Andy Luff Shares His ECT Story – Walk a Mile in my Shoes Podcast

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Chris Young, host of Walk a Mile in my Shoes Podcast, interviews ECT survivor Andy Luff and his partner, Jill Davies.

Andy and Jill

Andy sought help for his sensory processing disorder (SPD), a nervous system condition that impacts emotional regulation for those with or without autism. (This condition is treatable with occupational therapy and lifestyle changes.)

Instead he was referred to psychiatry, labeled rapid cycling bipolar and heavily medicated for years. 

When Andy was referred for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) he said wasn’t given informed consent. Nor was he offered talk therapy prior, or given proper follow up on drugs which he developed akathisia from. His doctors called it agitated depression. They were essentially treating his akathisia with ECT.

Andy was told during his ECT consultation: 

  • ECT is no worse than going to the dentist for a filling. 
  • He shouldn’t make important decisions right after treatment.

He was never told ECT causes permanent brain damage.

After expressing hesitation for his for treatment nurse told him “Don’t believe everything you read online.”

After several treatments Andy experienced spontaneous seizures, and incontinence. He lost many skills like his ability to write poetry.

And like many injured by ECT, he had problems with family.

A New Chapter

With the right support from friends and a brain injury organization called Headway, Andy was able to build a new life after ECT.

A big part of that was learning to accept his losses so he could move forward.

On his road to recovery he met his partner Jill.

Picture of Andy and Jill kissing with a waterfall in the background.

Andy is now volunteering for Headway and helping peers where he can.  

Learn more


Resources

Anna

Anna is a childhood psychiatric drug and a teenage electroshock survivor. She founded Life After ECT to ensure people injured by electroconvulsive therapy have easy access to resources that can help them understand their injuries and find a path to recovery.

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