Thursday, November 1, 2007

psychiatric disorders are a fraud


Dr. Fred Baughman

Email: fredbaughmanmd@cox.net

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 www.Trafford.com . 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

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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!
Don
***********************************************************************
From: Fred Baughma
To:
Gary Kohls
Sent:
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”
http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/view-item?item=9628
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

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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
NEW STUDY PROVES ELECTROSHOCK ("ECT") DAMAGES CONCLUSIVELY
CAPA CALLS FOR ACTION
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: capa.oise.utoronto.ca
-----------


The CAPA websites are: http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
http://capacanada.wordpress.com

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Above is a picture of Heather Bruce who interviewed Sue on the Sound Mind Radio Show - CKCU Ottawa on April 25, 2007

I was on the Sound Mind Radio show in Ottawa on April 25th. Heather Bruce interviewed me.
I spoke about my life and about the electroshock I had etc. Don Weitz called me after the radio
show and said he liked the way I spoke out about psychiatry. Don is very supportive of me and has been for almost 20 years now.

After the radio show, I emailed Heather for a cassette tape of the radio show and she said she would mail me a copy of the cassette tape. After a month I sent an email asking Heather for the cassette tape and she told me that the Sound Mind office was being renovated and that she would send me a copy as soon as she could.

About two months later she said she would send me a copy of the cassette. For three more months
I waited. I told her I was not impressed and would not be a guest on the radio show again.

Yesterday, after 5 months, on September 28th she told me to come in with a blank CD and copy the tape myself. I told her to forget it and I did not have time to waste going down to the radio show.
I told her I would call it a bad experience and that she did not treat me fairly and she did not.

One excuse after another and I have not yet received the tape of the radio show.

It goes to show you that some people in radio are not nice. You would expect a guest on the radio show to treated with respect. Some things in life are not fair and this one example.


Monday, September 10, 2007

KITTY DUKAKIS PROMOTES HER BOOK & SHOCK - OCT. 15
from Don Weitz (dweitz@pathcom.com)
some survivors & human rights groups shoulddemonstrate against this pro-shock event featuring Kitty Dukakis on Oct 15 at Northeastern U in Mass - info below
Don
-------------------------
Subject: Ford Hall Forum on ECT

"Shock" - Kitty Dukakis, Michael Dukakis, & Larry Tye
October 15th , 6:30-8pm, Raytheon Auditorium, Egan Research Ctr, Northeastern
University - Book signing will follow lecture and discussion.

"After suffering for decades from severe depression, substance abuse problems, and hospitalizations, Kitty Dukakis now credits her recovery to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Opponents of ECT would like to see the
treatment banned on the basis of its common side effects, such as memory loss. Many patients say these are a small price to pay for control over a disabling condition. Governor Michael Dukakis and author Larry Tye join
Kitty Dukakis for a discussion on how this medical treatment - along with the support of family and loved ones - can potentially help individualsthrough the horrors of clinical depression."

Information: 617-373-5800
HYPERLINK "mailto:info@fordhallforum.neu.edu"info@fordhallforum.-neu.edu
HYPERLINK "http://www.fordhallforum.org"www.fordhallforum.-org

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Anti-Electroshock Proclamation

Above is a picture of Dr. Bonnie Burstow

The Anti-Electroshock Proclamation

We who care,
We who are committed to decency,
We who behold with horror the disrespect for humans around us
We who shudder at the knowledge
Of women whose memory has been turned into ember and ashes,
Of families brutally torn asunder by pulse waves or sine waves
Of the elderly, whose final life reward is electrocution,
We who hold this fearful knowledge can be silent no longer.
LEGISLATORS, on this Mother's Day, we hold you directly accountable and call
On you to withdraw your authorization for electroshock
FELLOW CITIZENS who think this "practice" stopped decades ago, on this
Mother's Day
We tell you that the carnage continues and that you too are responsible.
On this Mother's Day, May 13, 2007, as survivors and allies, we come together to
Raise our voices to protest
And we vow to return
Return,
And return again
Until this abomination
Is no more.
Written and read aloud by Bonnie Burstow on May 13, 2007, Mother's Day, in Toronto during the anti-shock demonstration STOP SHOCKING OUR MOTHERS AND GRANDMOTHERS.

Bonnie Burstow co-founded with Don Weitz the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA). CAPA's websites:
http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
http://capacanada.wordpress.com


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sue to be on two radio shows in August

Hi everyone, I will be two radio shows in August that you can listen to:

August 29th, Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST
I was on David's radio show. I emailed David before the show and told him I had a mini stroke and I sometimes say the wrong thing for what I want to say and that sometimes I slur my words as I have
Bell's Palsy on the left side of my face and he graciously emailed back and said not to worry that the
radio show would be fun and it was. I have done lots of radio show but after my stroke I was not feeling as confident as I was before. David made me feel at ease and we had fun and it was a good radio show.

I talked about my life and about my 18 years of being psychiatrized from 1972 - 90. I forgot to give the title of my online book which is called "Behind the Locked Ward - The Sue Clark Story " and it can be found at the URL: http://symclark.blogspot.com. Karen called me from Oregon with a question about kids labelled with ADHD. I referred Karen to Dr. John Breeding of Texas who does not believe kids should be labelled at all nor given psychiatric drugs. His website is at the URL: http://www.wildestcolts.com Don Weitz called in from Toronto. South Africa Mindfreedom sent in an email. I want to thank David for being an excellent host and interview and for inviting me on his show. I also want to thank Karen, Don Weitz, and Mindfreedom South Africa and to all that listened. This radio show will be in the archives so you can listen to it later. It was a good experience. David is a nice man and a good person who has been fighting psychiatric oppression for almost 30 years now. His website is at the URL: http://www.mindfreedom.org

It was a pleasure to be on David's radio show. I listen to David's radio every Wednesday at 4 p.m.
a radio show not to miss!
************************************************************************************

Sue Clark: electroshock survivor & activist
by David W. Oaks www.mindfreedom.org David's email: oaks@mindfreedom.org

Wednesday, 29 August 2007, at 4 pm ET, "click and listen" to a live interview with electroshock-survivor SUE CLARK in Ontario, Canada. Phone in with your questions & comments live. Host is David Oaks.

Sue Clark: electroshock survivor & activist

Sue Clark: electroshock survivor activist from Ontario, Canada

This Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 4 pm ET:

Sue Clark of Canada on MindFreedom Free Live Internet Radio

Sue Clark-Wittenberg is a survivor of electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

During the 18-year period from 1972 to 1990, Sue was diagnosed with 15 different psychiatric labels, prescribed 14 different types of psychiatric drugs, and was locked up in a variety of psychiatric institutions in Ontario, Canada.

Sue says, "I was tortured with electroshock in 1973 at the age of l7 years old which was given to me against my will. On my 5th ECT my heart stopped and I had to be revived." Sue says she suffers from permanent memory loss and has a difficult time learning new things to this day.

Sue and her husband Steven Wittenberg founded The Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock in Ottawa. Says Sue, "We are working with others all around the world to ban ECT universally."

For more info see her web site: http://wittenbergces.blogspot.com/

The MindFreedom News host is David Oaks, who also sums up the latest "mad news."

Phone numbers to call in live are announced during the show. If you can't get through keep trying. The show may start a minute or two late. You may e-mail in with any questions, comments or technical problems at any time. Your comments may be read live during the show. E-mail to: radio@mindfreedom.org

If you miss the live show this Wednesday, 29 August 2007, at 4 pm ET at http://prncomm.net/, recent shows from the MindFreedom News Hour are archived by Progressive Radio Network here:

http://oaks.progressiveradionetwork.org/

The Story of MindFreedom Free Live Internet Radio

For more than a year, since June 2006, MindFreedom Radio Show has supported a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system. Leaders, authors, activists, mental health professionals, psychiatric survivors and others who are actively changing and challenging the current mental health system have been featured in live interviews. Listeners have called in from around the world.

The weekly show is hosted by psychiatric rights activist David Oaks, director of MindFreedom. David also experienced the mental health system as a youth when he was institutionalized five times and diagnosed "schizophrenic."

The Progressive Radio Network produces the show along with several others from its studio in New York City. PRN was founded by radio personality and health activist leader Gary Null.

