Monday, February 4, 2008

Vote Now for ECT Coalition Documentary

From:"john breeding"

Subject: Round 2: VOTE NOW for Roky Erickson/Electroshock Coalition Documentary

Sun, 3 Feb 2008 09:27:42 -0800

See Dr. John Breeding discuss the documentary, see this video

Dear Friends,
VOTE for our Mary Marvel documentary of:
step-by-step DIRECTIONS
1. Register on as a Voter or Fanatic. Click where it says " 2 The Audience Votes"
2. Click here to view our documentary:
3. Click the "Vote" button at the top right hand corner of the video

Steps 2 will take you to see our video. Steps 1 and 3 are necessary to vote.
[ A plea for ardent supporters: The rules of this contest are such that you can vote once a day for the video you like, so please consider adding this to your daily schedule for awhile.]
I will send out weekly updates from here on out on our status. I am also doing regular youtube videos to draw folks to our effort. Please do whatever you can to help us spread the message of our Coaliton for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST) and to help Mary win this contest. See our website, for related information on the Ice Cream Social, and on our coalition efforts to stop electroshock.
Thank you!!
In the last two years, our Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST) was very active, carrying on an initiative in Austin to challenge the use of electroshock at our area's most prolific shock hospital, Seton Shoal Creek. As described on our website,, we carried on with them quite a bit, including direct interaction with the hospital board and medical director, a series of protest rallies at the hospital, a resolution from the Texas legislature, and a hearing on electroshock with the Austin City Council.
In March 2007, we had a magnificent, unprecedented event--a concert featuring a number of terrific musicians and artists, a number of whom were also shock survivors now joining forces to call for a stop to this horrific procedure. These luminaries included ROKY ERICKSON, J.T. VAN ZANDT, JIM FRANKLIN, LEONARD ROY FRANK, MICHELLE SHOCKED, SUMNER ERICKSON, ROBYN HITCHCOCK and PETER BUCK, and POWELL ST. JOHN, among others. Check out a broader sampling of creative artists who were electroshocked on page 6 of Leonard Frank's Electroshock Quotationary at .
The event was cosponsored by CAEST and a vocal challenge of electroshock was interspersed with great music throughout the day. For a fuller, written summary of the event, see our website at .
Our event was called:
Some of us affectionately called it the "Rock to Ban Shock" concert.
Now our own fantastic videographer, Mary Luker, known professionally as Mary Marvel, has created a short (20 minutes) documentary of our event. It is terrific, and we intend to use it to promote our effort to abolish electroshock, and to create safe haven for artists, who all too often suffer this horrific assault--witness Roky Erickson, Townes Van Zandt and Jim Franklin from our event.
In support of our cause, Mary Marvel has submiited her documentary to an internet contest called Famecast. In order to have the greatest impact, we want to win this contest. In order to win, WE NEED YOU TO GET ON BOARD AND ENJOY A RIDE, bringing music and a big message --END OF SHOCK-- to the world.

Request for data about involuntary ECT in Oregon

David Oaks"
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 18:53:29 -0800
Subject: [ZapBack!] Fwd: Request for data about involuntary electroshock in Oregon

Laura Ziegler got me an academic article about forced electroshock in
Oregon that came out in 2005, glad to finally see this, didn't know
about it.

As you might guess, we have a long history of working on the of
electroshock here. I'm proud to have been arrested doing civil
disobedience on that particular topic here, actually! (We have a
shock device manufacturer here in Oregon.)

I've immediately made inquiries with the head of the mental health
system here.

If you'd like to add your own CIVIL NOTE to Bob Nikkel asking to be
informed of whatever he finds out go for it. I say civil, because I
want to provide zero excuse for non-response.

One impact of the movement is that a lot of mental health agency
leaders are at least acting friendly with our movement leaders. No
worries that we are lulled, though it's always a risk. Quite the
contrary. One can at least actually find and sit down and address and
quiz such folks, and get a some kind of words back... when years ago
we'd get slammed doors. Which is at least one difference from years
ago. Not enough, not enough. And actually yes a risk, because one can
lulled. But it is a difference, so let's use it.

It would help to show a bunch of people are curious about what is


Begin forwarded message:

From: David Oaks <>
Date: February 1, 2008 6:47:56 PM PST
To: Robert E NIKKEL <>
Subject: Request for data about involuntary electroshock in Oregon

Dear Bob,

Hope you're doing well.

A member has sent us an academic law article that came out in 2005
about the use of involuntary electroshock over the wishes of citizens
considered competent here in Oregon:

Here's how to download the PDF of the article the member referred to

I'll copy this to the author.

Can you please -- on an urgent basis -- get me all data on the use of
involuntary electroshock in Oregon that you can possibly obtain,
especially recent data?

As you may know, Oregon has one of the weakest laws in the USA when
it comes to blocking forced electroshock. Many states at least
require a judge's signature, but Oregon only requires the signature
of a physician unaffiliated with the institution to "override" a
citizen's rights, which of course is just plain wrong.

Years ago Bob Joondeph and I worked on a bill to plug that loophole,
and of course it didn't go anywhere. MindFreedom International has
been one of the main groups to expose and focus on the problem of
forced electroshock. We're proud that we were able to successfully
encourage the World Health Organization to put in writing in their
legal guide that they absolutely oppose all involuntary electroshock
in the world.

Can you please request any and all information, on an urgent basis,
about the use of involuntary electroshock?

And for that matter, any data about the use of electroshock at all
would be helpful. But I'd rather get any data you do have or can get
as soon as possible, rather than wait to get it all at the same time.

