Recently, it has been revealed that the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), seclusion and physical restraint in the treatment of psychiatric patients have all increased for the first time in years, according to the Mental Health Commission.

ECT is a treatment formally known as electroshock therapy which involves the administration of small currents to the brain in order to relieve symptoms of psychiatric illness.

There was a 70% rise in the number of ECT programmes given to patients who were either unwilling to receive it or unable to consent.

Mary Maddock underwent ECT. She spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about her treatment. She couldn't remember the first time but she did receive 13 series of it.

She said: "It's often used as a threat to people, even if they don't receive it.

"When you receive electroshock, as I call it, it's in order to have a seizure, the brain to have a seizure. People know that seizures are not good to have. We know that people forget so many things if they have seizures."

Presenter Jonathan Healy asked does the procedure hurt. Mary responded: "You don't feel it but you feel the affects afterwards. Afterwards, you can't remember a long time preceding that time.

"When I was in the hospital the second time, the so-called hospital I call it, I couldn't remember all the people that came in to see me or anything like that.

"To go back to life after having received this kind of, I don't call it treatment, having received that, to exist afterwards is very, very hard. It's hard to have a job, to provide for yourself."

She went on to detail that the treatment was forced upon her: "It was forced upon me, because it wasn't with informed consent. (correction editor)

"The first time I received electroshock was three days after giving birth. Before that, I had just had a baby and because the doctors misunderstood me at the time of birth, they thought I needed to go to a psychiatric hospital."

She went on to detail her treatment in detail and the impact this had on her afterwards.

"My thoughts began to race, I wasn't able to sort of be the person I was, even at that time," she stated.

"Giving me all this drug treatment that was very bad for me and was changing my personality, I was misunderstood in the hospital as needing to go to a psychiatric hospital in the first place."

She went on to tell Jonathan: "It set you off to a very bad start and this was my early married life. I was a music teacher as well and I had learned a lot of music and was able to memorise it well because I had done a lot of practising. 

"A lot of that was just wiped out. How could I have been the music teacher I could have been?"

She stated that the treatment hasn't changed since the 1970s.

"My reaction is outrage and it's outrage that it's more woman than men. It's 2:1 women get it and are forced to have it and this is not just in Ireland. This is an international trend and the international trend is now that we know that electroshock goes on in the hospitals, people didn't even know that and they still don't know it.

"It's not fine to take your personality away."

You can listen to her story here:  https://www.newstalk.com/Recently-it-has-been-revealed-that-the-use-of-electroconvulsive-therapy-ECT

 

A public protest against the controversial psychiatric practice of electroshock will take place in Cork on Saturday, May 16th 2015.

The protest will coincide with similar events being organised around the world and is being held to honour the memory of Leonard Roy Frank, a lifelong opponent of electroshock who died earlier this year.

It is being organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based survivor/activist group and will be their 7th such annual protest.  Personal testimonies will be given by people who have been the recipients of electroshock.

The practice involves passing an electric current through the brain provoking a grand mal seizure and causing cognitive dysfunction and brain damage.  Latest figures from The Mental Health Commission reveal that 311 programmes or 2152 single 'treatments' were given to 244 people in Irish hospitals in 2012.  Twenty seven people were electroshocked without their consent in keeping with Section 59b of the 2001 Mental Health Act which still allows for it to be given to a person who is "unable or unwilling" to consent, on the say-so of two psychiatrists.

As is the case worldwide, twice as many women than men were given electroshock in Ireland in 2012, the oldest being a woman of 92.

Member of The Campaign Against Psychiatric Assault and author of the recently published book ' Psychiatry and the Business of Madness' Toronto based Bonnie Burstow said "All of us in our own cities in our own different ways will be together protesting on May 16th.  How wonderful that Cork, Ireland is once again part of an international protest against electroshock."

In addition to Leonard Roy Frank, MindFreedom Ireland are dedicating their protest to the memory of the late Dr. Michael Corry, the late Dr. Aine Tubridy  and the late John McCarthy all of whom passionately campaigned for its abolition.

MindFreedom Ireland was founded in 2003 and in 2011 hosted a conference addressed by, among others, Limerick psychotherapist and author Dr. Terry Lynch, American journalist and founder of Mad in America Robert Whittaker and American lawyer Ted Chabasinski who had received electroshock as a child of 6 in Belleview Hospital in New York and who, along with fellow survivors Deborah Schwartzkopff and Mary Maddock, are  the chief co-ordinators for the world wide May protest.

Founder of MindFreedom Ireland Mary Maddock said " Electroshock is a barbaric practice.  I received 13 sessions of it after the birth of my daughter and it left me with permanent memory loss and dysfunction. We call for a total abolition of the practice."

 

 

The Cork protest takes place outside The Peace Park on The Grand Parade from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday May 16th and all are welcome.

We need to be informed to give consent.

It is very difficult to realize what is good or bad for you when you have not lived for many decades as an adult. It is almost impossible if your mind is altered by brain damaging psychotropic drugs. I received electroshock which is now described as modified 'ECT' for the first time two days after childbirth without informed consent. The consequences of being completely misunderstood and wrongfully 'treated' by many 'doctors' then was that I was not capable of understanding myself and the world I was part of. When I was a young woman I thought I was doing fine. Even as time went on and I had very serious visible adverse effects such as Parkinson's I was in such a zombie land that everything went over my head.

I now know after 15 years with a drug less, clear ,nourished body, mind and spirit that electroshock did damage me and many others over the years. I have been active and continue to be so thankfully since 2,000 and have met so many people who have been hurt by electroshock. Worldwide women continue to receive twice as much as men often without informed consent. In Ireland it was very difficult to find the figures at the beginning but when eventually with much effort they were disclosed they were similar to every other country two women to every man. Also private hospitals provide more electroshock than others and some hospitals do not provide it. All bio psychiatrists do not advocate electroshock as a 'treatment' whereas all bio psychiatrists 'treat' people with drugs. It is very difficult to find help without being viewed as an object in need of 'treatment' because where there is power there is money and it does talk!! While powerful people continue to promote drugs and electroshock people in need will still be needy! If humane alternatives were available and everyone was able to make an informed decision then electroshock would be deleted and our memories would be valued!

Mary Maddock

Brain damage is not a solution! Doctors who force brain damaging 'treatments' on others cannot call themselves healers. To force anyone to do something against their will is an act of violence. Many people receive electroshock without informed consent and many are elderly women!

MindFreedom Ireland want gentle, encouraging, humane assistance for those who desire support when they are in distress.  Our government should be able to provide its citizens with the help they need.