Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page


The Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault presents PSYCHIATRIC SURVIVOR
PRIDE WEEKEND, a celebration of psychiatric survivor resistance and
community empowerment.

This year’s Psychiatric Survivor Pride marks CAPA’s five year anniversary.
It will feature the first presentation of the CAPA
Award for Lifetime Antipsychiatry Activism, premiere film screenings, an
art installation, and discussion groups about psychiatric
survivor community and resistance.

All events are located at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,
252 Bloor Street West, in Toronto. All events are free and
wheelchair accessible!


***Saturday, September 27th***

Psychiatric Survivor Pride Opening and Greetings from CAPA
Snacks and drinks will be provided
1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., 7th Floor Peace Lounge

Premiere Documentary Film Screenings
Featuring “Bombarded by Drugs” and “The Electroshock Report”
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., 7th Floor Peace Lounge

Presentation of CAPA’s Award for Lifetime Antipsychiatry Activism
3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., 7th Floor Peace Lounge

***Sunday, September 28th***

Resistant Art: Understanding and Exploring Psychiatric Oppressions
Workshop open only to psychiatric survivors and mad people
Please RSVP before event at
Food will be provided 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 7th Floor, Room 7-162

What was, what is and what will be: Looking at psychiatric
survivor,antipsychiatry, and mad organizing and action
Workshop open to activists and artists involved in the psychiatric
survivor, antipsychiatry or mad movements
Please RSVP before event at
Food will be provided
1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 7th Floor, Room 7-162

Psychiatric survivors, mad people and allies are invited to display their
art at the Psychiatric Survivor Pride Art Exhibit. If you are interested
in submitting your art for display, please email or
call 647-345-4810.


Personal Account of Electroshock by Mary Maddock in Ireland

I was diagnosed as having Puerperal Psychosis, a severe form of post-natal depression. In addition to the drugs, I was also given eight sessions of electric shock ‘treatment’, medically referred to as electro-convulsive ‘therapy’ (ECT). I had never heard of ‘ECT’ and knew nothing whatsoever about it. One of its effects is brain damage causing memory loss so that I don’t remember many of the details of the actual ‘treatment’. But from my subsequent reading on the issue, assuredly the following would also have happened to me. A ‘consent’ form would have been first of all required. In my drugged state, I don’t know if I did or did not give it. Neither does Jim recall giving his consent, though perhaps he did. Maybe it was decided upon by the doctors as again being ‘for my own good’. In any event, I would have been taken to the room where it was administered. I would have been given an anaesthetic and muscle relaxant. A gel would have been applied to my temples and two electrodes placed on either side. A rubber ‘biscuit’ would have been inserted in my mouth to prevent me from biting my tongue. An electric current of anything up to 400 volts would have been passed through my brain for approximately two seconds. In my comatose state, an observer would have noticed some twitching from my hands and feet, the tell-tale signs that what I was in reality experiencing was a 60 to 90 second grand mal epileptic seizure, disguised by the anaesthetic and muscle relaxant. When I regained consciousness, I would have experienced a severe headache and felt generally disorientated. I would have been given a cup of tea and returned to my ward. This procedure was administered to me on eight occasions. While I still remember some of the events of my stay in Sarsfield Court, I have absolutely no recall of many others. I have absolutely no recall of where I slept, where I ate or who, apart from Jim, came to visit me. To this day, I have absolutely no recall of Claire’s birth or holding her for the first time. I was a young woman of 27 becoming a mother for the first time. It should have been the most fulfilling, rewarding and emotional moment of my life but the memory of it does not exist. It breaks my heart. Claire remained in St. Finbarr’s for all of this time apart from a few short visits when Jim would bring her out to me but again, I have no recall of those visits. I was missing out on those vital early weeks of bonding with her which was outrageous. The nurses in St. Finbarr’s were very good to her and did everything they could but the terrible reality was that she and I were parted.

The second time I received ‘ECT’, which I would rather refer to as electro shock, was in St Patrick’s hospital, Dublin. I can remember this a little better. On the morning it was administered my position was changed to upside down in the bed. This was to enable the ‘doctor’ to have free access to my head. I remember counting backwards and again I was given a grand mal epileptic seizure. When I woke up I can remember the pounding headache and confusion. Another effect was the erasing of some good memories I had, such as a holiday Jim and I had together. Even though I was an honours maths student, I have difficulty in recalling my tables since. Our memories are part of who we are and to destroy those is a form of abuse. Many of us have been vulnerable women and I now see ‘ECT’ and other medical psychiatric ‘treatments’ as rape of the soul. Because of these serious human rights abuses in the name of ‘help’, Jim and I along with others, formed an affiliate of MindFreedom International called MindFreedom Ireland We are proud to be part of an non violent revolution in the ‘mental health’ system. Our mission is to unite with others to bring freedom, equality, truth and human rights to those in need especially those who have been destroyed by electro shock and psychiatric drugs.

Micheal Corry of depression dialogues is doing research on electro shock in Ireland and asked me to write an account of my experience. Most of this will be in the reprint of the book which we are collecting when we go to Manchester.

Psychiatric Survivor Pride

Join us for Psychiatric Survivor Pride

Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day will be celebrated on the seventh floor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (252 Bloor St. West) on Saturday Sept 27 and Sunday Sept 28.

Sat: 1:00-1:30 opening, eating, and greetings from CAPA

Sat: 1:30-3:30–Premiere of Documentary Films “Bombarded by Drugs” and “The Electroshock Report” by Jeff Myers and Bonnie Burstow

Sat 3:30: Awarding of the CAPA Award for Lifetime Antipsychiatry Activism to Ottawa electroshock survivor and activist Sue Clark-Wittenberg. (Sue is the first ever recipient of this award, Let’s be there to celebrate.)

Sun 10:00 a.m-12: 00 p.m. Resistance Art: Understanding and exploring Psychiatric Oppression.   Workshop open only to psych survivors and mad people. (rsvp before event at

Sunday: 1:00-3:00″What was, what is, and what will be: Looking at psychiatric survivor, antipsychiatry, and mad organizing and action”. Workshop open to activists and artists in the psych survivor, antipsychiatry, or mad movements. (rsvp, before event at