Also, any comment on this article would be appreciated, though as I
said, please don't let that delay getting us any data.... please get
that to us as soon as possible on an urgent basis.

I'll copy this to a few folks who I think may be interested.



David W. Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

office phone: (541) 345-9106
fax: (541) 345-3737
member services toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRID[e] or 1-877-623-7743

United Independent Activism for Human Rights in Mental Health!

MindFreedom International is a non-profit coalition with a vision of
a non-violent revolution in mental health. Accredited by the United
Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative
Roster Status.

Join now!

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -
Martin Luther King, Jr.

David W. Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

office phone: (541) 345-9106
fax: (541) 345-3737
member services toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRID[e] or 1-877-623-7743

United Independent Activism for Human Rights in Mental Health!

MindFreedom International is a non-profit coalition with a vision of
a non-violent revolution in mental health. Accredited by the United
Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative
Roster Status.

Join now!

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -
Martin Luther King, Jr.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

ECT propaganda - It's the pencillin of Psychiatry"

Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:42 PM
Subject: Latest Electroshock Propaganda--It's the "Penicillin of

Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability and


The history of psychiatry is a story of megalomania. A confounding
for psychiatry is the profession's failure to examine its therapeutics
patients' perspectives or to put psychiatry's therapeutics to a valid
scientific test to determine whether the benefit outweighs the risks
patients' perspective.

Suppose someone told you about a treatment for depression that was more
effective than anything else, virtually free of side effects, that is
promoted as "the Penicillin of Psychiatry"-would you believe it or
would you
be skeptical? This is what we are told in a new book, "Shock Therapy:
History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness" (2007) by
Shorter, PhD and David Healy, MD. To decide whether this book is
a scientific breakthrough or merely more propaganda, we should consider
highlights from the contentious history of ECT.

Thomas Insel, MD director of the National Institute of Mental Health,
recently acknowledged on public television that psychiatry's practices,
unlike other fields of medicine, are governed by the personal
preference--i.e., bias--of a psychiatrist: " the treatments that people
given depends not so much on a thorough understanding of mental
[but] much more on what it is the therapist is most comfortable in

Indeed, history demonstrates that psychiatrists regularly prescribe
biological interventions--be they pharmacologic, magnetic, electric, or
surgical-on the basis of conviction (faith) rather than evidence. Sixty
years after its introduction, electroshock (ECS) a.k.a.
therapy (ECT), remains psychiatry's most controversial intervention.
ECT is
a polarizing symbol of authoritarianism that continues to be mired in
moral and professional controversy. Practitioners are locked in a
battle against patients who have been harmed and who are fighting for
disclosure. ECT's longevity-even as its adherents are fiercely divided
the dosage of electricity and method of application (bilateral vs.
unilateral placement of electrodes) [1] confirms Dr. Insel's

What ECT does to the brain is best described by neurologists who
the measurable pathological changes that are recorded on the EEG,
alterations in brain chemistry and physiology. Neuroscientist, Dr.
Sterling, University of Pennsylvania, provides a detailed description
what ECT does to the brain in testimony. [2]

1. The electric shock delivered by a standard ECS machine to the skull
roughly comparable to what you would get from a common electrical
but the voltage is stepped up from 110 V to 150 V. The total power
drawn is
about 60 Watts -- enough for a conventional light bulb.
2. ECS is designed to evoke a grand mal epileptic seizure. The seizure
causes an acute rise in blood pressure, well into the hypertensive
and this frequently causes small hemorrhages in the brain.
3. ECS ruptures the "blood-brain barrier". This barrier normally
the brain from potentially damaging substances in the blood.
4. ECS causes neurons to release large quantities of the excitatory
neurotransmitter, glutamate, leading to "excito-toxicity" causing
literally die from overactivity. 5. ECS releases myriad other
neurotransmitters and hormones within the brain. The degree of damage
consequent to ECS varies between individuals. It can be catastrophic in
response to a single series, or it can appear more gradually following
repeated series.

ECT Background:
ECT was originally promoted much as lobotomy had been-as an expedient,
quick, easy, and cheap method of controlling mental patients' behavior.
Early on leading US practitioner / researchers acknowledged that ECT
produces profound, lasting trauma. Lothar Kalinowsky, MD: "All
functions, grasp as well as memory and critical faculty, are impaired."
Abraham Myerson, MD: "The mechanism for improvement and recovery seems
to be
to knock out the brain and reduce the higher activities, to impair
[3] Max Fink, MD, acknowledged in 1958 that a single ECT treatment is
to "severe head trauma," suggesting that "convulsive therapy provides
excellent experimental method for studies of craniocerebral trauma."

Despite its injurious effects on cognitive function and memory, ECT has
outlasted the other three "brain-damaging-therapeutics"-insulin coma,
Metrazol, and lobotomy. In part, because anesthesia was introduced to
moderate the physical vertebrae and bone-breaking force of the
that patients undergo during electrically induced Grand Mal seizures.
However, as an authoritative systematic meta-analysis in Lancet (2003)
reports, neither anesthesia nor other newer methods for applying ECT
resulted in an appreciable reduction in other adverse effects. [5]

Three other factors led to ECT's survival after its eclipse in the
1960s and
1. Psychotropic drugs did not prove to be the claimed wonder drugs-they
caused debilitating neurological side effects, and failed to improve
patients' long-term outcome.

2. ECT economics, which Leonard Frank succinctly outlined: "ECT is a
money-maker. An in-hospital ECT series can cost anywhere from
$50,000-75,000. Using a low figure of 100,000 Americans who are
electroshocked annually, most of who are covered by private or
insurance, ECT brings in $5 billion a year." [6] In the US especially,
promoters of ECT-- including academic-affiliated practitioner /
device manufacturers, and hospitals-all have significant financial
in ECT.

