Letter: A lack of choice for ECT patients

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a recipient of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) myself and an individual who has come into contact with hundreds of individuals who have also received this 'treatment', it is important for the general public to realise that we do not have much choice in the matter. Many of us have been presented with a consent form at a time of great personal duress and were persuaded to sign as part of the general procedure. Personally, I have experienced two forms of memory loss, both short term and long term, which has not been conducive to me leading a harmonious life.

The other thing is that ECT destroyed the opportunity for trust between myself and the staff involved. When many of us are looking for support, it is not productive to find ourselves in this very vulnerable situation.

For many of us who have received ECT, we feel that it has been a barbaric and destructive process which delayed our opportunity to deal with the real issues of our distress.

Yours faithfully,

MIKE LAWSON

Vice-Chair, MIND

London, W1

17 December

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