Since the time I had electroshock which was 33 years ago, I have problems with permanent memory loss, problems with concentrating and learning anything new. Electroshock is brutal, unethical, torture, a crime against humanity.
– Sue Clark’s written testimony read at Inquiry into Psychiatry, public hearings in Toronto (April 9, 2005)
ECT HURT ME
copyright © Sue Clark-Wittenberg, April 11, 2008 – All Rights Reserved
I wrote a poem about my first experience with ECT in 1973 when I was 17 years old. I was forced to have ECT which I did not want – Sue Clark-Wittenberg
The day I got my first ECT
I recall the room was white
the nurses wore white
the doctor wore white
and I was white as a sheet with fright
I lay on my back on the bed
with wires put on both sides of my head
a rubber band put on my forehead
and a rubber mallet stuck in between my teeth
I was scared to death, terrified
I wanted to jump up and run
but I could not
I saw the ECT machine
right to my left
and knew that horrible machine
was going to be turned on
and it would hurt my brain
and it did
I woke up after the ECT
dizzy, confused and did
not know who I was
where I was
I was put in a wheelchair
I missed my breakfast
and had to wait for lunch
a peer on my ward
told me many years later
that when the staff grabbed me
to take me to the ECT room
I screamed, kicked and bit the
staff and hollered
“Somebody, anybody, please
But nobody did
ECT hurt my brain
No one told me the
truth about what ECT
would do to me
because nobody cared
So that is why I want ECT the atrocity that it is
to be banned, to end,
to stop now
so no one else has to
go through the torture
like I did which is called ECT
Electroshock is also known as Electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, and shock, and shock therapy
ECT protest in Ottawa 2005 at the Canadian Psychiatric Association office
a picture of Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney
“Electroshock is violence”
– Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General and human rights advocate – invited address to the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, New York City (May 1983)
Above is a picture of former Senator Thomas Eagleton who was the former Attorney General of Missouri from 1961-65. He stepped down in 1972 as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. WHY?WHY?
See the story detailed below:
Has a vice presidential nominee ever had to step down after he had been nominated by his party?
In 1972, Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was the Democratic vice presidential candidate chosen by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern. Less than two weeks after the Democratic convention, news reports revealed that Eagleton had been hospitalized for exhaustion and depression in the 1960s and had undergone psychiatric and electroshock treatments.
At first McGovern announced support for Eagleton staying on the ticket but Eagleton soon stepped aside. McGovern and the democratic National Committee then chose R. Sargent Shriver, former Peace Corps head and brother-in-law of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO HAD ECT, CLICK
THE LINK BELOW :
Sue speaks out against electroshock on this youtube.com video
a picture of Dr. John Breeding, American psychologist
author of these books “The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses” and “The Necessity of Madness and Unproductivity: Psychiatric Oppression or Human Transformation
Dr. Breeding’s Video About ECT
Dr. John Breeding’s Coalition video, see and vote for this fantastic video
MindFreedom International is a nonprofit organization that unites 100 sponsor and affiliate grassroots groups with thousands of individual members to win human rights and alternatives for people labeled with psychiatric disabilities. A good place to start and join. The ICBE is a member of Mindfreedom International (MFI)
A woman doctor speaks out against electroshock on The Gordon Elliott Show
I am looking to speak to a nurse who is against the use of electroshock. Confidentiality is assured. I am also trying to get in contact with Ebba the nurse I knew in Ottawa. Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 613-721-1833 Thank you. Sue Clark-Wittenberg
a picture of Dr. Peter R. Breggin, an American psychiatrist and author who
wrote these books “Toxic Psychiatry”, “Talking Back to Prozac”, and many others
“Going to a psychiatrist has become one of the most dangerous things a person can do.”
– Dr. Peter R. Breggin
“The escalating rate of shocking the elderly is one reason why I have come out in recent years for a complete ban on the treatment. The elderly are less able to defend themselves against shock treatment, and their brains are more susceptible to devastating damage”
-Dr. Peter Breggin, in phone interview with Don Weitz (March 1996)
Informed consent for ECT becomes a mirage. I now endorse public efforts to ban ECT. The banning of ECT should be supported by all concerned mental health professionals.”
– Dr. Peter Breggin, Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (1997, p.156)
Dr. Breggin’s video about antidepressants
a picture of Dr. John Friedberg, American Neurologist
author of the book “Shock Treatment Is Not Good For Your Brain” and “Shock Treatment, Brain Damage and Memory Loss,” a peer reviewed article in the American Journal of Psychiatry
“All ECT [electric shock] does is produce brain damage. …If you want brain damage, it’s your prerogative… there’s no more effective way than ECT. It’s more effective than a car wreck, or getting hit with a blunt instrument.”
– Dr. John Friedberg, Neurologist, USA
Dr. Friedberg’s video about ECT
Hello everyone, I wanted to tell you how important it is to let your legislators know you want electroshock banned, to end now. You may think your one email or one letter does not count BUT it does count. The government is aware of public opinion and your opinion counts.
Please take a few moments of your time to let the legislators know how you feel about electroshock. It will take legislation changes to change the mental health laws to ban electroshock. Here is a sample letter below. Thank you for caring to make a difference in the world today!
