I have had these so-called “treatments” a number of times. This is my experience as patient. I am not a doctor or nurse or neurologist, nothing like that, just a person who went through it. I know others who have had them as well, some more recently.
I don’t know anyone personally who would say they were thankful they had them. Maybe a week later, they said that the treatments were helpful. Ask them a few months later, the story is not so positive.
What I do often hear is that folks were by all means, coerced into the treatments, or not told the whole gamut of side effects. Many people were shown a movie. This movie is made by proponents of shock. It’s not an objective film that shows the pros and cons realistically. You can go to the Prozac website and find out about the pros of Prozac, but you won’t find out about lawsuits against the makers of Prozac, or about the public outcries about the drugs, or the depth of concerns about giving Prozac to young people or people with certain health conditions. Anyone can fill a drug maker’s website with all kinds of propaganda. This film is propaganda, too. Often, patients are shown the film while inpatient, and then the nurse will answer questions.
Yes, many patients get coerced and don’t have much chance to speak with those that have been damaged by shock. Patients can have irreversible memory loss. I myself was fortunate enough to get my memory back, but many lose quite a bit of their lives…forever. I’ve heard such heartbreaking stories, such as people forgetting their wedding days…forever. Women forgetting their baby’s first steps as they learn to walk. Never mind the forgotten PIN numbers! That’s a classic. I know people who have opened their cell phone contact lists and had no clue who half the folks were that were listed. Forever.
But I want to say something else. I know, folks, why shock works. No, it doesn’t even work at all, but people think it does. Let me tell you why it works. Why some people are so convinced.
You go to the shock doc. You’ve been on that horrible psych ward for a month, and nothing has worked. Now, suddenly, it’s you. All attention is on you. You a lying on a clean table and several docs are actually paying attention to none other than you. For a change, you aren’t shit. You’re so important, cuz you could even die on that table before their eyes. For those ten minutes, you are more important to them than anyone. To avoid a lawsuit, for godsakes, your life is in their hands, and they’d better stay on their toes. They are so focused on you.
Honestly, that much attention on me, being loved so much like that for those ten minutes would certainly jolt me like lightning shockeroo out of a deep depression for a while. Maybe a week! Me? Little ole me? Do I matter that much?
That, in a nutshell, is why shock works. It has nothing to do with the shock treatment itself. The jolt of electricity is dangerous. I would never recommend it. If you want love, go get your hair done, hug your kids, get a dog, go somewhere else but the nut ward, it’s not worth it.