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This site is not affiliated with any similar named top level domains & my objective is to provide an augment to the cause of the global banishment of ECT (electroconvulsive
therapy treatments) by presenting an argument that the tactics to coerce patients into attempting the treatment become more transparent when applying the idea of an ongoing enticement (carrot on a stick) paradigm that is utilized overall to persuade a (vulnerable & often disadvantaged) person to try; and then continue to stake their physical well-being on such a frivolous pursuit. There are people that currently use it & swear by it, but they can be the providing "physicians'" lackeys & are themselves seeking reinforcement of their self-harm by proxy "benefit".
I personally wasn't going to involve myself to this extent with this cause due to emotional toll (oh, sadistic people catch on & are always ready to scapegoat an advocate for human rights!) ... but it dawned on me that the providers were using an ongoing enticement tactic when I read the account of someone who experienced the sessions. He wrote that there were a series of them that he committed to, and completed in spite of the fact that there was another event in his life during the interim between sessions that was a hindrance. (Note: I re-read over those parts in Matt's book & he missed three appts. He was still determined though, is the point.) It became clear that it was by his principles that he was resolved to follow through with finishing his appointments.
So then it becomes more obvious that there are the tactics of appealing to a patient's own moral ethics (don't waste peoples' time unless you're serious, type thing), & exploiting their desperation. The patient is validated by the attention and acceptance. They'd feel an inclusion into a prestigious & esoteric cult that is even gov't & culturally sanctioned. With everything said & done the patient doesn't have much alternative but to see it as a positive experience so there's placebo, too!
I further contend here that if there is physical benefit it is possibly only an adrenaline rush produced in the body that causes an endorphin release ... I haven't made a point to look into that idea further ... but a person could feel tough by enduring the treatment even with the (newer) anesthetics used. I don't want to know much about the drugs used either but I once seen somebody say there's a new one used that helps "reboot the brain", was the way it was phrased. ⇽ I was involved in an argument on social media where someone was insisting that it was the anesthetic, propofol, that helped "reset" the brain but the person may have associated the article I found (prior link given) with ECT. The words "reset" & "reboot" are both liberally used in pseudo-scientific articles that I've found though, such as here & here.
Note: I had the idea that the word exhilarating may be applicable for the benefit and so I searched for electroconvulsive therapy "exhilarating" (the quotes to show results that include the word). One of the results contained the word but in comments of an article and not directly associated with the treatment. The article is actually in defense of ECT by a recipient, Natasha Tracy, that was published a bit over a decade ago. The comment that includes the word is praising Natasha's article and is from another woman who professes to benefit from the treatments. Natasha's argument is flawed from the beginning though, since she presents it from a skewed perspective (meant to shame those who advocate against ECT) in that it's implied that it's the recipients that we find fault with for cooperating with the providers. It's really taking part in promoting the treatments ... vehemently defending ECT to the point of quoting some neurological details on how well it's actually understood by the doctors ... again, to shame us ... if it's so well understood then why would there be any discernible "memory loss"? (she admits is a side-effect). The question needs to be asked is how could that be accurately evaluated? Granted, I'm thinking that there'd be a retort of "there's memories I'd like to forget" but that's an irrational, emotional defense. I would like to point out that there's also coinciding natural maturing process of the person where they can feel invincible when young adults that can outwardly be revealed with their recklessness and physical risks taken for excitement and that normally would subside in late twenties. (We call that a "variable".)
In this light I would also point out from personal observation (and I'm inserting two paragraphs here, this one and the preceding one, so I may have already mentioned this...) but there are the people in the mental health system culture who are fine with the role of perpetual patient ... people that like to take any opportunity to talk about the abuse they've endured ... oftentimes in such a way to shame anyone who takes a minute to listen ... and that's their purpose in this life in their view. I used the term self-mutilation by proxy which is (obviously) oxymoronic, but as fitting as I can come up with. To promote that lifestyle isn't very responsible or fair. I've probably also mentioned that the recipients are seeking reinforcement and Natasha's article seems to affirm that theory. I'd like to also note that there was a man that commented about ECT helping his wife and he included a link to their/her blog but the link is dead. What's the mortality rate among the people merely commenting on Natasha's article? How many that defended it a decade ago still would now? (I'll probably use the article comments to delve into doing some of my own research eventually.) In the U.S. the confidentiality laws coupled with the exception of a patient's right to review their own psych records is used to the providers' advantage to cover the violating of 14th Amendment U.S. Constitutional rights of people caught up in their system.
