some medical alternatives to ECT? I have never had ECT, though I definitely have had illness episodes that are similar to those who are suffering now and being recommended the procedure. Disclosure: I am adamantly against the treatment, consider it abusive and think it should be banned.
Related post: ECT Machines Have Never Been Tested.
Especially forced ECT on children, experiemental ECT on low IQ kids. Maybe you can agree with me on at least that much. And if you think there is no risk of permanent brain damage – you are simply ill informed and being given incomplete information about the treatment.
You can rally for it on your side if you think it is ‘safe and effective’ and a good treatment for serious depression. That’s fine, I just happen to not agree and think it is never ok to do intentional damage with risk of permanent damage in treating something that can be treated in other ways.
If you do have the proceduce I hope all goes as well as is possible. But I really hope you would consider every other option to get through your emotional/physical crisis and state of suffering: Take a Staycation Instead of Having ECT Treatments.
A Few Thoughts To Think About Before Consenting to ECT
If you think ECT is ‘safe and effective’ here are a couple thoughts for you think about:
“After one, two or three ECTs, the trauma causes typical symptoms of severe head trauma or injury including headache, nausea, memory loss, disorientation, confusion, impaired judgment, loss of personality, and emotional instability. These harmful effects worsen and some become permanent as routine treatment progresses.”
Source: ECT Works By Damaging the Brain
“Electroshock never addresses the cause of the person’s problems and offers no cure.”
We Need Better Treatments for Depression
It’s horrible that anyone is in a mental state of severe suffering and feeling that taking the risk of damaging their brain to alleviate that suffering with ECT is a risk worth risking.
Personally, it makes me feel bad.
We need better treatments for depression, at all stages of the illness for those who are bipolar, suffer from Major Depressive Disorder or other mental illness. I think we can all agree on that.
Better treatments that make even having to consider ECT a thing of the past…
Are There Medical Alternatives to ECT?
They do not know how ECT works… other than it induces seizures in the brain and causes changes in functioning and that it damages the brain.
There are newer therapies being developed that have a similar effect on the brain (effects changes in functioning) but are considered to be less harmful. I will do a write-up on each when I have more time and then link to the page about the heading here. Give me a couple of weeks.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Magnetic Therapy, Deep Brain Stimulation. Others?
I will add others as I find them during my research. Those who are developing less invasive and less harmful treatments for severe depression deserve to be highlighted and supported (in my humble opinion).
How Did ECT Come To Be?
A lovely psychiatrist decided humans were like pigs so why not shock them. The treatment has pretty much an exciting (not) and disturbing an origin as that.
“It occurred to me,” wrote Cerletti, “that the hogs of the slaughterhouse could furnish the most valuable material for my experiments…At this point I felt we could venture to experiment on man, and I instructed my assistants to be on the alert for the selection of a suitable subject.”
Source: Who Invented ECT?
We are not pigs. And our brains are not heavy machinery that you can jolt with electric currents to get up an running again. Damaging an already under-functioning or diseased organ is usually counter-indicative in medical settings. ECT is brain damaging and should be banned.
We need better and more effective treatments for depression that get at the root causes. Treatments that help to heal a person, not harm them.
In an article written by Dr. Frank Ayd in 1963, Cerletti is quoted as saying “When I saw the patient’s reaction, I thought to myself: This ought to be abolished! Ever since I have looked forward to the time when another treatment would replace electroshock.”
Let’s figure out alternatives. Molly
Photograph is “Pig in a bucket” by Ben Salter.