If you listen LIVE to the MindFreedom News Hour jot down the toll free call-in number for the USA or the special call-in number for outside the USA as it is announced during the show. Please keep trying, sometimes it takes more than once to get through.

You may e-mail at any time before or during the show to radio@mindfreedom.org. E-mail is checked during the show, and your comments may be read live on "the air." Include where you are calling from. If pronunciation of your name is not obvious please tell us how to do that, or ask us to keep your comment anonymous.

After the distinctive drum beats of the intro music Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, on each MindFreedom News Hour you'll hear a brief summary of the latest news. Then you'll hear an interview about changing the system of care for mental and emotional well being.

Shows have explored the history of the psychiatric survivor movement, innovative alternatives to the conventional mental health system, how psychiatric survivors and concerned mental health professionals are working together on human rights campaigns, and more.

Regular features include updates about breaking stories and networking announcements about successful activism and alternatives.

It's your mind! It's your freedom! Free your mind with the MindFreedom News Hour hosted by David Oaks.

Just click on http://prncomm.net Wednesday at 4 pm eastern time!

Or hear recent archives later at:

http://oaks.progressiveradionetwork.org/

Help create your own media for a nonviolent revolution in mental health. Please spread the word!

Don't miss this radio show on Wednesday, it is great!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 31, Friday at 6:30 p.m. EST

I was on Don Weitz's radio and it was a great radio show. Don is a great interviewer and host. I talked about ECT mostly and about the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock. I thank Don for giving me the opportunity to be on his radio show. It is always a pleasure to be on Don's radio show. I have known Don for over 20 years. He is a nice man and a good person who has been fighting psychiatric oppression for over 30 years now. His radio show is not to be missed.
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Sue will be on Don Weitz's antipsychiatry show on Friday, August 31st at 6:30 p.m. Sue will be discussing her antipsychiatry work and especially her and her husband Steven's work to ban
electroshock. Sue and Steven founded the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock in May 2007 in Ottawa.

Don Weitz a psychiatric survivor and antipsychiatry activist and anti-ECT activist hosts a show called
"Shrink Rap" on CKLN 88.1 FM in Toronto, Canada. The website for the radio show to listen live is: www.ckln.fm The show is the last Friday of every monthand it starts at 6:30 p.m. EST It is a great show, don't miss it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Anti-Psychiatry Radio Shows


DON WEITZ's Shrink Rap Radio Show

Above is a picture of Don Weitz, antipsychiatry activist and anti-ect activist
from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

SHRINK RAP - Don Weitz's hosts this radio show on CKLN (88.1 FM) in Toronto. The show is aired on the last Friday of every month at 6:30 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) This is a fantastic show. The website to listen live to this show is



























Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harold Sackeim exposed

Dr. Harold Sackeim exposed. Harold Sackeim has long been a defender of ECT and then he had a study done more or less saying that electroshock damages the brain and now he is saying ECT is the best treatment. See all the articles that quote Harold Sackeim and decide for yourself.

Dr. Peter R. Breggin wrote an article about

Sibile Morency

Shirley Wang

Shirely Wang's ECT article "Shock Value" in Washington Post

Hi everyone, I just read the ECT article by Shirley Wang, in the Washington Post today. It is a one sided article, pro ECT and I am not surprised as she is completing an internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Sackeim and Fink are in this article praising ECT.

A disgusting article to say the least. How many brownie points will Wang get from her school for doing this article? The URL for this article is detailed below. You can send a letter to the editor of the Washington post if you like to: letters@washpost.com

Regards, Sue Clark-Wittenberg

Link to article:

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/20/AR2007072002098.html?hpid=topnews
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I sent the editor of the Washington Post this email today, July 24, 2007

Dear Editor:

I read today the article called "Shock Value" about electroshock (ECT) by Shirley Wang who is completing an internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh.

I am an electroshock survivor who suffers from permanent memory loss and has difficulty learning anything new as a result of having had ECT. This impedes my everyday life significantly.

Shirley Wang's article I feel is biased. She did not interview any electroshock survivors like me who have had adverse effects from ECT

She does not bring up the recent article by Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a psychiatrist in NY State called "Disturbing News for Patients and Shock Doctors Alike" where Dr. Breggin mentions in his article "Something most remarkable and unexpected has occurred in the field of psychiatry. Lead by a lifelong defender and promoter of shock treatment, Harold Sackeim, a team of investigators has recently published a follow up study of 347 patients given the currently available methods of electroshock, including the supposedly most benign forms--and confirmed that electroshock causes permanent brain damage and dysfunction" See the article in full at this URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/

Harold Sackeim is quoted in this article praising ECT, but the information Dr. Breggin had in the above article about Dr. Sackeim was not mentioned. I sent this article to Shirley Wang before she published her article today.

How many brownie points will Shirley Wang get in the field of psychiatry, I can only imagine.

My husband Steven and I founded the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock. Our center is located in Ottawa. Our center was formed to educate people about the harm caused by electroshock. Our center wants to help ban electroshock universally.

Sue Clark-Wittenberg
Executive Director
The Wittenberg Center
to End Electroshock
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
(613) 721-1833
Websites: http://wittenbergces.blogspot.com
http://psychiatrybuster.blogspot.com

Monday, July 23, 2007

Speak out about ECT at NY hearings

Stop Forced Shock! Speak out at July 2007 public hearings in New York State!

by David W. Oaks last modified 2007-07-19 14:27

You can speak out at four (4) public hearings in the next two weeks in New York State to oppose their practice of giving forced, involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject!

Stop Forced Shock! Speak out at July 2007 public hearings in New York State!

Say No! New York State government is aggressively pursuing forced electroshock of its citizens.


MindFreedom New York Alert - 19 July 2007
urgent: please forward!

Concerned about forced electroshock in New York State by the Office of Mental Health (OMH)?


Here's how you can speak out!


Go to one of these four (4) OMH public events in the last two weeks of July 2007!


As you may know, the New York Office of mental health is aggressively pursuing involuntary (forced) electroshock over the expressed wishes of some of their clients, such as "Simone D."

Now you can speak out peacefully but forcefully face to face with OMH officials at four (4) OMH public briefings and hearings in the next two weeks.

One event is on the subject of "recipient affairs," and the other three on their "Comprehensive Plan" will include OMH Commissioner Hogan.

~~~~~~~~~~

Brief Background about Forced Shock in NY State:


Courageous attorneys Kim Darrow and Dennis Feld have fought hard for clients facing forced electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Unfortunately, in the case of Simone D., they lost.

Now Simone's right to say "no" to forced electroshock is in the court of public opinion.

For a news release about this campaign including how to lobby about Simone D. by e-mail go to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

Now New York State residents can speak out directly face-to-face at OMH public events in July 2007!

The Office of Mental Health has announced a number of public events where *YOU* can speak out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are four (4) known OMH public events left in July!


**** RECIPIENT MEETING

An OMH Recipient Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, 23 July 23 2007, at 3 pm, and will continue on Tuesday. We hear these are fairly large events. Just show up early, fill out your own name tag, and join in! Location: Comfort Inn, 99 Miller Road, East Greenbush, New York. Phone for Comfort In: (518) 479-3217.

For more info and directions to this Recipient Affairs meeting on 23 July go to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/as/act/us/new-york-state/recipient-affairs

**** "COMPREHENSIVE PLAN" MEETINGS

Three (3) briefings and public hearings will also be held with OMH Commissioner Hogan about their "Comprehensive Plan" in these next two weeks!

These three (3) public meetings are on the 20th (Syracuse), 30th (New York City), and 31st (at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Long Island). Each of these "Comprehensive Plan" meetings has a 10 am briefing followed by a 2 pm public hearing.

You can find the exact date, time and locations for the three "Comprehensive Plan" hearings here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/as/act/us/new-york-state/omh-meetings

Or go directly to the OMH web page here:

http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/News/Briefing_Hearing_Announcement.html

Or use: http://tinyurl.com/ywae4t

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHY SPEAK OUT ABOUT FORCED ELECTROSHOCK IN NEW YORK STATE?


OMH Commissioner Hogan intends to be at these hearings asking about their "Comprehensive Plan." In OMH's own words he will ask, "Are services consumer and family centered and consumer and family driven?"

Even one single forced electroshock means the answer is: "No, No, No!"

You are encourage to attend all or any of these four events and speak out!

While of course you may want to sign up early for the public hearing, given the urgency of the situation some individuals may want to consider nonviolent creative ways to make their concerns known at other times during the event including the "briefing": banner, sign, symbol, hand-outs, etc.

Perhaps you can find out some answers.

For instance, at the recipient meetings especially, you can ask why did John Allen, director of OMH Recipient Affairs, claimed to MindFreedom recently that "less than a dozen" New York State citizens received court-ordered electroshock without their consent last year at OMH facilities, and that the number of forced shocks is going down?

What is his data based on? What are the exact numbers?

Why has just one region of NY State, the few counties served by Darrow & Feld, had more than 15 OMH applications for forced shock in just the past six months for 2007, alone? And that's just one region?

Why does OMH claim that Commissioner Hogan's hands are tied by the courts, when John Allen at the same time also claims OMH has been able to take pro-active steps to lower the amount of forced shock in the past few years?

Whether or not OMH actually did lower the number of forced shock in the last few years, by his statement then of course OMH admits to having discretion.

At the very least Commissioner Hogan can make a public announcement of a goal to end forced shock! Commissioner Hogan spoke out during the President's New Freedom Commission that he supported empowerment and self-determination.

Now is his chance to show it!

And isn't it true that each and every court-ordered involuntary electroshock must begin with a REQUEST initiated by OMH to the courts?

Stand up... speak out... spread the word!

Stop Forced Electroshock in New York State!!

