Star Treatment!

A great article in today’s Toronto Star covering some of the key issues against electroshock (ECT or electroconvulsive therapy), from both the personal experience of survivors, and from our director, Bonnie Burstow.

[Paivi] Laine is fighting to end the practice of electroconvulsive therapy, known as ECT, to treat depression. She received the treatment in 1983 when she was a frazzled young mother in Oshawa with two children, two jobs and a rocky marriage. “I was afraid of the therapy,” she says. “But doctors were like gods. You needed to trust your doctor. And I didn’t have any outside support. I didn’t know about the memory loss, until after.”

She has no memory of the time during her treatment and today has difficulty remembering things from one day to the next. She has also lost deep feelings, she says. “I’m sad because a part of me is missing. I’m 52 years old and I am still searching for that part of me.

There’s also an announcement about Thursday’s press conference being held at Queen’s Park in the media room beginning at 11:00 a.m., and the Mother’s Day Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers rally and demonstration, beginning with a march from CAMH at College just west of Spadina, leading to an afternoon of activities at Queen’s Park.

Why on Mother’s Day?

Young women struggling with new babies and elderly women are the two groups of patients most commonly prescribed this therapy, says Burstow. That is why the coalition is organizing its rally for Mother’s Day under the slogan, “Stop shocking our mothers and grandmothers.”


2 comments so far

  1. […] to Trish Crawford for her wonderful article on electroshock (see also post called “Star Treatment“). Very interesting to see that Goldbloom–medical advisor for the Centre for Addiction […]

  2. colleen77 on

    What a wonderful article! Ms. Crawford’s getting a thank-you email.

    Paivi, Wendy and Sue: We haven’t met, but if you read this – great work. Anybody who reads this article will _have_ to understand what shock is and what it does.


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