Statistically, women tend to be more damaged by shock treatments. This is a statistic. This is compilation of data. That is, statistically, if you add up all women, and all men, you WILL see overwhelmingly that women are more damaged by ECT than men, and no one really knows why.
However, we MUST be very careful with this. No one is saying that a man cannot be damaged by shock. We have to look at bell curves here. The bell curve of women is on the more damaged side than the bell curve of men. This means some men do get damaged by shock. This also means that a few women are not damaged, or, like lucky me, are only temporarily damaged and then, get better.
I do not know if there as any permanent brain damage and in many ways I don’t dare find out! I don’t want to know. I do know that for a year and a half, much, much longer than I bargained for, I was totally incapacitated, so much so that the doctors had made a decision to send me to a state mental hospital.
I have learned that I am on the “less damaged” end of the bell curve and that most women experience permanent memory loss. I would personally be devastated if that happened. I am very lucky it didn’t.
I DO know men who have been extremely badly damaged, who have had profound cognitive damage, or so much memory loss it is incomprehensible. I also know men who have had peripheral damages such as damaged teeth or nerve damage.
The only person I know who has won a lawsuit is female and she is still living. I know of one person, female, who died during ECT, though I did not know her personally, and one woman who suicided recently. I know many, men and woman, who tell me after ECT they are barely hanging on, or that their lives are hardly worth living.
I don’t think anyone should assume that men are not damaged. I don’t think that this is what Bonnie Burstow is saying at all, and to assume this is incorrect. Remember the bell curves and remember that anyone can fall anywhere on those bell curves.
If you are considering ECT, as you may be calling it, whether you are male or female, know that it’s a crapshoot. No one can predict what will happen and I don’t think the doctors really know, either. Afterward, if you are damaged, you won’t get a straight story. You will not know you are damaged and they will not tell you. You won’t be able to comprehend it. It is easy to fool a person who is shocked. It is the perfect crime.