~~~~~~~~~

THIS JUST IN!

MindFreedom Free Live Internet Radio will have a special call-in show about forced electroshock in New York State with one or both lawyers for Simone D.! Listen and call-in live by clicking on http://prncomm.net this Wednesday, 25 July 2007, at 4 pm ET.

Info on MindFreedom Internet radio here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/radio

~~~~~~~~~~

And remember, no matter what, keep up the peaceful pressure on the five New York State officials listed in the human rights alert. It takes you just a moment to e-mail in your concern... about the same time it takes to administer a forced electroshock!

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

~~~~~~~~~~

More information about NY State, including getting on this news list:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/as/act/us/new-york-state/

More info about MindFreedom, including how to join as a member and get on NY State discussion list:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/

URGENT: Please forward this to others who care about human rights in New York State!



Saturday, July 21, 2007

ABC News article on ECT, July 20, 2007

ABC News reporter Sibile Morency did an article recently about ECT. Don Weitz, Dr. John Breeding, Dr. Peter R. Breggin, and David Oaks are quoted in this article. A job well done by all.
See my comments re this article at the end of this article I posted at the abc.news page

Article URL is:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3397685&page=1

Electroshock Therapy Gets a Makeover

Despite Changes, ECT still stirs controversy

By Sibile Morency
July 20, 2007

Amy, a New York resident, had her first electroshock treatment at the age of 72 … and despite the stigma that electroshock is a brutal, outdated procedure for treating psychiatric health, she said it's been a miracle for her.

And it's probably more common than most people believe.

"I started 10 years ago when I was very depressed. I was diagnosed as bipolar. I took medicine -- Prozac, a whole slew of them -- but they didn't help," she said. "Then a psychiatrist told one of my friends that I should have ECT. My friends told me to get ECT. It was the only solution, I couldn't go on the way I was. After ECT, everyone told me it was a miracle."

Amy, who asked that her last name not be used, is now 82 and continues to receive electroshock therapy regularly.

Although she admits that after each procedure she has a headache and her memory is temporarily "a little bit off," she insists that ECT has been a success for her.

"I know there's a lot of negative. I think it's a rather painless procedure. It's wonderful," she said. "If medicine doesn't work, then yes, I would recommend it to someone else."

The New Face of ECT

Since its terrifying depiction in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," electroshock, or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has changed dramatically. According to doctors who use it, the administration of the anesthetic, changes in the type of electricity used and the way seizures are triggered have transformed the procedure, making it safer and more effective.

The latest clinically available form of ECT, called ultrabrief pulse unilateral, uses a briefer stimulus that lasts for .25 to .3 milliseconds, according to Dr. Sarah Lisanby at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The difference in the type of electricity used allows doctors to induce seizures with lower amounts of electricity then was previously possible.

"It does away with lifelong memory loss," said Dr. Harold Sackheim, a leading proponent of ECT and chief of the department of biological psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. "If there is any memory loss, it's markedly reduced."

ECT Not Uncommon

Although there are no national reporting requirements for the number of procedures performed, experts estimate that approximately 100,000 patients a year in the United States and several million worldwide receive ECT. According to Dr. Mustafa Husain, the director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the newer version of ECT is becoming the standard in practice, particularly at academic medical centers and clinics due to its relatively low amount of adverse effects on the brain.

"We started the new ECT almost a year ago. All of our equipment is now ultrabrief pulse," he said.

Critics Call ECT Russian Roulette

Despite support from many well-respected physicians, ECT is still controversial. Critics view the procedure as a dangerous game of Russian roulette that should be banned.

"You hear from people who succeed. You don't hear from people who lost wedding or childbirth memories," said David Oaks, director of MindFreeedom, a nonprofit organization focused on human rights campaigns in mental health.

Dr. Peter Breggin, founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, is a staunch opponent of the practice.

"If you were in your kitchen, touched your stove and got a convulsion, you would be in the hospital. It would be treated as an emergency. You might even be given anti-seizure medication to ensure that you do not get another convulsion," Breggin said. "Psychiatry is the only place where you damage the brain and call it a cure."

Because unilateral ECT is a shock to the nondominant, nonverbal side of the brain, controls a person's intuition, creativity and emotions, Breggin said patients may have a harder time explaining the side effects they might experience.

"So people when damaged on the nonverbal side can't tell you about it. It's a ruse," Breggin insisted. "Ultrabrief pulse unilateral is still damaging the brain, but it's less obvious. It cures by creating a delirium in which the patient is incapable of normal human emotion."

John Breeding, an Austin, Texas, psychologist, is alarmed by the state of the industry.

"The shock industry is the Enron of mental health. If they're honest, and you ask them, 'How does shock work,' they'll say they don't really know," Breeding said.

Oaks agreed.

"They look at a problem as physical -- drug, drug, drug, drug, drug -- then they'll try shock. The system is so oriented toward this medical model approach. Relapse rate is enormous, so what's their answer? Maintenance shock," he said. "What has happened in the industry is that research has discounted people's memories."

ECT experts recognize the controversial history of the procedure and acknowledge the stigma attached to it.

"The stigma affects providers and patients. The treatment is perceived by the public as brutal," Sackheim said. "Undoubtedly people don't receive the treatment, because they're afraid of it. In some cases it's quite tragic because they may not live."

ECT proponents hope that the newer form of ECT will encourage more people to seek the procedure to cure their depression.

"Finding ways to make ECT safer, beneficial, lowers barriers to accessing the efficacy of this procedure," said Dr. Lisanby.

Still Searching for a Cure

Doctors who use ECT are the first to admit that the complete cure for severe depression still eludes them.

"ECT can be rapidly effective in treating [depression] but always needs maintenance treatment to maintain effects," Lisanby said.

Don Weitz, co-founder of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault, a group that opposes the use of ECT, said that the American public is in the dark about its use as a treatment.

"Most people think it no longer exists. When I meet people in the street, they say, 'You're kidding!' And it's increasingly for elderly women," Weitz said. "Two-thirds of people who get ECT are women. This is not a treatment. It always causes brain damage and it targets women."

------------------------

Sue's comments made below this article on the ABC.com re the above article:

I thank the reporter for giving David Oaks, Dr. John Breeding, Don Weitz, and Dr. Breggin the chance to speak their mind about electroshock (ECT) also known as electroconvulsive therapy.

I am Sue Clark-Wittenberg of Ottawa, Canada. My husband Steven and I founded in 2006, the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock (WCEE) Our websites: http://wittenbergces.blogspot.com and http://psychiatrybuster.blogspot.com My email is: 2005.sueclark@gmail.comI

I had electroshock against my will when I was l7 years old in 1973 at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital, in Ontario, Canada. On my 5th ECT my heart stopped and I had to be revived. I suffer from permanent memory loss and have difficulty in learning new things as a result of having had ECT. ECT should have been banned many years ago as there have been many reports and studies done to prove that ECT always causes brain damage.

