Words of Martin Hynes, one of the founder members of Mind Freedom Ireland, active member of CAN( Cork Advocacy Network) and true friend and support of Helena King (R.I.P). Who was also an electrpshock survivor. Martin spoke at the electroshock demo 'Stop Shocking Our Mothers And Grandmothers' at Daunt Square Cork on Sunday the 13thof May 2012
“Thank you for the opportunity of speaking at the Mind Freedom Ireland gathering at Daunt Square organised by Mary and Jim. It is my first time speaking out about this matter.
In January 1974 when I was 17 years and 2 months old ( i.e. legally a child) while training in the hotel trade I was given some medication to take by my employer, which resulted in what I now know to be adverse side effects. I was taken to the G.P. by my employer. The G.P. stated opinion was that this was a relatively minor matter, which would diminish as the drugs wore off. But in response to my employers concerns it was arranged to have a further opinion in St. Anne’s, a substance treatment centre, at that time. The matter was considered to be serious, and as beds were available, an opportunity to have 48 hours observation was made available. I wasn’t to receive any medication or even to be admitted, as this would require parental authorisation and I entered St Ann’s on this arrangement.
The first day passed uneventfully. I went to bed early and slept soundly. I received no medication that day. I was allowed to sleep late as exhaustion was considered to be part of the problem. The day was uneventful until some time after going to bed I was told to take pills, as I should be asleep. I successfully pleaded to have more time. The nurse returned and threatened that if I wouldn’t take the pills I would be injected. I pleaded that sounds from the nearby nurse’s station were not helpful. I was fearful of their threats and I covered my head with the bedspread to block out the light and I was asleep when the bedspread was pulled away and I was accused of breathing. The nurse had he said” listened to the sound of my breathing for sometime and had determined in this way that I was in fact awake.” I was told that if I would not take the pills to turn over and lower my pyjamas. I turned over and complied. As the nurse was about to insert the needle a second person grabbed me roughly and pinned me to the bed while I was being injected. When I asked what the point of the thuggery was, since I wasn’t offering any resistance, the response was, that it was to ensure I didn’t change my mind. I soon became very weak and passed out.
I recall being woken and an attempt being made to feed me. There was concern that I should starve to death as I was out for a long time. I was too weak to move my jaws to chew the food and was very fearful I would choke, as the swallowing reflex might fail and I wouldn’t be strong enough to cough to clear my throat. The attempt to feed me in this way was abandoned and I returned to sleep. When I finally awoke a psychiatrist appeared and I was told I had been “out” for a few days. The psychiatrist said I was to be given ECT, as I am hypersensitive to chemicals(drugs). So before I had any further opportunity to recover having being ”out” I received my first of a number of treatments of ECT. My parents were later contacted by St. Anne’s who were seeking retrospective authorisation for what had been done. Authorisation was denied and it was printed out to the hospital that no attempt at contact had been made at the appropriate time.
In speaking at the Mind Freedom Ireland meeting I outlined my attempts to obtain my medical records. This entitlement is enshrined in the freedom of information act. I am exercising this important legal right. The injection which I was given (unprescribed) almost caused my death. The few days I was “out” extended from January to the end of May or early June. I have information that I was not expected to live.
In order to highlight the risks and alleviate the dangers, I have refused to complete or return the Census Forms. This refusal to give the state the information it seeks is regarded as a serious crime and a decision by the director of public prosecution means a trip to the courts, which will I expect result in my imprisonment. I would appreciate any help available on finding some means of, at least, staying out of the clutches of psychiatrists during my incarceration, as some of these people are corrupt and dangerous.”