3. The zealous advocacy of its practitioner-proponents-all of whom have
unacknowledged financial conflicts of interest. [7] ECT is dominated
by a
small vocal group of powerful "authority" figures who exert inordinate
influence-indeed, control over ECT research, funding, publications and
practice policies on the basis of their conviction-not scientific
Although their financial stake in the business of ECT is rarely (if
mentioned in their professional academic contributions, no doubt money
a role. Since ECT treatment approaches and outcome evaluations rely
on practitioners' own preference and assessment, their objectivity is

Foremost among ECT's influential proponents is Dr. Max Fink, a
octogenarian who has been applying bilateral ECT longer than anyone.
Fink wrote the first ECT textbook, and is credited with formulating the
theoretical foundation, ethical justification, practice guidelines, and
informed consent documents for ECT, actively contributing promotional
material for commercial use. [8]

In September 1978, amidst a heated debate, the first ECT Task Force of
American Psychiatric Association surveyed the membership to find out
they thought that ECT was brain damaging. The response by 41% of APA
members affirmed the likelihood that: "ECT produces subtle or slight
damage"-only 26% said no. [9] The Task Force report outlined the ECT
research agenda to address patients' complaints of memory loss. No such
research was carried out.

In 1979 the FDA classified shock machines as a Class III medical
device-indicating it had not been proven safe and effective. Despite
continuing controversy, ECT machines have never been put the test in
controlled trials because manufacturers and ECT practitioners were
opposed. The question is, WHY?

If ECT does not cause cognitive damage and memory loss, why have its
proponents failed to conduct a test that will prove them right?

The reason behind ECT practitioners' fierce opposition to performing
controlled clinical trials may found in a 1978 article by Max Fink in
official journal of the Psychopathological Association:
"The principle complications of EST [ECT] are death, brain damage,
impairment, and spontaneous seizures. These complications are similar
head trauma to which EST has been compared." [10]
Indeed, a cumulative body of evidence confirmed ECT's brain damaging
effects. [11]

Ardent ECT promoters regularly go to battle when threatened with
By 1983, 26 states had passed statutes restricting ECT and 6 others
established regulations. In 1985, the National Institutes of Health
issued a Consensus Statement confirming: "It is [ ] well established
ECT produces memory deficits. Deficits in memory function, which have
demonstrated objectively and repeatedly, persist after the termination
of a
normal course of ECT." [12] Threatened with restrictions, ECT's
began a propaganda campaign, vehemently denying evidence of lasting
loss, while resolutely avoiding an examination of the impact of ECT on
memory and cognition

Dr. Fink's pronouncements border on missionary zeal, if not
In 1983, he declared: "If there is no SUBSTANTIAL evidence of brain
impairment, then there is NO evidence for brain impairment." [13]
In 1996, he stated: "ECT is one of God's gifts to mankind. There is
like it, nothing equal to it in efficacy or safety in all of
He pronounced ECT an "effective treatment of patients with major
delusional depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, catatonia,
neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and parkinsonism.. No age or systemic
condition bars its use." [15]
"Adverse effects on memory have been minimized to the point of being
undetectable, by any means of assessment, six weeks after completion of
treatment." [16]

In 2002, Dr. Fink promoted the use of ECT for children, disregarding
profound harm that he himself had documented but now vehemently denies:
"Until demonstrations of untoward consequences are recorded, we should
deny the possible benefits of biological treatments to children on the
prejudice that these treatments affect brain functions." [17]

Shock Waives in the Shock Community:

In 2000, the tightly knit ECT cottage industry was confronted with the
serious challenge to their vehement public denials that persistent
loss is a risk of ECT. The central supporting stone was pulled from
house of clay by Harold Sackeim, Ph.D., an equally prominent ECT
arguably the most prolific ECT researcher. In an astonishingly candid
editorial in the Journal of ECT, he explicitly validated patients'
acknowledging that consistent evidence exists documenting that:
"virtually all patients experience some degree of persistent and
likely permanent amnesia. It has also become clear that for rare
the retrograde amnesia due to ECT can be profound, with the memory loss
extending back years prior to receipt of the treatment." [18]
Sackeim further conceded that ECT causes frontal lobe damage
affecting the brain's executive functions: including working memory,
reasoning and abstraction, problem solving, planning and organizing.
Dr. Sackeim, who simultaneously headed the ECT divisions at Columbia
University and New York Cornell, was the recipient of tens of millions
dollars in NIMH research grants collecting data on its effects for two
decades. He was, therefore, in possession of evidence demonstrating
that the
profession's failure to provide evidence of cognitive harm and memory
is not evidence that none exists. "As a field, we have more readily
acknowledged the possibility of death due to ECT than the possibility
profound memory loss, despite the fact that adverse effects on
cognition are
by far ECT's most common side effects." [18] [AHRP seeks an electronic
of Dr. Sackeim's editorial] In 2001, Sackeim and his Columbia
colleagues reported in JAMA an 84% relapse rate, six months after ECT.
Seven years after his editorial (2007), he and colleagues published the
substantiating his editorial. [20]

"Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental
(2007) by Edward Shorter, PhD and David Healy, MD, is not so much a
of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as it is an unreserved endorsement
tribute to Max Fink. Oddly, although he is not a named author, Dr. Fink
states on his website that he is "now working on a book on a History of
Convulsive Therapy with Edward Shorter and David Healy."
Whatever... The book is clearly written at the behest of Dr. Fink-whose
private foundation, Scion Natural Science Association, provided a

