“A refreshing journey through the alphabet, with the lens focused on electroshock – this book is clear, provocative, accessible and full of illuminating examples and anecdotes from eminent psychologists, psychiatrists and others from history. It makes for a riveting read, one that will at times make you laugh out loud and then instantly recoil in horror. At other times, it will make you cringe with shame (if you are part of the psy-professions that allow this practice to continue). Always, it will shock with a blunt and hard-hitting dismantling of electroshock. The shock is amplified when some of those subjected to electroshock, well-known figures in history – musicians, dancers, politicians, or their partners, are named, humanised, no longer statistics of faceless ‘patients’ or ‘clients’, but people the public may recognise. The book is a reminder, if one is needed, that electroshock should have no place in mental health practice today. But it does. When future generations look back in fifty years and ask ‘Really, they did that? Why?’ what will we answer?” Professor Nimisha Patel, University of East London and International Centre for Health and Human Rights.
This searing critique examines how psychiatry, allied with psychology, experiments on people in the name of helping and healing. Both professions have a mainly ‘boys with toys’ approach in using the latest technologies to try to change people.
Covering over three hundred years of the psy industry, this volume explores everything from the invention of mental illness and physical assault called ‘treatment’ to the latest efforts to use electricity to torture us into submission.