Dr. Peter R. Breggin wrote an article recently called "Disturbing News for Patients and Shock Doctors Alike" that is on his website at www.breggin.com

Dr. John Breeding's websites are: http://endofshock.com and www.wildestcolts.com

Don Weitz and Bonnie Burstow's websites are: http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca and http://capacanada.wordpress.com

David Oaks, is head of Mindfreedom International and his website can be found at: http://www.mindfreedom.orgOther

ECT websites: www.ect.org, www.banshock.org, www.antipsychiatry.org, www.stopshrinks.org

Stats for ECT yearly, 14,000 ECTs given in Ontario, Canada. 100,000 Americans, 50,000 ECTs given in the UK and worlwide it is estimated that 1 to 2 million get ECT.

ECT is barbaric, unethical, inhumane, torture and a crime against humanity and it must be banned now
---------------------------------------------
Sue's comments made on the Message Board at abc.com in the health section
message board. Here is my comment:

I thank the reporter for giving David Oaks, Dr. John Breeding, Don Weitz, Dr Bonnie Burstow and Dr. Breggin the chance to speak their mind about electroshock (ECT) also known as electroconvulsive therapy.

I am Sue Clark-Wittenberg of Ottawa, Canada. My husband Steven and I founded in 2006, the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock (WCEE) Our websites: http://wittenbergces.blogspot.com and http://psychiatrybuster.blogspot.com My email is: 2005.sueclark@gmail.comI had electroshock against my will when I was l7 years old in 1973 at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital, in Ontario, Canada. On my 5th ECT my heart stopped and I had to be revived. I suffer from permanent memory loss and have difficulty in learning new things as a result of having had ECT.

ECT should have been banned many years ago as there have been many reports and studies done to prove that ECT always causes brain damage.Dr. Peter R. Breggin wrote an article recently called "Disturbing News for Patients and Shock Doctors Alike" that is on his website at www.breggin.comDr.

John Breeding's websites are: http://endofshock.com and www.wildestcolts.com

Don Weitz and Bonnie Burstow's websites are: http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca and http://capacanada.wordpress.com

David Oaks, is head of Mindfreedom International and his website can be found at: http://www.mindfreedom.orgOther

ECT websites: www.ect.org, www.banshock.org, www.antipsychiatry.org, www.stopshrinks.orgStats for ECT yearly, 14,000 ECTs given in Ontario, Canada. 100,000 Americans, 50,000 ECTs given in the UK and worlwide it is estimated that 1 to 2 million get ECT.ECT is barbaric, unethical, inhumane, torture and a crime against humanity and it must be banned now
----------------------------------------------------------------------------



Saturday, July 14, 2007

CAPA's ECT Video

Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) made an ECT video regarding the electroshock hearings they held in Toronto in April 9, and 10th, 2005. It is an
excellent video. Bonnie Burstow read my ECT testimony at this event. This video
with electroshock survivors speaking out about their experiences is very
riveting and emotionally charged, a video not to be missed. When you watch it, you will see what I mean.

Here is the link URL:

http.video.google.com/videoplay?docid=73823771430158954219&hl=en

Sue Clark-Wittenberg's life in pics































Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ACTIVISTS WORKING TO BAN ECT

Here is a list of my allies fighting electroshock everyday.

Don Weitz and Dr. Bonnie Burstow are co-founders of the 4 year group called "Coalition Against Psychiatric Asssault (CAPA) which is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I am member at large for CAPA. CAPA organized a protest on Mother's Day of this year in Toronto to protest the use of electroshock on women. 140 people showed up and it was a very successful event. This event will be held again next year on Mother's Day in Toronto. I will post the info when I get it next year on this website here.

For pics and audio of this protest go to these websites:

http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
http://capacanada.wordpress.com

To contact Don Weitz: email: dweitz@pathcom.com or by telephone in Toronto:
416-545-0796 Don is an insulin shock survivor

To contact Dr. Bonnie Burstow: email: bburstow@oise.utoronto.ca or by telephone: 416-923-6641 ext. 2740

Don and Bonnie co-edited the book called "Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada.

Don and Bonnie are my mentors.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Oaks head the organization called "Mindfreedom International"

Dr. John Breeding

Leonard Roy Frank

Jim Gottsein, Psychrights.org

ECT.org -


July 13th, ECT protest in Austin, Texas at hospital

Above is a picture of the Seton Shoal Creek Hospital in Austin, Texas

The Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock (CAEST), is holding an ECT protest July 13th at th Seton Shoal Creek Hospital in Austin, Texas. Dr. John Breeding, a psychologist and author heads this group.

CAEST's website is: http://endofshock.com

Here are the details for the protest:

Dear Allies,
We have made some waves in the community, at the legislature and at the City Council. You can see our progess notes on the website, www.endofshock.com.
We have had an effect on the numbers of people shocked at Seton

Now it is time to go back to Seton and let them know we are still intent on protecting central Texans from electroshock induced brain damage. We will be there this Friday the 13th morning, bright and early when they are actually laying people on gurneys and electroshocking them.

For more information call 512-326-8326

you have made a difference. Come join us again and let's keep the pressure on!!!

RALLY WITH SPEAKERS AND OPEN MIC

7:30am –9:00 am,

Friday, July 13th

Seiders Spring Park

(38th and Shoal Creek, adjacent

to Seton Shoal Creek Hospital on

the north side) in Austin, Texas





Saturday, July 7, 2007

ANTI -ECT WEBSITES


Above is a picture of a woman having electroshock

List of anti-ECT websites:

http://www.breggin.com
http://www.ect.org
http://endofshock.com
http://www.wildestcolts.com/mentalhealth/shock.html
http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
http://capacanda.wordpress.com
http://idiom.com/~drjohn/ect.html
http://www.mindfreedom.org
http://www.banshock.org
http://www.antipsychiatry.org
http://www.stopshrink.org
http://www.sntp.net/
http://www.psychnet-uk.com/psychiatry/antipsychiatry.htm

Thursday, July 5, 2007

REACH

http://reach.ca

ARCH Law Center

ARCH DISABILITY LAW CENTER, TORONTO

Website: http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/index.asp

ARCH mailing address


ARCH Disability Law Centre
425 Bloor Street East, Suite 110
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3R5
PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to contact us for legal information, summary legal advice, or legal referrals, please use our telephone service at:

Voice


(416) 482-8255
(866) 482-ARCH (2724)

TTY


(416) 482-1254
(866) 482-ARCT (2728)

Fax


(416) 482-2981
(866) 881-ARCF (2723)
We would be happy to communicate via email as a form of accommodation. If you need us to communicate with you via email as a form of accommodation, please tell us this in your email. Please note that there is a time delay in retrieving messages from this account, and therefore, expect a wait of at least five working days for a reply. If the matter is urgent, please call our telephone or TTY line.



Email




archlib@lao.on.ca

Web site address


www.archdisabilitylaw.ca

SIMONE D's appeal in New York State

Simone D. Wins !!!


MindFreedom International News - 28 August 2007
http://www.mindfreedom.org - please forward

For 2nd time in 1 month a forced electroshock is STOPPED!

Simone D. wins! John Kelly wins!

Simone D. is a psychiatric inmate in the Creedmoor psychiatric
institution in New York State.

New York State’s Office of Mental Health (OMH), using taxpayer money,
aggressively pursued obtaining a court order to give Simone D. forced
electroshock over her expressed wishes.

Simone D. had clearly said electroshock caused her pain and
suffering. She knew what she was talking about.

Simone D. had previously had 200 electroshocks, also known as
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Making it worse, Simone D. speaks only Spanish, but for years she's
been denied counseling or even staff fluent in Spanish, except for a
few week period.

Today, Simone D.'s attorneys announced that she won!

This morning, 28 August 2007, a court ruled that the two-year-old
order to give her forced electroshock had been set aside.

Said Kim Darrow, one of her attorneys, "I was able to get the
original judge to order a hearing, on the ground that his main reason
for granting the shock order -- that Simone might not eat and starve
-- no longer applies."