The book serves to bolster Dr. Fink's extreme position in his battle
those who argue against the continued use of bilateral ECT because it
been shown to cause more cognitive damage. Dr. Fink claims unilateral
(confined to the non-verbal, right side) is not as effective. And the
attempts to deflect the fall out from Dr. Sackeim's confessional
which Drs. Shorter and Healy acknowledge, "flabbergasted"

Chapter 1, "The Penicillin of Psychiatry?" sets the evangelical,
tone, and decidedly unscientific framework of the book.
"So clear are the benefits of ECT for patients who might otherwise
suicide, or languish for years in the blackness of depression, that
should be little controversy over whether it is safe or effective." [p.
"Why, today, seventy years after its discovery, is ECT highly
both patients and many physicians? ECT is, in a sense, the penicillin
psychiatry." [p.3]

The authors even adopted Dr. Fink's implausible promotional
extolling the virtues of ECT by adamantly denying its previously
acknowledged, harmful effects. These unreferenced pronouncements are
unsupported by empirical evidence:

"Therapeutic convulsions induced by not harm the brain
can save lives" [p.9]
"There is no doubt that ECT is effective in the prevention of suicide"
"There is no known occurrence of brain damage associated with ECT." [p.

"ECT does not lend itself well to abuse because it is painless: the
is immediately unconscious." [p. 94]
"No neurologic sequelae to treatment can be demonstrated." [p. 212]

However, as neurologist, Peter Sterling, MD, noted in his letter in
"ECT damage is easy to find if you look for it."

The credibility of the book is undermined by the authors' heavy
reliance on
Dr. Fink as a source-given his demonstrable bias-and their failure to
present the informed concerns of neurologists who have no stake in this
John Friedberg, MD, the author of Shock Treatment is Not Good for Your
Brain, (1976) was the first neurologist to raise objections against its
In 1977 he wrote in the American Journal of Psychiatry: "Like other
to the brain, ECT produces EEG abnormalities.The potency of ECT as an
amnestic exceeds that of severe closed head injury with coma."[21] He
reviewed the ECT data from six states that mandate reporting of adverse
effects, and found evidence of brain damage and memory loss. He noted
ECT proponents' data frequently belie their claimed findings.

Rather than address the mounting empirical evidence documenting the
against ECT-which hinges on its short-lived efficacy outweighed by
memory loss and cognitive harm [11] [22]-Drs. Shorter and Healy employ
psychiatry's time worn ploy. They divert attention from evidence of its
damaging therapeutics. They frame the contentious controversy
ECT as an orchestrated political battle by 'anti-psychiatry' forces
the profession-exactly as Dr. Fink has done. They blame Scientology,
press / media, the movies, and they blame psychologists for

"CCHR and the Church of Scientology have since consistently been the
sustained critics of psychiatry and especially of ECT, within the
States." [p. 184]
"There is no doubt that in its fantastical depictions of ECT, the movie
industry played a capital role in stigmatizing the procedure." [p. 153]
Ken Kesey's book / movie, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," is cited 9
Psychologists, the authors suggest, have sided with patients "as a
tactic in
professional rivalry" using memory loss "as a wedge in battering down
citadel of medical authority." [p. 242]

A single controlled study is presented by the authors to substantiate
efficacy claims. The study, by Drs. Tillotson and Sulzbach, was
conducted in
1945 at McLean Hospital. Its reported positive recovery results are
described twice, [p. 80, p. 96] followed by the exuberant reaction of
champion, Dr. Kalinowsky, who brought ECT to the US: "In this group,
recoveries are achieved in the majority of all treated cases." [p. 81]
"Shock Therapy" authors then claim: "Because of the extraordinary
success of
ECT in medicine, by the late 1940s its curative value was understood in
other areas of American society." [p. 81]

They cite malpractice cases judged on the basis of likelihood of ECT's
curative effect, lamenting the good old days when "there were no
worries about memory loss, no antipsychiatry groups.and no squeamish
psychologists and social workers shying away from a 'brutal' therapy."
However, they fail to present any of the evidence-from scientifically
studies-that might explain why the protests came about. [11] [22]

How can a credible history of ECT fail to present documented evidence
brain damage, memory loss, and cognitive deficits, most reported by
credentialed neurologists and psychiatrists, including ECT proponents?

For example, a 1986 controlled study comparing the brain scans of 101
depressed patients who had received ECT with the scans of 52 normal
volunteers. The study, not intended as an ECT evaluation, found a
significant relationship between ECT treatment with brain atrophy. The
also showed that the brain abnormalities correlated only with ECT, and
with age, gender, severity of illness, or other variables. [23]

As early as 1950, Dr. Irving Janis, (1950) of Yale University conducted
series of well-designed, matched controlled follow-up studies. [24]
studies are recognized as methodologically unique in the ECT scientific
literature: their importance is noted by neurologists, independent
scientists, and patients. His method directly addressed the concern of
patients and to date is considered the most sensitive and
valid. Janis studied the effects of ECT on depressed patients' memory
testing them before and after ECT-and by comparing their memory loss
matched controls who had not undergone ECT. By examining patients'
2 ½ to 3 ½ months after ECT-and following some of the patients in a
long follow up study-Janis could determine whether an individual
showed changes in memory, and whether the ECT group differed from the
matched group of controls. Janis reported that ALL ECT patients had
"profound, extensive" amnesia for at least 10 to 20 life experiences.
controls, who had not been subjected to ECT, had no memory
difficulties. No
one has raised serious criticism of the Janis studies. Despite the fact
such tests are easy to carry out, no ECT researcher has attempted to
replicate them. Why?