The proponents' argument for ECT is a house of cards when critically scrutinized! There are a lot of ostensibly legitimate articles that tout ECT as life-saving but there are also many people who regret receiving treatments (and mention their brain damage) yet are not being heard in the medical journal articles or in "mainstream media" when the topic is covered!
Oh! Their other argument is that ECT is non-invasive but my contention is that the "non-invasive" is based on accepted cultural concept of electricity; that it's energy & not a physical material substance or object (& drop the subject since it is a scientific thing & they're the "scientists" there so don't worry about that, type thing), but a question I had is "do electrons have mass" and there was an answer here: "Why does an electron have mass?". Someone with a bachelor's degree in science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute included in the answer: "We know that electrons have mass because we’ve measured it directly.", so electricity has physical mass (or weight) so it is invasive in the literal sense of the word. The providers should know that & disclose the information to the potential recipient!
This article, Electroconvulsive Treatment: Hypotheses about Mechanisms of Action, confirms my theory that the electricty doesn't do anything beneficial that couldn't be achieved in some other truly non-invasive way. I used the expression "adrenaline rush" because that was a generic term that I used when I was younger. I surmised that the people promoting the treatment might've never had such a sensation without a coinciding physical event. There is a kind of (dangerous) illicit drug combination that a person can experience with narcotics or barbiturates and stimulants, i.e., heroin & "speed", that will produce similar sensation without any external physical stimuli. I personally have never tried that combination but have experienced what I determined to be similar sensation with an effective combination of drugs. That was one of my personal comparisons that I utilized, anyway.
In some countries it is legal to use ECT on a involuntary (non-consenting) patient in spite of the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned forced psychiatric treatment, including electroshock therapy (ECT).
Dr. Alice Stewart alerted the medical community that x-rays used on pregnant women can harm unborn children and was countered with a study related to the effects of atomic bomb radiation, but there was a difference in type of exposure. 30 more years of x-rayed babies before it changed. (So there's that to consider).
Extra page filler follows, but by all means read on!:
And now I will describe in a figure the enlightenment or unenlightenment of our nature:—Imagine human beings living in an underground den which is open towards the light; they have been there from childhood, having their necks and legs chained, and can only see into the den. At a distance there is a fire, and between the fire and the prisoners a raised way, and a low wall is built along the way, like the screen over which marionette players show their puppets. Behind the wall appear moving figures, who hold in their hands various works of art, and among them images of men and animals, wood and stone, and some of the passers-by are talking and others silent.
"A strange parable," he said, "and strange captives." They are ourselves, I replied; and they see only the shadows of the images which the fire throws on the wall of the den; to these they give names, and if we add an echo which returns from the wall, the voices of the passengers will seem to proceed from the shadows. Suppose now that you suddenly turn them round and make them look with pain and grief to themselves at the real images; will they believe them to be real? Will not their eyes be dazzled, and will they not try to get away from the light to something which they are able to behold without blinking? And suppose further, that they are dragged up a steep and rugged ascent into the presence of the sun himself, will not their sight be darkened with the excess of light? Some time will pass before they get the habit of perceiving at all; and at first they will be able to perceive only shadows and reflections in the water; then they will recognize the moon and the stars, and will at length behold the sun in his own proper place as he is. Last of all they will conclude:—This is he who gives us the year and the seasons, and is the author of all that we see. How will they rejoice in passing from darkness to light! How worthless to them will seem the honours and glories of the den!
But now imagine further, that they descend into their old habitations;—in that underground dwelling they will not see as well as their fellows, and will not be able to compete with them in the measurement of the shadows on the wall; there will be many jokes about the man who went on a visit to the sun and lost his eyes, and if they find anybody trying to set free and enlighten one of their number, they will put him to death, if they can catch him.
Now the cave or den is the world of sight, the fire is the sun, the way upwards is the way to knowledge, and in the world of knowledge the idea of good is last seen and with difficulty, but when seen is inferred to be the author of good and right—parent of the lord of light in this world, and of truth and understanding in the other. He who attains to the beatific vision is always going upwards; he is unwilling to descend into political assemblies and courts of law; for his eyes are apt to blink at the images or shadows of images which they behold in them—he cannot enter into the ideas of those who have never in their lives understood the relation of the shadow to the substance. But blindness is of two kinds, and may be caused either by passing out of darkness into light or out of light into darkness, and a man of sense will distinguish between them, and will not laugh equally at both of them, but the blindness which arises from fulness of light he will deem blessed, and pity the other; or if he laugh at the puzzled soul looking at the sun, he will have more reason to laugh than the inhabitants of the den at those who descend from above.
