ECT Survivor Interview – The Depression Files Podcast

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In this episode of the Depression Files Podcast, Sarah Price Hancock explores the history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the science of electrical injury, and her experience with misdiagnosis, overmedication, excessive involuntary ECT, and current struggles to access comprehensive assessments, medical care and rehabilitation for ECT’s injuries.

A PERPLEXING MEDICAL CONDITION

Sarah’s ECT journey began with delusions and hallucinations caused by undiagnosed fungal hepatic encephalopathy.

ONE DIAGNOSIS LEADS TO ANOTHER 

Subsequent psychoactive medication interventions would lead to drug-induced akathisia, misdiagnosed agitated catatonia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar-type catatonia, and treatment-resistant depression.    

17 YEARS OF PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT 

Desperate to be free from terrifying sensations and graphic hallucinations she diligently followed her doctor’s guidance. 

Sarah was cycled through 37 different combinations of 5 to 7 classes of medications during the long course of treatment. 

ECT REFERRAL FOR TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION (TRD)

Psychiatrists told Sarah’s parent’s electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was her only hope after she failed to respond to aggressive drug treatment. 

She was given 116 ECT treatments from 2002 to 2009. 

QUITTING ECT AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE

Sarah quit shock therapy against a medical device after being unable to remember family members’ faces and losing the ability to read.

REHABILITATION 

With hard work, research, and social support Sarah was able to identify underlying health conditions, address her health issues and rehabilitate herself and start a life. 

YEARS LATER 

Long-term ECT side effects caught up with Sarah. 

She now lives with a chronic degenerative illness impacting her ability to walk, talk, and breathe.

She continues to fight for appropriate comprehensive medical care while researching ECT with an effort to educate and advocate for patient safety through her Audit ECT campaign and other works.


more work by sarah

Audit ECT Campaign – Sign Sarah’s petition

Whose Finger is Taking the Pulse of America’s Shock Treatment Controversy? – Life After ECT

Raising Doubts About ECT

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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