Irving Janis is not even accorded a citation in the index--his findings
"One possibility was that patients actually learned a protective
amnesia, as
opposed to having amnesia directly caused by the treatment." [p. 209]

The authors dismiss patients' testimonies and trivialize their concerns
about memory loss: "In informed circles, serious memory loss has seldom
considered real." [p.111] The arrogance betrayed by that statement
the dismissive indifference shown by FDA officials who characterized
concerns about an increased suicide risk linked to SSRI antidepressants
as a
"public relations" problem.

Drs. Shorter and Healy attribute implausible political power and
to the victims of ECT while failing to discuss the evidence presented
recently published authoritative reports. For example, the first-ever,
government sponsored, systematic review of patients' views on ECT
[25] was so compelling, it led the UK National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence (NICE) to issue new guidelines recommending
assessment after each ECT for memory loss; that treatment be stopped if
adverse cognitive effects manifest; the use of validated psychometric
scales; and inclusion of user perspectives on the impact of ECT, and
incidence and impact of important side effects such as cognitive
functioning. [26]

The review analyzed 26 studies, 19 conducted by scientists, 7 by former
patients. The findings confirmed other independent analyses: ECT's
is short-lived while 30% of patients suffer lasting biographical memory
after ECT. The authors of "Shock Therapy" disparage the review because
the presence of former patients on the NICE committee, suggesting: "the
between research and advocacy can be a thin one." [p. 249]
"it is not inconceivable that.the Mind representatives heavily
the document." [p. 250]

Instead of addressing the legitimate medical concerns and the evidence,
authors invoke a mystery-shrouded faith: "Why convulsive therapy,
patients epileptic seizures, should be restorative in psychiatric
remains a mystery even today." [p.6]
"The charge of brain damage from ECT is an urban myth, one first put
by the development of a rival therapy, Vienna's Manfred Sakel, who
hard to subvert his competition." [p. 3]

The book was launched on Oct. 24, 3007 at the New York Academy of
by Edward Shorter, Max Fink, and Lee Wachtel, MD, who comprised a panel
discussing: The History of Convulsive Therapy from Depression to
Past Uses, Future Possibilities.

Dr. Wachtel is Medical Director and attending child psychiatrist of the
Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, with particular
interest in the use of ECT for autistic children. So this book's
was a step toward market expansion with Dr. Fink leading the way by
targeting children for Shock therapy-just as psychiatry's other radical
practitioners are targeting children for expanded use of
antipsychotics. Dr.
David Healy did not attend the book launching.

Accompanying articles to be posted on the AHRP blog:
1. Peter Sterling, MD. Testimony to: New York State Assembly Committee
Mental Health Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities, July 18,
2. Sackeim, Harold A. Memory and ECT: From Polarization to
Journal of ECT. 16(2):87-96, June 2000.


1. Richard Abrams, MD Food and Drug Administration Action Is Required,
editorial, Arch Gen Psychiatry 2000; 57:445-446

2. Sterling, P. Testimony Prepared for the Standing Committee on Mental
Health of the Assembly of the State of New York. October 5, 1978.;

3. Kallinowsky, L. Cited by Whitaker, Mad In America, p. 99 Ref. 2.

4. Myerson, A. Borderline cases treated by Shock, Amer. J Psychiatry,
(1943): 355-357.

5. UK ECT Review Group (2003) Efficacy and safety of electroconvulsive
therapy in depressive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Lancet, 361, 799-808

6. Fink, M. Effect of anticholinergic agent, Diethazine, on EEG and
behavior, Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 80 (1958):380-386.
In 1966, Fink indicated that his research showed a positive "relation
between clinical improvement and the production of brain damage or an
altered state of brain function." See: Fink, M. Cholinergic aspects of
convulsive therapy, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 142
(1966):475-481. And in his 1979 textbook, Dr. Fink wrote: "A more
neurological sequel to seizures is the change in mental state and the
development of an organic mental organic psychosis may
with few treatments." See: Fink, M. Convulsive Therapy: Theory and
Practice, Raven Press, New York, 1979. Cited by Whitaker, R. Mad in
p. 102, Ref. 2.

7. For example, Richard Abrams, MD does not usually disclose in his
writings that he is President of Somantics, the manufacturer of the
Thymatron ECT device. See: Cameron D. ECT: Sham Statistics, the Myth
Convulsive Therapy, and the Case for Consumer Misinformation, Journal
Mind and Behavior Winter and Spring 1994, Vol. 15, Pages 177-198. See
Dukakis, K., & Tye, L. Shock: The healing power of electroconvulsive
therapy. (2006). New York: Avery. Furthermore, in sworn court
testimony, ECT
proponents acknowledged their financial conflicts of interest-as will
documented in a forthcoming book by Linda Andre.

8. Dr. Fink's videotaped informed consent instructions for ECT are
distributed by Somantics, manufactures of ECT machines. Its owner,
Abrams, is a close ally of Dr. Fink. [See Ref. 1 above] Given Dr.
adamant denial that ECT efficacy is short lived, whereas memory loss
cognitive impairments for as many as 30% of patients persist-his
for informed consent is invalid. However, such signed consents may
serve as
liability protection for practitioners.

9. American Psychiatric Association. Report of the Task Force on
Electroconvulsive Therapy. 1978. Survey pp..1-6.

10. Fink M. "Efficacy and safety of induced seizures (ES) in Man.
Comprehensive Psychiatry 19, 1978. Cited by Peter Breggin MD,
most dreaded, evidence-based critic, in: Toxic Psychiatry, p.199, Ref.