There is a further lesson taught by this parable of ours. Some persons fancy that instruction is like giving eyes to the blind, but we say that the faculty of sight was always there, and that the soul only requires to be turned round towards the light. And this is conversion; other virtues are almost like bodily habits, and may be acquired in the same manner, but intelligence has a diviner life, and is indestructible, turning either to good or evil according to the direction given. Did you never observe how the mind of a clever rogue peers out of his eyes, and the more clearly he sees, the more evil he does? Now if you take such an one, and cut away from him those leaden weights of pleasure and desire which bind his soul to earth, his intelligence will be turned round, and he will behold the truth as clearly as he now discerns his meaner ends.
And have we not decided that our rulers must neither be so uneducated as to have no fixed rule of life, nor so over-educated as to be unwilling to leave their paradise for the business of the world? We must choose out therefore the natures who are most likely to ascend to the light and knowledge of the good; but we must not allow them to remain in the region of light; they must be forced down again among the captives in the den to partake of their labours and honours. "Will they not think this a hardship?" You should remember that our purpose in framing the State was not that our citizens should do what they like, but that they should serve the State for the common good of all. May we not fairly say to our philosopher,—Friend, we do you no wrong; for in other States philosophy grows wild, and a wild plant owes nothing to the gardener, but you have been trained by us to be the rulers and kings of our hive, and therefore we must insist on your descending into the den. You must, each of you, take your turn, and become able to use your eyes in the dark, and with a little practice you will see far better than those who quarrel about the shadows, whose knowledge is a dream only, whilst yours is a waking reality. It may be that the saint or philosopher who is best fitted, may also be the least inclined to rule, but necessity is laid upon him, and he must no longer live in the heaven of ideas. And this will be the salvation of the State.
For those who rule must not be those who are desirous to rule; and, if you can offer to our citizens a better life than that of rulers generally is, there will be a chance that the rich, not only in this world’s goods, but in virtue and wisdom, may bear rule. And the only life which is better than the life of political ambition is that of philosophy, which is also the best preparation for the government of a State. ~The Republic, by Plato - Project Gutenberg
Class conflict is another concept which upsets the oppressors, since they do not wish to consider themselves an oppressive class. Unable to deny, try as they may, the existence of social classes, they preach the need for understanding and harmony between those who buy and those who are obliged to sell their labor. However, the unconcealable antagonism which exists between the two classes makes this "harmony" impossible. ~ Paulo Freire
I've attended a couple court-ordered type classes due to my drinking when I was younger & never would intentionally be argumentative; but as result of the counseling I received for trauma I experienced, I know that there are still the accepted cultural attitudes that are not congruent with social safety & harmony, or public mental health.
On one occasion I was required to watch a video of a "self-help" type seminar of Barbara De Angelis giving relationship advice for married couples - turns out that she was married a few times so she's an expert - but she started in talking about men & women's behavior in relation to the theory of evolution and I knew everything that followed would be complete nonsense, & it was. She started going on about "multi-tasking" and women are better at it than men (they have to be better in order to take care of house & children, was her contention) but I knew the concept couldn't be a scientifically accepted human trait. I went home after watching that drivel (that I was forced to pay to watch, mind you) & did some research and I was validated by what I found. I wrote a letter to the facilitator of the class to express my disagreement and a copy is below. It is important because people who are insecure or immature will torment traumatized people with their "abilities" - quick-thinking or what-have-you, but it can be frustrating because it's obvious that it's a competition - their point can be to frustrate and that is demeaning. Traumatized people have difficulty with being degraded.
This has actually come up again, in a worst possible way (from the trauma-informed perspective), because I recently got involved in an argument with a woman on social media who was insisting that the inability to multi-task was a sign (symptom? - I'm not sure what word she used), but people with "ADHD" have difficulty multi-tasking, was her contention. The woman apparently knew all about it because she was a psychologist and her husband had ADHD. People can use (mis)information from "psychology" in their abusive tactics, is the point here.
A scan of a page from a court-ordered class entitled "Who Shall Survive" (or "lifeboat exercise").
"Only a lively appreciation of dissent's vital function at all levels of society can preserve it as a corrective to wishful thinking, self-inflation, and unperceived rigidity" The Wrong Way Home : Uncovering the patterns of cult behavior in American society | by Arthur J. Deikman, M.D | ISBN 10: 0807029157 ISBN 13: 9780807029152
Photograph of my old department crewmembers & I displaying our
Battle Efficiency Award onboard the now decommissioned USS Wabash AOR-5