Today, MFI held an interview with Glen K. about his ongoing involuntary electroshocks at Rockland Psychiatric Center. Here are notes from the interview, conducted on the phone by David Oaks, MFI director. In ‘related content’ at bottom, you can click, download and listen to a nine-minute excerpt MP3 audio.

“My intellect is being torn apart.”


This is a phone interview with Glen K. by MindFreedom International about his forced electroshock


17 April 2012, 3 pm ET

Rockland Psychiatric Center in NY Gives Forced Electroshock

Glen is a 47-year-old who is currently held against his wishes on Ward 201 of Rockland Psychiatric Center (right) where he’s been receiving ongoing involuntary electroconvulsive therapy (also known as ECT or electroshock). 

David Oaks, director of MindFreedom International, interviewed Glen and, with his permission, recorded the interview. These are informal notes from the interview; you may hear the whole audio tape via the link at bottom. 





My last forced electroshock was Friday morning. 

First of all, they haven’t made it clear what my diagnosis is, to make all these things necessary. 

Electroshock is destroying my intellect. My memory is very impaired, and my ability to think. My intellect is being torn apart. 

What’s my forced electroshock like? I have to wake up at 6 am. No breakfast. I have to be observed. I wait around until 11 in the morning for the treatment. I have to get on a very heavy sleeping medication, which I think is damaging me, too. As a result of the electroshock, my memory becomes impaired. My ability to think abstractly becomes impaired. This is not always apparent to people around me, because it’s the higher end of my intellect that’s being damaged, which the higher end isn’t always expressed anyway, so they don’t know it’s missing — but I do. 

Please make it known that electroshock has no positive benefit to make it worthwhile. 

It’s been a long period of time that I’ve been locked up and given forced electroshock. They have me on a court order for 120 treatments over the next year. 

I’m not going to be able to survive. 

The ECT does nothing to improve my mental status, what they call ‘mental illness.’ It’s not only unpleasant — Going through no breakfast, being isolated in observation room until 11 am, being given very heavy medication. And this is twice a week. This is one of the most unpleasant situations I can be in. 

The doctors are making no effort whatsoever to acquaint themselves with me. Since I got in on November 16, 2011, my main psychiatrist has been with me for three or four times, for about 10 minutes each time.

Before I had shock treatments I was very intelligent, I studied Vincent Van Gogh, astrology, human nature. All the information I’ve collected over the years have been lost in my memory — impaired, confused. The memory loss is unbelievable. The simplest things I forget. 

My message to the public is: 

Don’t allow people to have the power to administer something they simply cannot recognize the damage that is being done by it. The doctors — the psychiatrists who go into psychiatry — don’t have the sensitivity to recognize the damage being done to the people they are caring for. I feel this damage is irreversible.

The training it takes to become a psychiatrist is simply not training in sensitivity.

ECT causes damage, and the people who practice psychiatry don’t have the sensitivity to realize the horrible damage that is being done. 

I do know they claim there are positive benefits, like better cheerfulness of personality, better hopefulness. But this is an illusion. 

It’s like how 100 years ago the treatments that they have had for ‘mental illness,’ we now recognize as being outrageously unbeneficial. We recognize that now. But the treatments they’re using now — the ECT, the psychotropic medications — are all things I believe in 100 years people will look back on as unbelievably primitive, unbelievably incorrect.

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