11. Evidence of brain damage,1980+
See: Templer DI, Veleber DM. Can ECT permanently harm the brain?
Neuropsychology 1982; 4(2): 62-66; Calloway SP, Dolan RJ, Jacoby RJ,
Levy R.
ECT and cerebral atrophy. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 1981; 64:
A retrospective CAT-scan and case review study of 41; Calloway SP and
RJ. Ect and cerebral damage Br J Psychiatry.1982; 140: 103a; Templer,
DI and
Veleber, DM. Can ECT permanently harm the brain? Clinical
(1982), 4(2): 62-66; Devinsky O, Duchowny MS. Seizures after convulsive
therapy: a retrospective case survey, Neurology. 1983 Jul;33(7):921-5;
Templer DI. "ECT and permanent brain damage." In Preventable Brain
Templer DI, Hartlage LC, Cannon WG, eds. New York: Springer Publishing
1992; Yousseff and Yousseff Time to Abandon Electroconvulsion as a
in Modern Psychiatry, Advances In Therapy Volume 16 No. 1, 1999; Sha
Glabus MF, Goodwin GM, Embeier KP. Chronic, treatment-resistant
and right fronto-striatal atrophy. British Journal of Psychiatry 2002;

See also: comprehensive ECT bibliography on PsychRights Law Project:
See also: annotated bibliography by Linda Andre:
See also: links to many ECT studies:

12. Electroconvulsive Therapy. National Institutes of Health Consensus
Development Conference Statement June 10-12, 1985, 5 (11):1-23.

13. Fink M. ECT-Verdict: Not Guilty, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7,
14. Fink quoted in Boodman, SG. Shock Therapy.It's Back, The Washington
September 24 1996, Page Z14
15. Fink M, Convulsive therapy: a review of the first 55 years, J
Disorders 2001 Mar;63 (1-3):1-15.
16. Fink, M. ELECTROSHOCK: Restoring the Mind. New York: Oxford
Press, 1999.
17. Fink, M. Pediatric ECT: Electroconvulsive Therapy in Adolescents
Children; Catatonia in Adolescents and Children, Psychiatric Times
2002 Vol. XIX Issue 9.

18. Sackeim, Harold A. Memory and ECT: From Polarization to
Journal of ECT. 16(2):87-96, June 2000.

19. Sackeim HA, Haskett RF, Mulsant BH, Thase ME, Mann JJ, Pettinati
Greenberg RM, Crowe RR, Cooper TB, Prudic J. Continuation
pharmacotherapy in
the prevention of relapse following electroconvulsive therapy: a
controlled trial. JAMA. 2001 Mar 14;285(10):1299-307.

20. Sackeim H, Prudic J, Fuller R, Keilp J, Lavori P, Olfson M. The
Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Community Settings
Neuropsychopharmacology (2007) 32, 244-254.

21. Friedberg, J. Shock Treatment is Not Good for Your Brain, San
Glide Publications, 1976; Friedberg, J. Shock Treatment, Brain Damage,
Memory Loss: A Neurological Perspective, American Journal of
134(9) September 1977. pp: 1010-1013.

22. Evidence of memory loss, 1980+
Freeman CP, Weeks D, Kendell RE. ECT II: Patients who complain. Br J
Psychiatry 1980; 137:8-16; Squire LR, Slater PC. Electroconvulsive
and complaints of memory dysfunction: a prospective three-year
study. British Journal of Psychiatry 1983; 142: 1-8; Daniel WF, and
H.F.. Acute memory impairment following electroconvulsive therapy,
Administration Hospital, Acta psychiatr. Scand. 1983:67:1-7; Weiner RD,
Rogers HJ, Davidson JR, Squire LR. Effects of stimulus parameters on
cognitive side effects. Ann NY Acad Sci 1986;462: 315-325; Squire LR,
Slater PC. Electroconvulsive therapy and complaints of memory
dysfunction: a
prospective three-year follow-up study. British Journal of Psychiatry
142: 1-8; Weiner RD, Rogers HJ, Davidson JR, Squire LR. Effects of
parameters on cognitive side effects. Ann NY Acad Sci 1986;462:
Squire LR, Zouzounis JA. Self-ratings of memory dysfunction: different
findings in depression and amnesia. Journul of CIIRICLII und
Neuropsychology 1988; I O(6): 727-738. Diehl DJ, Keshavan MS, Kanal E,
et al
Post-ECT increases in T2 relaxation times and their relationship to
cognitive side effects: a pilot study. Psychiatry Res 1994 (November);
54(2): 177-184; Calev A, Gaudino E, Squires N.K, Zervas I.M and Fink
ECT and non-memory cognition: A review, British Journal of Clinical
Psychology 34 (1995), 505-515; Coleman EZ, Sackeim HA, Prudic J,
DP, McElhiney MC. Moody BJ. Subjective memory complaints prior to and
following electroconvulsive therapy. Biol Psychiatry 1996; 39:346-356.

See also: comprehensive ECT bibliography on PsychRights Law Project:
See also: annotated bibliography by Linda Andre:
See also: links to many ECT studies:

23. Dolan et al. The cerebral appearance in depressed patients.
Psychological Medicine 1986; 16: 775-779. See also: Freeman C.P.L.,
J.V., and Crighton A. Double-Blind Controlled Trial of
Therapy (E.C.T.) and Simulated E.C.T. in Depressive Illness, The
April 8, 1978; Squire LR, Slater PC. Electroconvulsive therapy and
complaints of memory dysfunction: a prospective three-year follow-up
British Journal of Psychiatry 1983; 142: 1-8;

24. Janis, I. (1948) Memory loss following electric convulsive
J. Personality 17:29; Janis, I. (1950a) Psychologic effects of electric
convulsive treatments. I. Post-treatment amnesias. J. Nerv. & Ment.
111:359-382; Janis, I. (1950b) Psychologic effects of electric
treatments. II. Changes in word association reactions. J. Nerv. & Ment.
111:383-397; Janis, I. and Astrachan, M. (1951) The effects of
electroconvulsive treatments on memory efficiency. J. Abnormal & Soc.
Psychol. 46:501

25. Robertson H & Pryor R. Memory and cognitive effects of ECT:
and assessing patients, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2006), vol.

