Thousands of women in the United Kingdom have received therapy by “dangerous” electroshock for their mental health, fearing that treatment would leave patients with irreparable brain damage and serious loss of memory.
According to Dr. John Read, professor at the University of East London and leading expert in Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the statistics he obtained thanks to a request for access to information show that women have received treatment disproportionately compared to male patients.
In fact, in 2019, 67% of the 1,964 patients who received the treatment were women, and women received ECT twice as often as men in 20 NHS trusts in the UK – although It should be noted that some research shows that women are twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression, compared to men. Other research conducted by Dr. Read also revealed that 36% of patients underwent ECT without giving consent.
But, while some patients have praised the treatment for helping them overcome mental health issues such as depression, prominent doctors and mental health charities have condemned the use of ECT and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines – which make evidence-based recommendations to the NHS – state that ECT should only be used as a last resort.
“The recommendations of our current guidelines on identification and management of depression in adults indicate that clinicians should only consider ECT for the acute treatment of severe depression which puts life in life danger and when a rapid response is required, or when other treatments have failed,” a NICE spokesperson said. Cosmopolitan UK.
“The patient must be fully informed of the risks associated with the ECT, as well as the risks and advantages which are specific to them,” added the spokesperson. “Any decision to use ECT should be made in conjunction with the person with depression, where possible, taking into account, where appropriate, the requirements of the Mental Health Act 2007.”
But Dr Read says the guidelines set by NICE are routinely ignored, with his investigation finding that many NHS trusts have admitted giving ECT to patients without first receiving treatment such as counseling or cognitive therapy. behavioral (CBT). He also maintains that directives do not adequately require that NHS trust informs patients of the risks associated with the ECT. “We have bombed Nice of research showing that the ECT is dangerous in terms of brain damage and memory loss,” said Dr. Read. “They just ignored our correspondence.”
A woman who had an ECT said The Independent this the treatment had “completely destroyed” his life. “At the end, I couldn’t recognize any relatives or friends anymore,” she said. “I couldn’t count money. I couldn’t do my multiplication table by two. I couldn’t navigate anywhere. I couldn’t remember what I had done from one minute to the next. .
“I couldn’t remember people’s names. I would finish a sentence and forget the word for a house. I had lost the vocabulary. I couldn’t remember my children’s birthdays. You lose all your memories of years ago. “
Talk to The IndependentStephen Buckley, a spokesperson for Mind, said the mental health charity supports a “comprehensive review of the use of ECT”, which he called a “potentially risky physical treatment”.
“Usually when we talk about ECT, the public assumes it’s off limits,” added Dr. Jessica Taylor, psychologist and author of Sexy but psychopathic. “When people think of ECT, they think of horror movies like Shutter Island.”
She continued: “In my opinion, there is never a good reason to give electric shocks to the brain of an animal or a human. In any other circumstance, it is lethal – you are not supposed to be electrocuted.”
For information, help and advice on mental health and where to get help, visit Mind’s website at www.mind.org.uk or call Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 ( Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
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