Electroshock therapy or Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains a treatment method for severe mental disorders throughout the world despite its extremity. In the article Why Is Electroshock ‘Therapy’ Still a Mainstay of Psychiatry?, the author John Read discusses the emergence of ECT and its popularity among psychiatrists. Read explains the antecedents of ECT’s implementation for treating psychiatric disorders, highlighting the adverse effects of such therapy and the lack of appropriate research to support its efficacy (Read, 2021). As ECT research was developing, more studies began to report the extreme damage to the patients’ brain, memory, and cognitive functions caused by ECT. Nevertheless, given the poor quality of the studies and the psychiatrists’ assuredness in the success of ECT treatment, this therapy was still utilized, and it is administered to patients even today. Throughout the article, Read emphasizes how brutal is the implementation of ECT, relying on credible scholarly research to argue that such treatment should not be allowed.
Reflection on the TED Talk by Elyn Saks
The lecture by Elyn Saks precisely captures the bias that severe mental disorders are surrounded with, presenting the affected individuals as people who can be treated harshly. When Saks described the experience of being kept in restraints, I felt extremely anxious and fearful for the patients experiencing such extreme treatment methods. Indeed, the ethical standards of treating mentally ill individuals frequently become blurred, with dangerous therapies emerging as a result of dehumanizing the suffering populations. I believe that upholding such stereotypes is exceptionally unethical and unjust towards the patients who are forced to experience a pervasive treatment that would never have been utilized for the rehabilitation of mentally stable individuals. From my perspective, it is essential to maintain an approach in which all patients regarding their mental affliction are treated equally as human beings, with the utilization of painful methods strongly prohibited.
Psychiatric Compliance and Pervasive Treatment: Personal Thoughts
Although I have never seen a mentally ill person being treated disrespectfully, I have read about instances of such maltreatment, and this experience has drastically changed my perspective on individuals with mental disorders. I read about a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease who was mistreated due to their memory loss and inability to perform simple tasks. I felt that there must be a way to create a therapeutic approach that would enforce humane treatment. Several times throughout my life, I have found myself in a situation where I was not allowed to make a vital decision about my life and my future. In these moments, I felt powerless, dependent on another person’s will.
Advantages and Limitations of Civil Commitment
Saks’ discussion of the advantages and limitations of civil commitment is insightful for understanding how this process can be damaging for the individuals undergoing it. Although forcefully admitting a mentally ill person into a psychiatric hospital allows for managing challenging disorders under the influence of which the patient might become violent towards others or themselves, this method has tremendous disadvantages. Civil commitment against one’s will is a psychologically demanding process that violates the individual’s human rights and enforces an image where mentally ill patients, regardless of their actual behavior, are a danger to society. Saks emphasizes that, during her treatment in the psychiatric hospital, she was not harmful towards herself or others; nevertheless, she was treated as such due to the nature of her condition. From my perspective, civil commitment adversely impact the affected individuals and elicits more harm than good, negatively affecting the process of rehabilitation.
Read, J. (2021). Why is electroshock “therapy” still a mainstay of psychiatry? Mad In America. Web.