Simone D.'s attorneys were able to show that during the nearly 20
month delay as they fought for her right to say "no" to electroshock,
Simone did not starve as the doctors had predicted.

Far from it.

Free from electroshock during the court battle, Simone D. actually
experienced a 34 pound weight gain!

Kim explained, "The hearing was held this morning before a different
judge. He ruled that Creedmoor failed to carry its burden of proof."
The judge canceled out OMH's court order for Simone D.'s forced
electroshock, that has hung over her head these past two years, since
2005.

This is the second person to win a victory in one month over forced
electroshock by the New York State Office of Mental Health following
a campaign of public alerts and court battles.

David Oaks, director of MindFreedom International said, "Thank you to
Simone D. and her great attorneys, Dennis Feld and Kim Darrow. And
thank you to the many people who spoke out against her forced
electroshock. The fact that John Kelly and now Simone D. have both
been able to stop their planned forced electroshock shows there is
hope! Keep up the pressure. Let's end all forced electroshock!"

You are encouraged to read and act on original alert for Simone D. at
the end of the news release on this web page. This time call for
ending all future forced electroshock in New York State!

http://mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d

Or use this web address: http://tinyurl.com/26b28h

Read about John Kelly's victory earlier this month here:

http://mindfreedom.org/as/act/us/new-york/john-kelly-electroshock

More updates will be on the MindFreedom Free Live Internet Radio Show
tomorrow, Wednesday, 29 August 2007, at 4 pm ET when electroshock
survivor Sue Clark of Canada is the guest. At that time click on
http://prncomm.net/ You may phone in comments and questions live, or
e-mail to radio@mindfreedom.org.

More info on the weekly MF Web Radio Show:

http://mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mfradio/sue-clark

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More news at the MindFreedom News Web Site:

http://www.mindfreedom.org

Don't see an important news item? Submit it to news@mindfreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Support MINDFREEDOM INTERNATIONAL!

While you're on the MFI web site... just click on the button on the
RIGHT to join or donate now, or go directly to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

Become a member or renew your membership now! Build united strength
in numbers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you want to...

* Win human rights campaigns in mental health?

* End abuse by the psychiatric drug industry?

* Support self-determination of psychiatric survivors?

* Promote safe, humane, effective options in mental health?

MindFreedom is for people who care enough about human rights to take
united action!

MindFreedom is a nonprofit human rights group that unites 100 sponsor
and affiliate groups with individual members, and is accredited by
the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with
Consultative Roster Status.

MindFreedom is one of the very few totally independent groups in the
mental health field with no funding from governments, drug companies,
religions, corporations, or the mental health system.

While most of MindFreedom's members are psychiatric survivors, *all*
who support human rights are invited to join and become active.

Join or donate here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

For hard-to-find books and gear (including to pre-order new book
Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry) go to the Mad Market! Proceeds
support the work of MindFreedom. The Mad Market now has its own web
address at:

http://www.madmarket.org

MindFreedom International Office: 454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB
11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
office phone: (541) 345-9106
toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (541) 345-3737

Please forward.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More news at the MindFreedom News Web Site:

http://www.mindfreedom.org

Don't see an important news item? Submit it to news@mindfreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Support MINDFREEDOM INTERNATIONAL!

While you're on the MFI web site... just click on the button on the
RIGHT to join or donate now, or go directly to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

Become a member or renew your membership now! Build united strength
in numbers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you want to...

* Win human rights campaigns in mental health?

* End abuse by the psychiatric drug industry?

* Support self-determination of psychiatric survivors?

* Promote safe, humane, effective options in mental health?

MindFreedom is for people who care enough about human rights to take
united action!

MindFreedom is a nonprofit human rights group that unites 100 sponsor
and affiliate groups with individual members, and is accredited by
the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with
Consultative Roster Status.

MindFreedom is one of the very few totally independent groups in the
mental health field with no funding from governments, drug companies,
religions, corporations, or the mental health system.

While most of MindFreedom's members are psychiatric survivors, *all*
who support human rights are invited to join and become active.

Join or donate here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

For hard-to-find books and gear (including to pre-order new book
Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry) go to the Mad Market! Proceeds
support the work of MindFreedom. The Mad Market now has its own web
address at:

http://www.madmarket.org

MindFreedom International Office: 454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB
11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
office phone: (541) 345-9106
toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (541) 345-3737

Please forward.

No need to email anyone as of August 28, 2007, Simone D. won!!!! no more forced shocks!!!
----------------------------------
Please help Simone D. who is being forced to undergo more ECT in Creedmoor's Psychiatric Hospital in New York State. SimoneD., a 58 year old woman in state care since 1994 Simone has had 148 electroshocks (ECTs), over 200 ECTs in her life. As of last week, Simone D. is slated for 30 more ECTs as the appeals court disregard her own words and the great work of lawyers Dennis Feld and Kim Darrow, and upheld more forced ECT.

Please stop Simone D. from having more ECT. ECT always causes brain damage.
ECT is an atrocity, torture, and a crime against humanity. ECT must be banned
universally.


For action please see these websites: http://www.mindfreedom.org, http://endofshock.com, http://psychrights.org, http://capacanada.wordpress.com




For information on Simone D's case please read the following the following emails and letters.

Thank you for taking time to help Simone D. It is very much appreciated.
This may help Simone D. in stopping the forced torture called ECT upon her.
Sue Clark-Wittenberg email: 2005.sueclark@gmail.com or telephone me in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at: 613-721-1833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LETTERS

Dr. John Breeding, an American psychologist and author and head of the Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST) writes a letter:

D
ear Allies,

Two of the CAEST legal advisers have been fighting forced ECT hard in New York for a very long time. Kim Darrow and Dennis Feld were the lead guys on the Paul Henri Thomas case in 2001 that lead to New York Assembly hearings, a ton of media and the release of Thomas and another immigrant, Adam Szysko, who they were trying to force shock at the same time.
Lately, Kim and Dennis have been fighting for Simone D., a 58-year-old woman in state care since 1994, 148 shocks since 1999, over 200 in her life. As of last week, she is slated for 30 more as the appeals court disregarded her own words and the great work of Dennis and Kim, and upheld more forced ECT. My attached letter is going to Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, chairman of the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. We want to light a fire under him to address Simone's case and the ongoing escalation of forced electroshock in New York. His mailing address and email are below. My attached letter should give you the basic details. Please send a letter or email.
thanks,
john
Chairman Peter M. Rivera
New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental
Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
1973 Westchester Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas
5306 Fort Clark Dr.
Austin, Texas 78745
(512) 326-8326

Chairman Peter M. Rivera 7-7-07
New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental
Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
1973 Westchester Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462


Dear Chairman Rivera,

I am a Texas psychologist, currently involved with a citizens group called the Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas. In 2001, when I was on the advisory board of the World Association of Electroshock Survivors, I testified twice to your committee when Martin Luster held special hearings on forced electroshock (ECT) in New York. Chairman Luster ended up initiating some legislation to improve your state's way of handling electroshock. Regrettably, none of those bills became law, and forced electroshock is worse than ever in your state.

I am writing now to call your attention to, and request action related to the case of Simone D., a 58-year-old woman who has been in New York State psychiatric care since 1994. Simone has suffered at least 148 electroshock treatments since 1999 (and over 200 in her lifetime). Just last week, the New York Court of Appeals turned back a challenge brought by Mental Hygiene Legal Service to an order authorizing 30 additional forced electroshock treatments over Simone D.'s objection, which order was issued in late November, 2005 and had been stayed by the appellate process.

