Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Letter: Cured by ECT

Sir: Beware a one-sided approach to a subject as vital as medical treatment ("ECT shocks to the health system", 16 June).

Severely clinically depressed, I accepted 10 treatments of electroconvulsive therapy while in the Royal Masonic Hospital, west London, in 1993. The effect was to kick-start the therapeutic action of my anti-depressant drugs, which until then had failed to work. Numerous fellow patients also improved after ECT.

I lost much (but not all) of my memory of the two months I spent in hospital, and my short-term recall is not what it was before the treatment. But I see that as a very fair price to pay for being able to live a normal life and meet my responsibilities towards my family and society.

Scare stories like your feature will deter patients who, as I was, are severely depressed and suicidal from accepting a procedure that really can save a life.


Orpington, Kent