26. NICE ECT Guidelines, 2003:



Thursday, November 1, 2007

psychiatric disorders are a fraud

Dr. Fred Baughman


Retired neurologist/child neurologist

No affiliation was given

Competing Interests: I am a retired neurologist/child neurologist, board certified, with no financial conflicts of interest, with no affiliations with orgs, institutions having such conflicts. Formerly I was a March of Dimes/National Foundation scholar and published considerably from a private practice base. I am author of a book THE ADHD FRAUD--How Psychiatry Makes "Patients" of Normal Children . I have testified widely re the absense of proof that any psychiatric disorders have been validated as objective abnormalities/diseases. It is this fraud I write and testify about. Most recently I testified at hearings at the FDA (3/22-23/06) and before the Congress of Mexico, 3/23/06.

Submitted Date: May 11, 2006

Published: May 15, 2006


Canadian neurologists do not expose ECT

Above is a picture of Dr. Fred Baughman, a neurologist from the USA who has publicly spoken out
about the harm done by psychiatric drugs and by electroshock (ECT). Not one Canadian psychologist nor psychiatrist has publicly spoken out against any of the above. None have the courage to speak out and they should. Many people in Canada are being damaged.
From: Don Weitz
To: Fred Baughman
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 1:04 PM
Subject: Re: PPEN # 225: The Unproven and Unprovable Brain Chemical Imbalance Hypothesis: "Fact or Pseudoscience?"
Hi Dr. Baughman-
I wish there were courageous doctors like you and Breggin in Canada -
so far NOT ONE Canadian neurologist has publicly criticized neuroleptics, antidepressants, Ritalin, ADHD - they won't even criticize the ECT oxymoron "therapeutic seizure" as medical nonsense, and refuse to acknowledge that electroshock causes any brain damage
like the psychiatrists, Canadian neurologists are a bunch of gutless wimps!
From: Fred Baughma
Gary Kohls
Thursday, November 01, 2007 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: PPEN # 225: The Unproven and Unprovable Brain Chemical Imbalance Hypothesis: "Fact or Pseudoscience?"
Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter # 225
Do “Chemical Imbalances”/ Psychiatric “Diseases” Really Exist, Or-
Is “Biological” Psychiatry Pseudoscience?
By Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD
Author of “The ADHD Fraud—