It is likely that Simone D. will very soon be strapped to a gurney and wheeled into Creedmoor's ECT suite for "maintenance" shock treatments beyond the 200 during her lifetime. This is both tragic and troubling for a host of reasons, including:

Electroshock always causes some degree of brain damage and memory loss.
Records reported to the court show that previous shock treatment had neither brought about a remission of Simone D.'s depression nor restored her capacity to make her own treatment decisions, and that the treatment had never brought Simone D. to a condition where Creedmoor was willing to discharge her to the community.
The efficacy of maintenance shock at that extraordinary high end is virtually nonexistent.
Simone D. speaks Spanish. This case underscores the Office of Mental Hygiene' s failure to explore non-medical alternatives such as transferring Simone D. to a unit/facility that has Spanish speaking clinicians who can approach and try to treat her in her primary language and also provide her cultural accommodations. Here is an excerpt from her appellate brief: " After appellant had been subjected to more than a decade of linguistic isolation at Creedmoor, the hospital gave up on transferring her to a ward with a Spanish speaking psychiatrist after less than six weeks. Yet Creedmoor had not abandoned more intrusive treatment with multiple drugs, even after several years of admitted failure."
Simone D's own voice has been muffled by her being primarily a Spanish language speaker in a unit where no one except her MHLS on-site attorney speaks Spanish. But what the record reveals is when approached by the State clinicians for her to submit to more ECT Simone stated shock "causes more pain, I suffer more from shock treatment."

Chairman Rivera, the 2001 special hearings held by Martin Luster were triggered by public outcry and press attention regarding the forced electroshocking of two immigrants, Paul Henri Thomas of Haiti and Adam Szysko from Poland. Now a similar specter of tragedy is present in the case of Simone D.

I have two requests. One, please take a close look at this case and intervene on behalf of Simone D., before she is hurt further by unnecessary psychiatric electroshock. Two, please launch a full scale investigation into the utter disregard of the standard of care called "least restrictive alternative" in New York; failure to heed this standard results in unnecessary electroshock and situations like the case of Simone D.

I pray that one day your great state will join mine in making forced electroshock illegal. Until then, I deeply appreciate your attention to Simone D. and these related concerns.

I am available if I can be of help in any way.

Sincerely Yours,

John Breeding, PhD
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. John Breeding is a an American psychologist and author who heads the Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST) in Austin, Texas

Dr. John Breeding has two websites. One of his websites is against ECT.
The URL is:

http://endofshock.com

Dr. Breeding's other website is about speaking out against children taking
psychiatric medications. The URL for this website is:

http://www.wildestcolts.com

You can contact Dr. Breeding by email at:
wildcolt@austin.rr.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MINDFREEDOM.ORG ACTION ALERTS FOR SIMONE D.
Contact: David Oaks, Executive Director of Mindfreedom International
Email: oaks@mindfreedom.org

MindFreedom International Alert - 7 July 2007 - please forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

HUMAN RIGHTS ALERT:

New York State wins in court to give more forced electroshock to
"Simone D."

Simone D.: "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

How you can easily use the web to say "No!" to four key NY State
officials!

The State of New York won its battle in court to order even more
forced electroshock for Creedmoor Psychiatric Center inmate "Simone
D.," who has already had more than 200 electroshocks, also known as
electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Now it is time for the international court of public opinion to weigh
in!

Here is how you can easily use the web to speak out and say "No!" to
this overwhelming human rights abuse. It takes only a moment... about
as long as an electroshock.

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court order
forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, to
undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will.

Simone D.'s attorney Dennis Feld said, "Her battle cry has been
muffled by her being primarily a Spanish language speaker in a unit
where no one except her MHLS on-site attorney speaks Spanish."

Court records reveal that when approached by the State clinicians for
her to submit to more electroshock, Simone stated clearly enough in
Spanish that, "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

New York State's Office of Mental Health (OMH) has a long-standing
policy of vigorously pursuing legal action to force ECT on unwilling
people whom it determines are not capable of making their own
decisions. Interestingly, the capacity of people who agree to ECT is
never called into question.

To read two updates from Simone D's attorney Dennis Feld about her
court hearings go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-
d/200705

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-
d/200707

It's time for us all to speak up and demand that New York State end
this appalling, inhumane practice!

It just takes a moment to use e-mail to contact the below four New
York State officials! If you can also phone or write that is helpful,
but at least e-mail them!

Let New York State officials know that forced ECT is wrong and must
be stopped!

A draft sample message is included below, though using your own words
and personal experiences are encouraged. Please be civil but firm.

Please contact these New York State officials immediately!

** Gov. Eliot Spitzer:

Complete the web form at: http://161.11.121.121/govemail Phone:
(518) 474-8390. Fax: 518-474-1513.

** Lieutenant Gov. David Paterson:

He is legally blind and has been charged by the Governor with dealing
with disability issues. Complete the web form at: http://
161.11.121.121/emailltgov Phone: (518) 474-4623. Fax: (518) 486-4170

** OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan:

Complete the web form at: http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/email/
feedback.asp Phone: (518) 474-4403 Fax: (518) 474-2149.

** Peter M. Rivera, Chair, New York State Assembly Standing
Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities.

Email: riverap@assembly.state.ny.us Phone: (718) 931-2620. Write:
1973 Westchester Avenue; Bronx, NY 10462 USA.

~~~~~~~~~

Draft sample message - though your own words are best:

~~~~~~~~~

Dear ___________:

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court
order forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center,
to undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will. Ms. D. has already been subjected to more than 200 ECT
sessions.

It is time for the State to reverse the New York Office of
Mental Health's long-standing policy of vigorously pursuing legal
action to force ECT on people who do not want this controversial
intervention. We believe it is time to revise the laws that allow
forced electroshock. ECT is of questionable efficacy, but it does
have well-documented serious side-effects effects, including
permanent memory loss. This memory loss can be so severe that people
may not recognize family members or be able to practice their
professions. This is an invasive irreversible intervention.

The World Health Organization has called for a ban of
involuntary electroshock. It is time that New York ends such shameful
practices.

New York Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan
chaired the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,
which promoted the idea that people with psychiatric disabilities
must direct their own care in order for recovery to be possible. This
stands in stark contradiction to OMH's zealous legal activities to
force ECT on those who do not want it.

We call on the State of New York to renounce this harmful
policy, and on the Governor to propose legislation that would end the
possibility of ECT being forced on any citizen.

Sincerely,

[Your name & address.]

~~~~~~~~~

This alert is also on the MindFreedom web site with hyperlinks to the
four NY officials along with additional information:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d

UPDATE #2 on below alert:

The New York Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan has
made their form for public comments via the web inoperative (the
'submit' button is grayed out if you go to the page directly from the
link provided).

You can instead go to the very bottom of the OMH web page provided,
and use the small print link to "Web Site Administrator" to e-mail in
a comment.

However, we recommended that you all instead PHONE and FAX
Commissioner Hogan starting on Monday, and don't stop. Be civil, but
keep it up.

Commissioner Hogan led President Bush's Commission on Mental Health,
and claims to support empowerment, recovery and self-determination.
Phone and fax Commissioner Hogan starting on Monday and ask in a
civil but firm way how he can reconcile his statements with the way
his OMH aggressively pursues more and more forced electroshock over
the expressed wishes of people like Simone D.

We have updated the alert below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom International Alert - 7 July 2007 - please forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE:

New York State wins in court to give more forced electroshock to
"Simone D."

Simone D.: "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

How you can easily use the web to say "No!" to four key NY State
officials!

The State of New York won its battle in court to order even more
forced electroshock for Creedmoor Psychiatric Center inmate "Simone
D.," who has already had more than 200 electroshocks, also known as
electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Now it is time for the international court of public opinion to weigh
in!

Here is how you can easily use the web to speak out and say "No!" to
this overwhelming human rights abuse. It takes only a moment... about
as long as an electroshock.

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court order
forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, to
undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will.

Simone D.'s attorney Dennis Feld said, "Her battle cry has been
muffled by her being primarily a Spanish language speaker in a unit
where no one except her MHLS on-site attorney speaks Spanish."

Court records reveal that when approached by the State clinicians for
her to submit to more electroshock, Simone stated clearly enough in
Spanish that, "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

New York State's Office of Mental Health (OMH) has a long-standing
policy of vigorously pursuing legal action to force ECT on unwilling
people whom it determines are not capable of making their own
decisions. Interestingly, the capacity of people who agree to ECT is
never called into question.

To read two updates from Simone D's attorney Dennis Feld about her
court hearings go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d/200705


http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d/200707


It's time for us all to speak up and demand that New York State end
this appalling, inhumane practice!

It just takes a moment to use e-mail to contact the below four New
York State officials! If you can also phone or write that is helpful,
but at least e-mail them!

Let New York State officials know that forced ECT is wrong and must
be stopped!

A draft sample message is included below, though using your own words
and personal experiences are encouraged. Please be civil but firm.

Please contact these New York State officials immediately!

** Gov. Eliot Spitzer:

Complete the web form at: http://161.11.121.121/govemail Phone:
(518) 474-8390. Fax: 518-474-1513.

** Lieutenant Gov. David Paterson:

He is legally blind and has been charged by the Governor with dealing
with disability issues. Complete the web form at: http://
161.11.121.121/emailltgov Phone: (518) 474-4623. Fax: (518) 486-4170

** OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan:

Go to web form at: http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/email/feedback.asp

UPDATE: THE WEB FORM FOR COMMENTS TO COMMISSIONER HOGAN IS APPARENTLY
INOPERATIVE IF YOU GO THERE DIRECTLY. (The "submit" button is grayed
out.) You can get to an operative version of this form indirectly via
the small print "Web Site Administrator" link at the very bottom.

However it is recommended that you instead phone and fax during
business hours, and don't stop! Be civil, be firm, but ask how
Commissioner Hogan can claim to support empowerment and recovery
while leading President Bush's Commission on Mental Health, but now
his office is pushing more and more forced electroshock!

Let's make this into a phone campaign -- be civil, but don't stop!

Phone: (518) 474-4403 Fax: (518) 474-2149.

** Peter M. Rivera, Chair, New York State Assembly Standing
Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities.

Email: riverap@assembly.state.ny.us Phone: (718) 931-2620. Write:
1973 Westchester Avenue; Bronx, NY 10462 USA.

