The History of Electroconvulsive (HA!) Therapy (ECT)

The History of Electroconvulsive (HA!) Therapy (ECT)

Article by Charlotte Roberts:

The History of Shock Therapy in Psychiatry

ECT was first developed by Ugo Cerletti born in 1877, the son of an agricultural engineer. After attending medical schools at Rome and Turin (he must have been out sick the day they covered the “first do no harm” bit), he went on to tour European “sanctuaries” including those run by the infamous Emil Kraepelin and Franz Nissl. 

Cerletti applied the skills he learned in medical school to design a white winter camouflage suit (you think I’m kidding, but, I swear to God, not), after which he was naturally made Head of the Neurobiological Institute in Milan. What better place for a fashionista?

Cerletti turned his attention to the matter of epilepsy because, according to him: “I have always given prime importance to the study of ugo cerlettiepilepsy, since it is linked to many areas of neurology and psychiatry”. In the course of his study of this disease, he tried to replicate an epileptic state in dogs by passing a 125-volt current through their bodies. He killed a lot of the dogs, of course.

After he’d finished stacking up the dog corpses, he decided to move on to humans. In his words:  “The daily confrontation with the dogs who had been made epileptic by electroshock treatment naturally gave me the idea of a possible similar application on man”.   Naturally.

Then, “One day I heard that at the Rome slaughterhouse they were killing pigs with the electric current used for lighting” so he went to the slaughterhouse to check it out. Sure enough, “I saw some butchers moving about among the pigs, holding in both hands a large pair of pincers, which had at both ends two discs, spiked with small, blunted, metallic tips. When they got near to the animals, they opened the jaws of the pincers and quickly grasped the front part of the pig’s head between the tips of the discs. 70-80 volts were then sent through the electric cable. As soon as the animals had been got hold of, they fell rigid to the ground without even uttering a sound and shortly after, began to present general clonic shocks.”  (Clonic shocks are seizures).   Well, you could see how that would appeal to a psychiatrist. Cerletti walked off from the slaughterhouse with a set of those electric pincers in hand, a happy man, off to kill more dogs.

Cerletti’s first human victim was a man that the police had apprehended who was “behaving in a very odd way, answering questions put to him in a very strange language which was completely incomprehensible”. The poor guy was probably speaking a different European language that nobody at the psychiatric institute could speak. And, from that, they diagnosed him as schizophrenic. (Note – schizophrenia is defined as “a mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation”. Hmmm … sounds a lot like most psychiatrists, doesn’t it?)

This poor sod was Cerletti’s “first experiment” [Cerletti’s words] in electroshock.  He secured two electrodes soaked in a saline solution to this man’s head with an elastic band and send 80 volts through his head. After this “treatment”, the patient begged “Not another one!  You will kill me.”  

Cerletti’s response to this?  He immediately administered another shock to the patient, at a higher voltage, and damned near killed him. Cerletti noted that after the second shock “treatment”, “there was an interruption in breathing and a deathlike cyanosis of the face which, if upsetting in a spontaneous epileptic fit, seemed to us in this case distressingly unending”.

Cerletti then went on to administer 19 more shocks to this poor soul until he was in “complete remission” which, in psych-speak, means that he was quiet and compliant.

And that was the start of electroshock (HA!) therapy. Contemporary proponents of it will tell you that it is “safe” and “effective”.  Don’t you believe it.  Psychiatrists now use heavy sedation and anesthetic before shocking their victims, but that does not make the procedure one bit less harmful. Sedation and anesthetic before ECT is like slipping Rohynol to a rape victim first to leave her helpless and forgetful of the violation, and then saying that rape is “safe” and “effective”. 

Sedation and anesthetic dull the agony the victim feels, but they don’t do a damned thing to lessen the damage. 

ECT is not treatment. It’s terrorism. It’s time to put a stop to it.

Posted by greymouser in ECT, Terrorism, 0 comments
Torture and ECT!!

Torture and ECT!!

This article by my dear friend Charlotte Roberts:(thanks for letting me post)

What would you call someone who deliberately sent 180 to 460 volts of electricity searing through their brain? Idiot? Knucklehead? Imbecile?

