Hey, I’m Rachel Star! I am a lot of things: stunt girl, producer, visionary, rapper, writer, mastermind, a cuddly form of evil, poet, and schizophrenic. I work with different TV shows around the world and I love creating and working on all forms of entertainment.
The most recent hands on experience with ECT and it’s side-effects. There is an excellent lecture by a doctor who has had electroconvulsive therapy: Sherwin Nuland, the surgeon and author, talks about the development of electroshock therapy as a cure for severe, life-threatening depression. Midway through, his story turns personal. It’s a moving and deeply felt talk about relief, redemption, second chances
A superb location (the Grand Marina), in a beautiful town (Barcelona) full of sunshine (31°). A perfect setting for the 3rd Annual Meeting of EFFECT. Highly interested and highly interesting clinicians from all over the world attended the meeting to share experience and gain knowledge.
If you want some information on video from patients while they are actually undergoing this treatment or want to see an excellent lecture about ECT please have a look at: 9 Videos on ECT.
In newspapers when comparing newspaper reports on ECT and electric defibrillation with a content analysis the articles with mentioning ECT differ from articles with a mention of defribillation.
Even in high standard newspapers the style of language becomes special when they deal with ECT.The articles are strongly biased and lack informations. In contrast to Defibrillation ECT is not generally accepted.Referring to ECT horror pictures of past psychiatry are cited.The language used is biased and discriminative. Referring to Defibrillation technical details are described and the language is neutral.The social representation of ECT is completely negative.
The content analysis was performed on articles in German Newspapers. They traced only few special articles on the subject in the 1994 and 1995 CD.Rom versions of the „Der Spiegel“,The „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“, the „Neue Zürcher Zeitung“ and the „Berliner Tageszeitung“,although the word „Elektroschock“ was employed 118 times. The word electroshock was mostly used in articles not about ECT. The term was mostly used because of it’s negative connotation in all kinds of subjects.
Why is this important?
The portrayal of ECT is deplorable and with little resemblance to modern practice. It encourages stigmatization and discourages patients from its use. Proponents of ECT will need to rely on tools other than movie or newspaper portrayal to convince those with mental illness about the merits of this treatment.
The next issue in this series about mass media and mental illness will be posted next Tuesday August 19th.
Hoffman-Richter, U., Alder, B.A., , . (1998). Die Elektrokrampftherapie
und die Defibrillation
in der Zeitung. Nervenartz, 69, 622-628.
I don’t think I’ve taken a blog to discuss ECT and it’s uses in modern society, but let me just say it is used in the psychiatric community when depression is resistant to the plethora of anti-depressants that are handed out today. It’s an ever continuing cycle and when the meds run out or no longer work, ECT is introduced into the client’s regimen. At some point, I will write more of an expose on ECT, but for now I just want to stick to my experience.
Sure, ranomized controlled trials are better than naturalistic trials, but what we need is better memory tests, study other types of memory (everyday memory and semantic memory), longer follow-up and basic research to the question why some of the patients treated with ECT get memory deficits. In his letter to the editor Prof Sackeim defends his findings of a naturalistic 7 centre trial to the side effects of ECT. He also used a biographical memory test. These tests are at the least not the best tests to examen retrograde amnesia. We should develop more specific and sensitive test for retrograde amnesia. Last month I made a post about better memory tests especially for retrograde anmesia. W’re doing a trial with a new test with ECT for retrograde amnesia. Patients are still incuded in this trial. Moreover as stated in his letter the impact on every day living of retrograde amnesia is still to be researched. Besides everyday memory, semantic memory is of interest. Also most research on side effects of ECT have a short follow-up. Randomized controlled trials control for such things as late onset depression and the side effects but with longer follow-up w’re able to look at the patients in which the depression is the first symptom of cognitive decline. We now know a lot about dosage, electrode placement and cognitive side effects of ECT, but what we don’t know yet is how do these side effects appear, where do they originate. How can we adapt our techniques and devices to lessen cognitive side effects. More important, which individual factors of the patient makes him more or less prone to these cognitive side effects.