~~~~~~~~~

Draft sample message - though your own words are best:

~~~~~~~~~

Dear ___________:

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court
order forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center,
to undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will. Ms. D. has already been subjected to more than 200 ECT
sessions.

It is time for the State to reverse the New York Office of
Mental Health's long-standing policy of vigorously pursuing legal
action to force ECT on people who do not want this controversial
intervention. We believe it is time to revise the laws that allow
forced electroshock. ECT is of questionable efficacy, but it does
have well-documented serious side-effects effects, including
permanent memory loss. This memory loss can be so severe that people
may not recognize family members or be able to practice their
professions. This is an invasive irreversible intervention.

The World Health Organization has called for a ban of
involuntary electroshock. It is time that New York ends such shameful
practices.

New York Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan
chaired the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,
which promoted the idea that people with psychiatric disabilities
must direct their own care in order for recovery to be possible. This
stands in stark contradiction to OMH's zealous legal activities to
force ECT on those who do not want it.

We call on the State of New York to renounce this harmful
policy, and on the Governor to propose legislation that would end the
possibility of ECT being forced on any citizen.

Sincerely,

[Your name & address.]

~~~~~~~~~

This alert is also on the MindFreedom web site with hyperlinks to the
four NY officials along with additional information:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d

or use:

http://tinyurl.com/262xma

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

URGENT: Please act IMMEDIATELY. Then FORWARD this alert to all
appropriate places on and off the Internet! Add a brief personal note
that you have acted, and you encourage your friends, colleagues and
relatives to act too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More news at the MindFreedom News Web Site:

http://www.mindfreedom.org

Don't see an important news item? Submit it to news@mindfreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~

And while you're on the web site... click on the button on the RIGHT
to join or donate now, or go directly to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

Become a member or renew your membership now! Build united strength
in numbers!

Do you want to...

* Win human rights campaigns in mental health?

* End abuse by the psychiatric drug industry?

* Support self-determination of psychiatric survivors?

* Promote safe, humane, effective options in mental health?

MindFreedom is for people who care about human rights who want to unite!

MindFreedom is a nonprofit human rights group that unites 100 sponsor
and affiliate groups with individual members, and is accredited by
the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with
Consultative Roster Status.

MindFreedom is one of the very few totally independent groups in the
mental health field with no funding from governments, drug companies,
religions, corporations, or the mental health system. While most of
MindFreedom's members are psychiatric survivors, *all* who support
human rights are invited to join and become active leaders.

Join or donate here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

For hard-to-find books and gear go to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mad-market

MindFreedom International Office: 454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB
11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
office phone: (541) 345-9106
toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (541) 345-3737
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sue Clark-Wittenberg' and Steven Wittenberg's ECT videos about the Simone D. court appeal

Apppeal to NY State to stop the forced ECT on Simone D.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkkq5QM33Yo

Simone D. being forced to undergo more ECT in NY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpHDGBEmn90

A song about Simone D. being forced to have ECT

http://www.youtube.com/v/QWIFwqRxO3c
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Wittenberg telephones the Governor of New York, Lt Govenor of New York, Michael
Hogan of OMH, Mr. Rivera and Mrs. Clinton and the White House on Friday, July 13th appealing to them to help stop the torture of Simone D. who is being forced to have more electroshock at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York State. Thanks Steven for a job well done - Sue
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sue sent an email tot the head of the Amnesty International Canada on Saturday on July 14, 2007 to appeal to this organization to help the stop the torture of Simone D. being forced to have 30 more ECTs: Here is the email:

The Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock
108 New Orchard Ave, Apt 601
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 5E7

July 14, 2007


Attention: Alex Neve
Executive Director
Amnesty International/Canada

Dear Mr. Neve:

I am Sue Clark-Wittenberg, executive director of the Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock in Ottawa, Ontario. I am an electroshock
survivor.

I am appealing to you to help stop the torture of Simone D. with being forced to undergo
electroshock against her will.
The State of New York won its battle in court to order even more forced electroshock for Creedmoor Psychiatric Center inmate "Simone D.," who has already had more than 200 electroshocks, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court order forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, to undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against her will.

Simone D.'s attorney Dennis Feld said, "Her battle cry has been muffled by her being primarily a Spanish language speaker in a unit where no one except her MHLS on-site attorney speaks Spanish."

Court records reveal that when approached by the State clinicians for her to submit to more electroshock, Simone stated clearly enough in Spanish that, "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from shock treatment!"

Dr. Peter R. Breggin, an American psychiatrist and author
wrote an article in April of this year which denotes that
electroshock does in fact damage the brain. Dr. Breggin's website is at the URL: www.breggin.com. Below is Dr. Breggin's article in full. I felt it was necessary to include this article in this email as it ground breaking news.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/disturbing-news-for-patie_b_44734.html

Disturbing News for Patients and Shock Doctos Alike, by Dr. Peter R. Breggin

Something most remarkable and unexpected has occurred in the field of psychiatry. Lead by a lifelong defender and promoter of shock treatment, Harold Sackeim, a team of investigators has recently published a follow up study of 347 patients given the currently available methods of electroshock, including the supposedly most benign forms--and confirmed that electroshock causes permanent brain damage and dysfunction.

Based on numerous standardized psychological tests, six months after the last ECT every form of the treatment was found to cause lasting memory and mental dysfunction. In the summary words of the investigators, "Thus, adverse cognitive effects were detected six months following the acute treatment course." They concluded, "this study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings."

After traumatic brain damage has persisted for six months, it is likely to remain stable or even to grow worse. Therefore, the study confirms that routine clinical use of ECT causes permanent damage to the brain and its mental faculties.

The term cognitive dysfunction covers the entire range of mental faculties from memory to abstract thinking and judgment. The ECT-induced persistent brain dysfunction was global. In addition to the loss of autobiographical memories, the most marked cognitive injury occurred in "retention of newly learned information," "simple reaction time," and most tragically "global cognitive status" or overall mental function. In other words, the patients continued to have trouble learning and remembering new things, they were slower in their mental reaction times, and they were mentally impaired across a broad range of faculties.

Probably to disguise the wide swath of devastation, the Sackeim study did not provide the percentages of patients afflicted with persistent cognitive deficits; but all of the multiple tests were highly significant (p<0.0001>

Many patients also had persistent abnormalities on the EEGs (brain wave studies) six months after treatment, indicating even more gross underlying brain damage and dysfunction. The results confirm that the post-ECT patients, as I have described in numerous publications, were grossly brain-injured with a generalized loss of mental functions.

Some of the older forms of shock--and still the most commonly used--produced the most severe damage; but all of the treatment types caused persistent brain dysfunction. The greater the number of treatments given to patients, the greater was the loss of biographical memories. Elderly women are particularly likely to get shocked--probably because there is no one to defend them--and the study found that the elderly and females were the most susceptible to severe memory loss.