SAMPLE LETTER –
How to contact your Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)
IN THE UNITED STATES
a picture of Dr. Seth Farber, an American Psychologist
“The mental health establishment has snowed the American people: it launches the most unimaginable brutal psychological and physical assault on human beings in distress, calls this ‘medical treatment’, and then blames the outcome on ‘mental illness’.
– Seth Farber, PhD, author of Madness, Heresy and the Rumor of Angels: The Revolt Against the Mental Health System; founder of the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry
Seth Farber’s Website
a picture of Thomas Szasz, American psychiatrist
author of “The Myth of Mental Illness”
“No further evidence is needed to show that ”mental illness” is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious”.
“Involuntary mental hospitalization is like slavery. Refining the standards for commitment is like prettifying the slave plantations. The problem is not how to improve commitment, but how to abolish it.”
“Institutional psychiatry is a continuation of the Inquisition. All that has really changed is the vocabulary and the social style. The vocabulary conforms to the intellectual expectations of our age: it is a pseudo-medical jargon that parodies the concepts of science. The social style conforms to the political expectations of our age: it is a pseudo-liberal social movement that parodies the ideals of freedom and rationality.”
“The problem with psychiatric diagnoses is..that they are swung as semantic blackjacks: cracking the subject’s dignity and respectability destroys him just as effectively as cracking his skull. The difference is that the man who wields a blackjack is recognized by everyone as a thug, but one who wields a psychiatric diagnosis is not.”
-Thomas Szasz, M.D., 1991 Find Authors – Thomas Szasz, American Psychiatrist, author of the book “The Myth of Mental Illness”
a picture of Ken Kesey, author of “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Electro Shock Therapy – a device that might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair, and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple. quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one wants another one. Ever.
-Ken Kesey, (1962)
The picture above: Left to Right: Don Weitz, Bonnie Burstow, and Paivi Laine speaking at the Press Confence at Queen’s Park in May 2007
Bonnie and Don are co-editors of the book “Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada”
for photos and audio of the Mother’s Day International Events, May 13, 2007 protesting the use of electroshock on women, please go to these URLs:
The Mother’s Day Events on May l3, 2007 were organized by CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault). The Mother’s Day events were organized to protest the use of electroshock on women because more women than men get electroshock. This was an international event with protests in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Cork, Ireland.
The Toronto event had over 140 protestors. There were personal testimonies from ECT survivors in person and some ECT survivors who could not make the event had their personal stories read out loud at the event. There was singing and songs played, musicians, puppets, acting, and lots of social activity and good food. It was a very successful event. There will be another Mother’s Day Event next year 2008 in Toronto. The CAPA website will have all the details.
Video of the Mother’s Day Event, protesting ECT
** Electroshock is touted as the treatment of choice for post-partum depression
** Women receive electroshock 2 to 3 times as much as men
** Elderly women are the greatest risk of electroshock- 52% of electroshock treatments are given to women over 60
Source: CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault)
Shock therapy stole a part of Paivi Laine’s memory, but it didn’t take away her concern for others.
Laine is fighting to end the practice of electroconvulsive therapy, known as ECT, to treat depression.
– Paivi Laine, shock survivor, Ontario
“Do whatever it takes to stay out of or escape the psychiatric system – your health and life are at stake.”
– Don Weitz, antipsychiatry activist from Toronto, co-founder of CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault)
As Bonnie asserted in her Anti-Electroshock Proclamation, “We vow to return, return, and return again until this abomination is no more.”
– Dr. Bonnie Burstow said this at the Mother’s Day Event in Toronto, May 13, 2007
– Dr. Bonnie Burstow Ph.D. (Toronto), Chair of CAPA
Senior Lecturer, faculty member of OISE UT
a picture of Wendy Funk who is an electroshock survivor and her husband Dan Robitaille
a picture of Leonard Roy Frank
In 1962, three years after moving to San Francisco, I was diagnosed as a “paranoid schizophrenic” and committed to a psychiatric institution where I was forcibly subjected to 50 insulin-coma and 35 electroconvulsive procedures.
This was the most painful and humiliating experience of my life. My memory for the three preceding years was gone. The wipe-out in my mind was like a path cut across a heavily chalked blackboard with a wet eraser. Afterwards I didn’t know that John F. Kennedy was president although he had been elected three years earlier. There were also big chunks of memory loss for events and periods spanning my entire life; my high school and college education was effectively destroyed. I felt that every part of me was less than what it had been.
If the body is the temple of the spirit, the brain may be seen as the inner sanctum of the body, the holiest of places. To invade, violate and injure the brain, as electroshock unfailingly does, is a crime against the spirit and a desecration of the soul. (1991)
– Leonard Roy Frank, American electroshock survivor/activist/author and editor of the book “The History of Shock Treatment”
Leonard Roy Frank discusses Psychiatry and the DSM
Leonard Roy Frank & Dr. John Breeding discuss ECT
a picture of the author Ernest Hemingway
“Well, what is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient.”
– Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning author who killed himself after complaining that psychiatric electric shocks had ruined his career by destroying his memory.
“It’s such a small machine, with a handle. From the ‘cranking machine’ to the ears went two electric wires with clamps, they were attached to the ear lobe. I was attached to the radiator, and one [policeman] still held me by the legs, another by the head. They asked me questions and turned the handle around. At first they turned slowly, then faster. When they turned [it] quickly, I just lost consciousness.” – Torture victim Igor Akhrimenko (Irkutsk).