Believe it or not, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI),a “patient’s rights group” for the mentally ill, is promoting Electroshock (ECT) for pregnant women as safe and effective. NAMI has recently been exposed for their extensive Pharma funding (3/4 of their donations; $23 million came from Pharma ) which may help explain their long standing promotion and fierce endorsement of psychiatric drugs which they are now attempting to downplay after being the subject of a Senate investigation. Not surprising then is the fact that NAMI also lists Cyberonics, an ECT machine manufacturer as one of NAMI’s Corporate Sponsor in 2008.
From NAMI’s website “The safest way to treat severe depression in a pregnant woman is probably electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy. Patients and families are sometimes frightened by the idea of “shock treatment,” but in fact ECT is safer than antidepressant medication for a depressed pregnant woman. It can be used during any state of pregnancy, but is less risky after the first trimester. The most common side effect of ECT is short term memory loss. Less frequent side effects usually respond to simple treatment. These may include: headaches, mild muscle soreness, nausea, adverse reactions to anesthetic or muscle relaxants, and heartbeat irregularities.