Destroying Lives

The study does not address the actual impact of these losses on the lives of individual patients. Like most such reports, it's all a matter of statistics. In human reality the loss of autobiographical memories indicates that patients could no longer recall important life experiences, such as their wedding, family celebrations, graduations, vacation trips, and births and deaths. In my experience, it also includes the wiping out of significant professional experiences. I have evaluated dozens of patients whose professional and family lives have been wrecked, including a nurse who lost her career but who recently won malpractice suit against the doctor who referred her for shock. Her story is told on my website, www.breggin.com.

Even when these injured people can continue to function on a superficial social basis, they nonetheless suffer devastation of their identities due to the obliteration of key aspects of their personal lives. The loss of the ability to retain and learn new material is not only humiliating and depressing but also disabling. The slowing of mental reaction time is frustrating and disabling. Even when relatively subtle, these disabilities can disrupt routine activities of living. Individuals can no longer safely drive a car for fear of losing their concentration or becoming hopelessly lost. Others can no longer find their way around their own kitchen or remember to turn off the burner on the stove. Still others cannot retain what they have just read in a newspaper or seen on television. They commonly meet old friends and new acquaintances without having any idea who they are. Ultimately, the experience of "global" cognitive dysfunction impairs the victim's identify and sense of self, as well as ruining the overall quality of life.

Although unmentioned in the Sackeim article, in addition to cognitive dysfunction, shock treatment causes severe affective or emotional disorders. Much like other victims of severe head injury, many post-shock patients become emotionally shallow and unable to relate on an intimate or spiritual level. They often become impulsive and irritable. Commonly they become chronically depressed. Having been injured by previously trusted doctors, they almost always become distrustful of all doctors and avoid even necessary medical care.

Decades of Opposition to Shock Treatment

This breaking scientific research has confirmed what I've been saying about shock treatment for thirty years. In 1979 I published Electroshock: Its Brain-Disabling Effects, the first medical book to evaluate the brain damaging and memory wrecking effects of this "treatment" for depression that requires inflicting a series of massive convulsions on the brain by means of passing a traumatic electric current through it. After many rejections, the courageous president of Springer Publishing Company, Ursula Springer, decided to publish this then controversial book. Dr. Springer told me about venomous attacks aimed at her at medical meetings as a result of her brave act in publishing my work. She never regretted it.

Over the years, I have continued to write, lecture, testify in court and speak to the media about brain damage and memory loss caused by electroshock (e.g., Breggin 1991, 1992, 1997, and 1998). At times my persistence has resulted in condemnation from shock advocates such as Harold Sackeim and Max Fink whom I have criticized for systematically covering up damage done to millions of patients throughout the world. It would require too much autobiographical detail to communicate the severity of the attacks on me surrounding my criticism of ECT. It was second only to the attack on me from the drug companies for claiming that antidepressants cause violence and suicide.

Given the vigor with which shock doctors have suppressed or denigrated my work, the study further surprised me by citing my 1986 scientific paper "Neuropathology and cognitive dysfunction from ECT" published in the Psychopharmacology Bulletin, noting that "critics contend that ECT invariably results in substantial and permanent memory loss." They contrast this critical view with "some authorities," specifically citing Max Fink and Robert Abrams, who have argued against the existence of any persistent shock effects on memory. The implication was clear that the critics were right and the so-called authorities were wrong. Sackeim was among those authorities.
Fink's "authoritative" testimony at a number of malpractice trials has enabled shock doctors to get off Scott free after damaging the brains of their patients. Abrams used to testify successfully on behalf of shock doctors until I disclosed his ownership of a shock machine manufacturing company.

Unfortunately, the Sackeim group did not cite the work of neurologist John Friedberg who risked his career to criticize electroshock treatment. Nor did their article give credit to the published work of psychiatric survivor Leonard Frank or the anti-shock reform activities of the survivor moment lead by David Oaks of MindFreedom. They also didn't cite Colin Ross's 2006 review and analysis showing that ECT is no more effective than sham ECT or simply sedating patients without shocking them.

Will the latest confirmation of ECT-induced brain damage cause shock doctors to cut back on their use of the treatment? Not likely. Psychiatrist and their affiliated neurosurgeons always knew that lobotomy was destroying the brains and mental life of their patients and that knowledge did not daunt them one bit. It required an organized international campaign to discredit, to slow down and to almost eliminate the surgical practice of psychiatric brain mutilation in the early 1970s (Breggin and Breggin 1994). The ECT lobby is much larger and stronger than the lobotomy lobby, and much better organized, with its own journal and shock advocates positioned in high places in medicine and psychiatry. Stopping shock treatment will require public outrage, organized resistance from survivor groups and psychiatric reformers, lawsuits, and state legislation.


This essay will appear in Dr. Breggin's column, "Politics, Practice and Breaking News," in a forthcoming issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, sponsored by the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology ( www.ICSPP.org)

References

Breggin, P. (1979). Electroshock: Its brain-disabling effects. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Breggin, P. (1991). Toxic psychiatry. New York: St Martin's Press.
Breggin, P. (1992). The return of ECT. Readings: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health, 3 (March, No. 1), 12-17
Breggin, P. (1997). Brain-Disabling treatments in psychiatry. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Breggin, P. (1998). Electroshock: Scientific, ethical, and political issues." International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 11, 5-40.
Breggin, P. and Breggin, G. (1998). The war against children of color. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press.
Frank, L. (1978). (Ed.). The history of electroshock. Available from L. Frank, 2300 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. Also available on www.Amazon.com.
Frank, L. (1990). Electroshock: death, brain damage, memory loss, and brain washing. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 489-512.
Frank, L. (2006). The electroshock quotationery. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 157-177.
Friedberg, J. (1976). Electroshock is not good for your brain. San Francisco: Glide Publications.
Friedberg, J. (1977). Shock treatment, brain damage, and memory loss: A neurological perspective. American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 1010-1014.
Ross, Colin (2006). The sham ECT literature: Implications for consent to ECT. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 17-28.
Sackeim, H., Prudic, J., Fuller, R., Keilp, J., Lavori, P. and Olfson, M. (2007). The cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy in community settings. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32, 244-254.

-------------------
Simone D. is being forced to undergo brain damaging electroshock and that is not ok. No one should have to go through what I did.

In 1993 at the age of l7 years old, I was forced to have electroshock against my will at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in Ontario. On my 5th electroshock, my heart stopped and I was revived. I suffer from permanent memory loss and with have difficulty learning new things which has impeded my everyday living greatly.

Electroshock should have been banned many years ago.
There have many countless studies and reports proving that electroshock damages the brain. I feel electroshock is
unethical, barbaric, torture and a crime against humanity.

Electroshock should be taken seriously as a form of torture.
In other countries when some people are detained by their governments, electroshock is given to them as a form of torture, yet in Canada, Amnesty International Canada has not deemed electroshock as torture which it is. It is a very grave matter indeed and one that needs to addressed immediately.

In Ontario, 14,000 ECTs are given yearly
In the USA, 100,000 Americans get ECT yearly
In the UK, 50,000 ECTs are given yearly
Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 to 2 million get ECT yearly

Horrendous statistics I say.

The Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock was founded by myself and my husband Steven Wittenberg in 2006. We felt there was a need to educate the public about electroshock and its brain damaging effects and also to lobby governments in order to make legislative changes to ban electroshock from Canada.

I can be reached by phone in Ottawa at 613-721-1844 or by email: 2005.sueclark@gmail.com

More information about the case of Simone D. can be found at these websites: http://www.mindfreedom.org, http://capacanda.wordpress.com, http://psychrights.org

Sincerely,

Sue Clark-Wittenberg
Executive Director
The Wittenberg Center to End Electroshock
Ottawa, Ontario

Other ECT websites for info:

http://mindfreedom.org
http://www.breggin.com
http://capa.oise.uroronto.ca
http://capacanada.wordpress.com
http://psychrights.org
http://ect.org
http://endofshock.com
http://www.idiom.com/~drjohn/ect.html
www.banshock.org
http://www.wildestcolt.s.com
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