How Psychiatry Make “Patients” of Normal Children”
On the June 24, 2005 Today Show, Tom Cruise charged that (1) "there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the body," and (2) that psychiatry is a "pseudoscience.” Throughout the research and practice of psychiatry and mental health, research subjects and patients are spoken of as having “chemical imbalances” of the brain, by which is meant a “disorder”/”disease”/”abnormality” of the brain. Tom Cruise isn’t the only person saying there is no such thing as a “chemical imbalance”/”disease”--“the patients are normal!” On a follow-up Today Show, that of Monday, June 27, Harvard psychiatrist, Joseph Glenmullen affirmed that there is no such thing as a “chemical imbalance.” Nor was Steven Sharstein, MD of the American Psychiatric Association able to rebut Glenmullen.
Most convincing of all, nowhere in the medical scientific literature is there proof that depression or any other psychiatric, diagnostic entity is an actual disease, having—as it must—a gross/macroscopic, microscopic, or chemical abnormality. Instead, all psychiatric/psychological/mental entities are made up of combinations of subjective symptoms. This is what sets psychiatry/psychology/mental health apart from the rest of medicine. In regard to what is a disease and what is not, it is not important what Tom Cruise, Joseph Glenmullen, the DSM Committee, or a majority of psychiatrists think—what is important is whether or not an original case report proving a disease’s confirming, characteristic, abnormality is present in the scientific literature or not.
In 1969, I (and my colleagues) discovered and described the Glioma-Polyposis Syndrome. The reference, as for all actual diseases, is: Baughman, F. A., Jr., List, C. F., Williams, J. R., Muldoon, J. P., Segarra, J. M.: The Glioma-Polyposis Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 281:1345-1346, 1969. Further, as is often required by editors of quality journals, we submitted microscopic slides for their review as requested by the editors.
Two subsequent articles appeared in WebMD challenging Tom Cruise’s Today Show charges. In the first Nada Stotland [1], MD, MPH, professor of psychiatry at Chicago's Rush University, stated: “…we can see differences between brain images of someone who is depressed and someone who is not depressed. And we if we give medications, the brain of the depressed person goes back to looking like a person not depressed."
Here, Stotland, no doubt, refers to functional brain imaging which provides pictures that correlate with the state of being depressed, in a normal person, but do not demonstrate an abnormality/disease. Asserting that such scans distinguish between “someone who is depressed and someone who is not, and going on to say that medication restores the scan to one “looking like a person not depressed,” leaves no doubt that Stotland is claiming to have diagnosed and successfully treated an objective abnormality (abnormality = disease; no abnormality = normal = disease-free) when that is not so.
Asserting that such scans distinguish between “someone who is depressed and someone who is not, and going on to say that medication restores the scan to one “looking like a person not depressed,” leaves no doubt that Stotland is claiming to have diagnosed and successfully treated an objective abnormality/disease, when that is absolutely not the case.
Stating there is no more debate than is witnessed over drugs used in other fields of medicine, Stotland, is asserting that psychiatry deals with diseases just as do other medical specialties. In fact, she is on record as saying just this. In a “special advertising feature” in the November 20, 2001, Family Circle magazine, Stotland claimed: “Depression is associated with changes in brain chemistry…” “Antidepressants are not ‘uppers’…” “They restore brain chemistry to normal.” “No woman needs to suffer from this terrible disease.” Again, no known or detectible abnormality—gross, microscopic or chemical--has been found in depression or any single, psychiatric diagnosis/disorder. With no abnormality known or demonstrable, it cannot be said there is an abnormal phenotype (abnormal phenotype = macroscopic, microscopic or chemical abnormality = disease) due to an abnormal genotype (abnormal gene or chromosome). With no chemical abnormality proven, it cannot, legitimately be said that antidepressants “…restore brain chemistry to normal.” So much for Stotland’s claims that depression is a disease. It is not Cruise who is wrong or lying, it is Stotland, a physician, responsible—as all physicians are--for distinguishing abnormality/disease from the state of being normal/disease-free.
In the second WebMD article [2] to weigh-in on the Cruise-instigated “chemical imbalance” debate, psychiatrist Darrel Regier, MD, MPH, director of research for the American Psychiatric Association--APA states: "It is clear that antidepressants which focus on altering the neurotransmission of norepinephrine and serotonin are effective in the treatment of depression.”. What Regier suggests is that because drugs that affect the norepinephrine and serotonin systems “work” on depression, there must be an abnormality of these chemical systems. Nowhere does he reference proof of a chemical, microscopic or macroscopic abnormality in depression confirming it is an actual disease, as they invariably claim.
Despite the fact that no psychiatric entity--depression included--has been proved to be an abnormality disease, it is standard practice, both in psychiatric research and practice to state or imply to research subjects and patients alike, that they are “chemically imbalanced” “abnormal”/ “diseased” thus abrogating their right to informed consent while hopelessly biasing them against non-biological interventions in favor of biological interventions such as drugs, ECT and psychosurgery. Not only are they lied to from within by psychiatric researchers, teachers, social workers, physicians and other mental health professionals, they are lied to from without through the press releases of organized psychiatry—the APA, NIMH, all of psychiatric and psychological academia, and through ads from the pharmaceutical industry (such as the Zoloft “chemical imbalance” ad that pops up incessantly throughout the pages of WebMD) countenanced by the FDA and FTC who know full-well that the “chemical imbalance” lie is nothing but a market stratagem, but who opt to allow it and continue to aid and abet the deception.
With the “chemical imbalance” lie having been made our “common knowledge,” virtually all “biological” psychiatric/psychological/mental health research is invalidated.
Psychiatrist Defends Psychiatric Drug Use—Experts Warn Patients Not to Stop Medication After Tom Cruise Comment. Daniel DeNoon, WebMD Medical News, June 28, 2005; Reviewed by Michael Smith, MD
Battle Brews Over Antidepressant Use—Researchers Say They Are Ineffective and Overused. Salynn Boyles, WebMD Medical News, July 15, 2005; Reviewed by Michael Smith, MD


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pro Shock Book Out - OH NO!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

CAPA Press Release Oct 5, 2007

For Immediate Release - October 5,2007

A Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault Press Statement
A new and extensive study by psychiatrist and long-time shock promoter Harold Sackeim puts the lie to what psychiatrists have been claiming for decades about electroshock. The research, which was reported in Neuropsychopharmacology 2007, 32, 244-254, tracked 347 electroshock survivors for six months after treatment. This is the most extensive research ever conducted on electroshock and proves conclusively that electroshock therapy, or electroconvulsive therapy, otherwise known as ECT causes lasting memory and mental impairment. Psychiatrists have long denied such damage or claimed that problems such as memory impairment and other impairment are created by some types of electroshock but not others. The study proves statistically and conclusively, however, that memory and other cognitive impairment is caused by all forms of electroshock, including shock commonly described as new, safe, and improved. Moreover, that the impairment is lasting. It also proves statistically two other important claims long held by anti-shock activists:
1) that women are more damaged by electroshock than men.
2) that the elderly are more damaged that the younger.
"Advancing age, lower premorbid intellectual function, and female gender," concludes Sackeim, "were associated with greater cognitive deficits."

Given that shock is disproportionately given to women and to the elderly (See Burstow, Violence Against Women, 2006), these scientific findings are harrowing. It also makes the sabotage of accurate shock statistics on the part of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care even more alarming (See Cribb, The Toronto Star, September 28, p.A8).
On the basis of these new findings, CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault) calls on government to cease and desist shocking its citizens, to find ways to protect its citizens, and in particular, to find a way of protecting the people who, tragically, are the primary targets of ECT as well as the ones most hurt by ECT--women and the elderly.

On the basis of these findings, additionally, we demand that henceforth, medical information given to shock recipients that omits, denies, or minimizes the reality of the lasting cognitive damage be treated as instances of fraud, violations of informed consent, and prosecuted accordingly. We likewise demand that accurate, timely, and gender and age specific electroshock statistics be made readily available to the public.

The public has a right to be protected from treatment proven to impair cognitive functions.

Medical professionals should not be able to get away with giving people blatantly inaccurate information about damaging treatments. The public has a right to know.

CAPA Contacts: Dr. Bonnie Burstow (416) 538-7103; Don Weitz (416) 545-0796. For copy of article, see CAPA website:

The CAPA websites are: