The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery Chastises Dr. Oz

The Sacramento Bee is to be commended for running the story, National Mental Health Coalition Calls “Dr. Oz” Electroshock Show One-Sided, on The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery’s (NCMHR) view of a segment The Dr. Oz Show is running on electro-shock.

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) calls upon the producers of “The Dr. Oz Show” to provide balanced and truthful coverage of the risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which grand mal seizures are electrically induced, usually to treat severe depression.

Dr. Oz apparently wants to give the impression that electro-shock is a safe procedure. If efforts on Capitol Hill to get the electro-shock devices declared safe by the FDA without further research failed, maybe Dr. Oz should listen to those people who have had first hand experience with this issue.

“Shock survivors” and many other mental health advocates assert that ECT’s disabling effects – including permanent memory loss and cognitive deficits – outweigh possible benefits, and call for potential ECT recipients to be told the risks so they can make an informed choice.

Informed consent is never truly informed consent until it is fully informed consent.

“The research is clear: ECT causes closed head injury, temporary euphoria, then return of depression but with enduring memory loss,” says Dr. Daniel B. Fisher, psychiatrist and NCMHR board member. Among the show’s false claims are that less electricity is used in unilateral ECT. “In reality,” Dr. Fisher said, “unilateral ECT requires more electricity.” Calling the show’s claim of 80 percent effectiveness “vastly exaggerated,” Dr. Fisher pointed out that, while many may experience a lifting of depression, this is only temporary, but the disabling side effects are permanent. In addition, many ECT recipients say their depression was exacerbated by the stress associated with their ECT-related cognitive disabilities.

Electro-shock survivors need to be listened to regardless of whether their experiences have been positive or negative. This kind of suppression of the evidence in the name of doing harm to the gullible is something that must be frowned on in all instances for basic humanitarian reasons.

The segment of The Dr. Oz show in question was called The Shock That Could Save Your Life. It would only be fitting and fair, not to mention truthful, if Dr. Oz were to air another segment of his show called The Shock That Could Take Your Life.

Shock survivors and other critics of psychiatric violence are encouraged to give Dr. Oz a piece of their mind in the comment section below the page containing the video.

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2 Responses

  1. Typical claims average around the 50% mark, so at best an evens gamble for anyone having the electrodes attached; Baldy is using some seriously massaged statistics.

    I suggest the heavily Botoxed Dr Oz and his shiny pated pal volunteer for a demonstration on the harmlessness of the treatment.

    Zzzzt zzzzt.

    • Good point. I know a number of people who have suggested doctors should take the drugs they prescribe. In this case, if psychiatrists had a little taste of their own medicine, I would think that maybe they would be less inclined to shock others.

      One thing, for sure, if you send electricity through the brain in order to elicit an convulsion you are going to get some damage. Epileptic seizures are something people are deparately seeking a cure for. They are seeking a cure because epileptic seizures can be so damaging. Miraculously though, seizures are “safe” for people in mental health treatment?…Think again. Bunk is bunk. Sedation won’t save you from harm if the doctor attaches those electrodes to your skull. It will only keep you unconscious when the harm is taking place.

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