So what would you call someone who sends that voltage through the brain of a child, deliberately?  I would call them malevolent, foul, malicious (if I were keeping it clean) and I would consign them to their very own very special Hell for all of eternity.

But, unbelievable as it is, such people do exist. And your provincial government funds them. I’m speaking, of course, about the barbaric cruelty fraudulently enforced on patients of ALL ages, including children, in our nation’s psychiatric institutions.

happy child

This child doesn't need ECT!

“Learned” papers by leading so-called experts, such as that published by the British Columbia Ministry of Health Services(*) touts ECT as “safe and effective”. What unmitigated nonsense!  ECT is not safe. Never has been. Never will be. 

As to its effectiveness, that depends entirely on what it is the psychiatrist is trying to do. If what he has in mind is inducing memory loss, brain damage, inter-cranial bleeding, loss of brain tissue, headaches, nausea, confusion, and death then, yes, it works like a bomb. If it’s supposed to “cure” anything, then it’s a miserable failure. Just ask one of the many “ECT survivors” who posted this heartbreaking comment about her ECT “treatments”:

"My lifetime memories are gone. So are my abilities, home, daughter, love of my life, and friends.

I have been suicidal after ECT many times, and it’s like a slow and lingering death.

I think all psychiatrists who do this should do it to themselves.

I cry daily, weekly, always."

And this is what those heartless, soul-less psychiatrists are doing. To children.

It isn’t a new idea, either. AHRP (Alliance for Human Research Protection) chronicles the experiments of Lauretta Bender, whom they correctly style “Child Psychiatrist from Hell”:

Child psychiatrist, Dr. Lauretta Bender, began her experimental electroshock “treatments” in children in 1942 at Bellevue Hospital. She experimented extensively on helpless children whom she “diagnosed” with “autistic schizophrenia.” Some of the children were as young as 3 years of age. She used multiple electroshock (ECT) “treatments” at Bellevue Hospital (NYC) and then added LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs experimenting on children at Creedmoor Hospital with CIA funds.

By 1947, she had “conducted ECT on 98 children diagnosed with Childhood Schizophrenia under the age of 12”.

Steve Silberman, an award-winning American writer, says that:

In the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, autistic kids were often subjected to seclusion, restraint, and physical punishment by clinicians who did not understand their condition. The head of children’s psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, Lauretta Bender, administered electroconvulsive therapy to autistic patients and also insulin-shock therapy – administering overdoses of insulin to put them into a short-term coma. She gave them antipsychotic drugs like Thorazine. She also tried giving autistic kids LSD every day for nine months or more, but decided they were becoming “more anxious”.

A researcher friend of mine says regarding Bender, “I read nasty-ass spy novels. They ain’t got nothin’ on her”. He’s right. I defy even Stephen King to come up with anything as horrifying.

Meanwhile, Renee Binder and Saul Levin of the American Psychiatric Association (commonly abbreviated to “Am Psych Ass”) have been lobbying the FDA for relaxed regulations for using ECT on children. According to these characters, "Having access to a rapid and effective treatment such as ECT is especially meaningful in children and adolescents...."

The 2013 report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment called electroshock “torture” and calls for a ban on all “forced and non-consensual” electroshock “against persons with disabilities”.

Some legislators, apparently with more active brain cells than ours, have banned the use of ECT on children. In 2014, Western Australia joined India, California, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas in implementing rigorous restrictions on the use of ECT. In Western Australia, for instance, administering ECT on anyone younger than age 14 can get actual jail time as well as a hefty fine.

That’s a fine start, but it’s not enough. Cheryl van Daalen-Smith, RN, PhD, Associate Professor at York University, has the right idea:

“The ongoing and growing interest within psychiatry in prescribing electroshock or shock-like procedures … in children is of grave concern," and "given the volume of evidence demonstrating its substantive brain-damaging outcomes, we call for an immediate global ban on the use of electroshock on all children.”

So, by all means, parents -- continue to install baby gates, electrical outlet caps, cupboards locks. Buy the kids bicycle helmets and sports padding. Continue to impose curfews, monitor the sites they visit on the internet, and warn them of the dangers of drugs. And keep them strictly away from the maniacs with medical degrees. 

Posted by greymouser in Terrorism, 0 comments