Original SDMB thread - Shock treatment
Shock therapy and psychiatric medication are both horrid in their own ways, but what a difference.
Psych meds tend to have bad side effects, including permanent damage to brain tissue. But they are at least side effects. Taken in the short term, they may help some people get through what they have to get through long enough to gain some more permanent solutions to things.
Electroshock, however, has as its primary effect--the way it WORKS, without which it wouldn't do a bloody thing--the destruction of brain tissue. The memory loss is accompanied by a short-term mild euphoria that is the brain's own paradoxical reaction to brain damage. The euphoria doesn't last; the brain damage does, and in a great many cases permanent memory impairment and permanent flattening of affect are also permanent.
I'm sure there are a few people who were jolted out of a chronic depression that nothing else could touch and who didn't just sink back into it within the following 2 years, and also some who have no major complains regarding permanent loss of memories they would rather have kept; but there are far too many whose experience with the procedure has been unspeakably horrible.
Your mileage may vary of course. If you wish to believe that electroshock is a great boon for the 'mentally ill', you certainly have my permission to go lick the light socket next time you're feeling down.
See my next post on this same thread
The SDMB Posts