A new Scottish study hailing the wonders of electroshock treatment has provided yet another lame theory about how this violent therapy might “work.” And while the press seem content to robotically reiterate this bogus study, we’d like to point out the actual facts.
Professor Ian Reid from the University of Aberdeen, and colleagues claim that ECT works by “turning down” an overactive connection between areas of the brain causing depression. Incredibly, the authors claim electric shock may restore the brain’s natural chemical balance. This logic is so moronic we’re not sure where to start. First consider the fact that there is no proof that mental distress is due to a “chemical imbalance.” That theory was an invention of the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry and has never been proven. In fact, “leading” psychiatrists on National Public Radio recently admitted that the “chemical imbalance in the brain” theory is a fraud, and that pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists invented it to market Prozac. Another study that revealed that for 13 years media reported psychiatrists’ “discoveries” of a genetic/neurological cause of mental problems, none of which was subsequently proven.
The Aberdeen findings are just more of the same hype: “emerging” theory, “may” constitute a biological marker, they’ve found a “potential” therapeutic target in the brain. And the all-telling: “It is tempting to speculate that ECT might act to rebalance” specific brain activity “but the data presented here cannot confirm or refute this notion.” [Emphasis added] Let’s look more closely at what doesn’t get reported in the media: