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Researchers Use Electroconvulsive Therapy To Disrupt Recall of Nasty Events

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the zap-the-pain-away dept.

Science 96

ananyo writes "In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, unhappy lovers undergo an experimental brain treatment to erase all memories of each other from their minds. No such fix exists for real-life couples, but researchers report in Nature Neuroscience that a targeted medical intervention helps to reduce specific negative memories in patients who are depressed. The technique, called electroconvulsive (ECT) or electroshock therapy, induces seizures by passing current into the brain through electrode pads placed on the scalp. Despite its sometimes negative reputation, ECT is an effective last-resort treatment for severe depression, and is used today in combination with anaesthesia and muscle relaxants. Marijn Kroes, a neuroscientist at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and his colleagues found that by strategically timing ECT bursts, they could target and disrupt patients' memory of a disturbing episode."

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Erase all button (3, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 10 months ago | (#45766217)

The problem is that this therapy tends to erase all memories. It is a very blunt instrument, just slightly better than a lobotomy.

Re:Erase all button (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766255)

The problem is that this therapy tends to erase all memories. It is a very blunt instrument, just slightly better than a lobotomy.

I don't recall having any problems with ... Oh wait!

Re:Erase all button (1)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#45766341)

I can't find the link right now, but there has been some interesting work with drugs to do something similar but much more targeted. Something to do with how memory is recalled and then re-remembered, so essentially anything you think about while the drug is taking effect, including recalling old memories, doesn't get stored.

Hopefully that will hit human trials before blunter tools like this get into use.

Re:Erase all button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766413)

They are called rape drugs...

Re:Erase all button (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45766687)

Something to do with how memory is recalled and then re-remembered

You're probably thinking of the propranolol [nature.com] trial. There has also been promising results with MDMA [mdmaptsd.org] , also thought to be blocking the re-encoding of bad memories.

aside: submitters - this is Slashdot - you don't have to relate every bit of science to some tangentially related Hollywood movie plot.

Re:Erase all button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45772675)

Ketamine has shown a lot of potential to treat depression.

Re:Erase all button (1)

mikesum (840054) | about 10 months ago | (#45773969)

You're probably thinking of anisomycin [apa.org] as heard on RADIOLAB. [radiolab.org]

Re:Erase all button (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45766405)

The alternative would be Insulin Coma Therapy, at least for some disorders. Not practiced in the West any more.

Sources: Insulin Coma Therapy [pbs.org]

The famous mathematician John Nash [pbs.org] (depicted in A Beautiful Mind*) was treated with it.

If you suffer from Nash's malady, don't read my current sig.

* Book [amazon.com] , movie [imdb.com] , trailer [youtube.com] , documentary [youtube.com] , DVD [amazon.com] .

Re:Erase all button (0)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 10 months ago | (#45766543)

The problem is that this therapy tends to erase all memories. It is a very blunt instrument, just slightly better than a lobotomy.

From "Future News":

Scientists examining satellite views of Earth announced yesterday that they have begun noticing a pattern where the lights all across the US suddenly dim right after each new Snowden data release and publicized ACA-related government failure. Some are attempting to tie this with system instabilities surrounding the recently government-mandated-under-ACA-2.0 brain implants.

When later asked for additional details, the scientists were quoted as replying; "What announcement?".

Strat

Flamebait, Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45770467)

That's funny right there, I don't care who you are.

Well, unless you're a government shill with mod points, of course.

Geez, this ain't a partisan issue, people!

The NSA doesn't care if you're Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, gay or straight, or what ethnicity you are.

They violate everyone's 4A rights and more, across the board.

This is truly a case where everyone is a victim, and both sides are to blame equally.

Re:Erase all button (2)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 10 months ago | (#45766733)

> It is a very blunt instrument, just slightly better than a lobotomy.

True.
You could also argue that it is similar to using a heavy rubber hammer to stir up all the grey matter.
Nobody knows what actually happens when flashing someones scalp with thousands of volts.
Changes to the brain tissue will occur at some level. IQ and memory drops significantly (over 10% to 20%), but the actual brain damage is not visible.
The fact that ECT is being used today is sickening. However it is difficult to control this kind of malpractice.
How can you measure how receptive one individual is compared to the "norm"?
How do you control the mad doctor who blasts his patients with experimentally insane voltages?
Seems like the cranks are out int the open again, free to experiment on innocent victims. Just like in the sixties and seventies.
Perhaps ECT should be allowed only by doctors that can pass +100points on a stand IQ test after taking a series of hard ECT doses over a couple of weeks.
I would love to listen to someone trying to advocate for ECT, backed up by reasonable arguments after such a "treatment".
It is doubtful that anyone could do that without drifting of into oblivion during such an argument. It might fun watching though.
How many doctors actually take their own medicine?

Re:Erase all button (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 10 months ago | (#45768351)

The fact that ECT is being used today is sickening.

Then what should be used instead to treat, say, depression? Because listing the side effects is meaningless without anything to compare them to.

Re:Erase all button (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 10 months ago | (#45768661)

>Then what should be used instead to treat, say, depression?
Perhaps there is no cure for real depression.
To some, being depressed is like being unhappy or having a downer. For a few, it is a serious physical condition that is very hard to change.
Maybe it would be a good idea to understand what depression is as a condition, before trying to find a cure.
But eating the right food and doing regular exercising is usually better than what your doctor will subscribe for you.

Re:Erase all button (1)

schreiend (1092383) | about 10 months ago | (#45773055)

You can't cure major depression with the right food and exercises. In severe cases the patient either undergoes some irreversible brain surgery like cingulotomy or commits suicide.

Re:Erase all button (2)

dmr001 (103373) | about 10 months ago | (#45769393)

ECT gets a bad rap because it looks sadistic and no one quite knows how it works. On the other hand, it's effective - more effective than most other forms of depression treatment, and has the benefit of working when nothing else does. (Remission is severe depression is 70-90% with ECT vs 30% with a typical SSRI pill.) I've had patients who desperately wanted to be dead because each passing moment was filled with unbearable psychic pain, who after 3 treatments of ECT (with pulses lasting a few milliseconds) were smiling and chipper. (Albeit with some unpredictable holes in their memories.)

Moreover, contrary to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, modern treatment insists patients have voluntary, informed consent. This data isn't exactly hard to come by - Google ECT PubMed. In the US, unfortunately, ECT can be hard to come by, given attitudes such as that expressed by the parent poster, and I suspect reimbursement isn't that great (patients get general anesthesia for a few minutes, which isn't cheap, but US Medicare reimbursement for psychiatry is notoriously poor such that most psychiatrists don't take Medicare).

Re:Erase all button (1)

Allseason (3473889) | about 10 months ago | (#45775687)

I would like to know where you get your information. As I find most of it dubious at best! Can you please provide some citations from reputable publications? I have lived with the effects of ECT. My mother has had 5 rounds of ECT with each consisting of 4-7 treatments each. You can trust me she was not “smiling and chipper.” On the contrary she looked like a zombie. What you call “some unpredictable holes in their memories” is that majority of her life before 30 years of age and the loss of a great majority of her short term memory. I also do not agree with your comment on “modern treatment insists patients have voluntary, informed consent” that is 100% BS. As my mother was not informed of the major side effects and was ordered by her physiatrists to do it. Unfortunately at the time I was a minor and could do nothing. I now have power of attorney and hell will freeze over before this barbaric treatment is ever done on her again. She still to this day major depression, schizoaffective disorder and dysthymia. None of which were helped with ECT, however she gained a long list of side effects: heart problems, headaches (daily chronic), nausea, short term memory problems, long term memory problems, and her personality changed.

Re:Erase all button (0)

mrmeval (662166) | about 10 months ago | (#45768579)

Any so called medical perfessional who wants to use this needs to have it used on them first before any procedure.

Re:Erase all button (1)

maestroX (1061960) | about 10 months ago | (#45768615)

Citations please (not from Ken Kesey). ECT is gaining traction nowadays (esp. in the Netherlands) as a final resort action.
Personally, I've seen someone actually improving after serious depression.

Re:Erase all button (1)

32771 (906153) | about 10 months ago | (#45769219)

It doesn't always work either. I totally remember when I accidentally grabbed that 220V mains line 20 years ago.

Nah. (0)

Lost Penguin (636359) | about 10 months ago | (#45766221)

They just used the ECT to give you a lobotomy.....

Re:Nah. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45766277)

They just used the ECT to give you a lobotomy.....

I assume it can't be quite as bad, as the brain section, though erased, is still there and can learn again.

Re: Nah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768317)

It causes permanent brain Damage so not really.

Re:Nah. (2)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#45766279)

Which worked so well after WWII. [wsj.com] But don't worry. This time we know what we're doing. Really. Trust us. At least we're not using drugs [maps.org] . Drugs are bad mkay?

Re:Nah. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 10 months ago | (#45766515)

ECT is old school, been around for a very long time.

The first documented "medical research" applications of ECT used 60Hz 120V applied to the temples... in later years they refined the technique to include sedation of the patient so they didn't break their own limb bones with involuntary muscle contractions.

zapping targeted memories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766223)

Hmmmmm. This reminds me of some movie I once saw. I must have had this performed because I can't recall the name.

Eternal Sunshine of the Men in Black (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45766349)

Was it Men in Black series or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

Re: Eternal Sunshine of the Men in Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766723)

After a bit of Googling, I think It was Paycheck.

Seems like a mixed blessing (3, Interesting)

Akratist (1080775) | about 10 months ago | (#45766225)

I can understand that something like this would be a boon to veterans with PTSD or survivors of rape or other violent episodes. However, I wonder if this will eventually get more widespread and become used for trivial things, like removing memories of a bad breakup or other parts of life which might be painful, but tolerable. It has been noted here and there before that bouts of depression have made people more artistically productive, but this can disappear with medication...if we likewise remove the negative memories, are we going to start missing heuristics that make us work to improve our lives?

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 10 months ago | (#45766361)

However, I wonder if this will eventually get more widespread and become used for trivial things, like removing memories of a bad breakup or other parts of life which might be painful, but tolerable.

So . . . you nicht die NSA und Obamacare liken? Ve haf vays . . . af maken you forgetten!

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (1, Troll)

TheCarp (96830) | about 10 months ago | (#45766579)

Are you familiar with ECT? Because I can't really see it being used voluntarily outside of some pretty extreme cases. It isn't exactly like the doctor pushes a button and you just forget....we are talking about inuction of massive seizures from an external electrical source.

I think there is a very simple way of telling if an event is so traunmatic that it warrants this sort of treatment: If undergoing the therapy sounds preferable to continuing as you are; even after considering the chances that it doesn't work.... then its likely traumatic enough.

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 10 months ago | (#45766661)

I disagree, the saying time heals all wounds is particulalry apt to traumatic events, what seems impossible to recover from without such dastract treatment a week after the event, may beome manageable a few months out, and just a bad memory in a few years.

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (2)

Akratist (1080775) | about 10 months ago | (#45766949)

I'm aware of what it involves. I'm also aware that we continually improve and refine these processes, to where they become less invasive and far more convenient and comfortable. Consider, for example, the various psychiatric medications available on the market that are increasingly prescribed for trivial reasons. Modern America is a culture obsessed with escaping discomfort and unpleasantness at all costs, so it is reasonable to expect that something like this -- if refined and convenient enough -- would become over-prescribed as well.

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#45767335)

I'm aware of what it involves. I'm also aware that we continually improve and refine these processes

We also refined our processes of execution... oh how much more humane. Look at how much more the victims of the death penalty are pleased with the final outcome?

Consider, for example, the various psychiatric medications available on the market that are increasingly prescribed for trivial reasons.

What, like Thorazine [stopshrinks.org] , Haldol, and other chemical straitjackets; "Anti-psychotics" touted by psychiatrists due to their ability to cause maximal behavioral disruption, disturbance or interruption of their subjects' thought processes or ability to think and coherently act, and other permanent damage?

So it is reasonable to expect that something like this -- if refined and convenient enough -- would become over-prescribed as well.

Fine; as long as patients retain the right to refuse this and other barbaric treatments.

It really doesn't matter how "refined" the task of shocking the hell out a subject's brain becomes; it's still a blunt imprecise, damaging action as well --- even refined, the "cure" may well be substantially worse than the disease.

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about 10 months ago | (#45779151)

Look at how much more the victims of the death penalty are pleased with the final outcome?

Well, to be fair, there haven't been many complaints.

Re:Seems like a mixed blessing (1)

marty23571113 (972462) | about 10 months ago | (#45779997)

Hmm. Could be used at exit interviews from mental hosptials.

one flew over what happened to the rest of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766229)

hard to resist memories like in the movies. lest we remember then sort as or spirits shock us back into shape. little miss dna cannot be wrong. the king may not be a fink. free the innocent stem cells.

That's normal! (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 10 months ago | (#45766231)

"Researchers Use Electroconvulsive Therapy To Disrupt Recall of Nasty Events"

That therapy is so nasty, that all other nasty events in the past are dimmed in comparison.

Re:That's normal! (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45766269)

"Researchers Use Electroconvulsive Therapy To Disrupt Recall of Nasty Events"

That therapy is so nasty, that all other nasty events in the past are dimmed in comparison.

Don't worry - they can just zap you again!

Re:That's normal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766479)

They stopped using this in America many years ago. See "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Re:That's normal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768549)

They still use it in the US, Canada and most other first world countries. They use heavy sedation now but why it works is still not well explained.

A twofer (1)

meglon (1001833) | about 10 months ago | (#45766245)

Marijn Kroes, a neuroscientist at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and his colleagues found that by strategically timing ECT bursts, they could target and disrupt patients' memory of a disturbing episode."

.... and give them an entirely new disturbing episode to have mental issues about.

Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 10 months ago | (#45766315)

Seems rather dangerous to me.

Re:Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766379)

They're worse than terrorists! I'll just stick with this [youtube.com] to overwrite the bad memories.

Re:Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#45766671)

Death rate from tonsillectomy: 1/15,000
Death rate from colonoscopy: 1/17,000
Deaths from general anesthesia: estimate vary, but roughly 1/100,000

Re:Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 10 months ago | (#45769575)

But it does not take multiple treatments for either of those to to have a lasting beneficial effect, with 6-12 treatments typical and maintenance treatments required afterwards that is more like 1 in 3k to start and roll the rice over and over again.

Re:Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45769991)

Death rate from Scientology Auditing: 1/1,000 (usually suicide or "End of Cycle" as they call it to try again next lifetime)

Re:Death for 1 in 25,000 treatments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45767651)

The death rate is entirely due to anesthesia. The current is not enough to kill you.

Related Article (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766339)

A similar study showed that ECT was 73.4% effective in removing memories regarding previous health insurance policies [obamacareisatotal.con] .

Re:Related Article (2)

rvw (755107) | about 10 months ago | (#45766465)

A similar study showed that ECT was 73.4% effective in removing memories regarding previous health insurance policies [obamacareisatotal.con] .

I see tea parties coming up, instead of those botox parties. Having a fun afternoon and getting rid of all those nasty evolution theories in your head.

One more hollow justification for ECT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766357)

Why not just smack them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper?

Re:One more hollow justification for ECT. (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 10 months ago | (#45766387)

Newspapers and magazines are dying. They cost too much these days.

Re:One more hollow justification for ECT. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45766697)

Get with the times and whack the people with a Kindle, will ya?

Adverse effects (5, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#45766369)

From Wikipedia: Liz Spikol, the senior contributing editor of Philadelphia Weekly, wrote of her ECT in 1996

"Not only was the ECT ineffective, it was incredibly damaging to my cognitive functioning and memory. But sometimes it's hard to be sure of yourself when everyone 'credible' — scientists, ECT docs, researchers — are telling you that your reality isn't real. How many times have I been told my memory loss wasn't due to ECT but to depression? How many times have I been told that, like a lot of other consumers, I must be perceiving this incorrectly? How many times have people told me that my feelings of trauma related to the ECT are misplaced and unusual? It's as if I was raped and people kept telling me not to be upset—that it wasn't that bad."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy#Individual_negative_accounts

Re:Adverse effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766789)

It's as if I was raped and people kept telling me not to be upset—that it wasn't that bad.

Perhaps the people in places like Guantanamo could be given some ECT to erase the memory of the rights violations. No remembering witnesses is perfect for obsessive, sorry, oppressive governments.

Re:Adverse effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768247)

Self-reported effects from someone known to have mental problems is not where I would look for my anecdata. That said, I certainly would worry about the side effects of something like this.

Not to mention the bad things it could do if it actually let someone erase peoples' memory on demand...

They still offer ECT for depression (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766375)

I had a severe clinical depression and was hospitalized for a while. I shared a room with a guy who was undergoing ECT and he was a complete zombie.

To the doctors complete surprise I declined the ECT offer. They didn't quite understand my point, that I was the mad scientist. Not them.

Re:They still offer ECT for depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45776661)

I had a severe clinical depression and was hospitalized for a while. I shared a room with a guy who was undergoing ECT and he was a complete zombie.

To the doctors complete surprise I declined the ECT offer. They didn't quite understand my point, that I was the mad scientist. Not them.

you're lucky they let you say no. typically the doctors get to ruin you without your permission .
Shit happens to us and we gotta park it in some way we can tolerate or it keeps burping back up on us.
I knew someone who had a bad acid trip and was brought down chemically (thorozine) the bad trip kept on reoccurring even without the LSD. Seems to me like in order to get a handle on it we must "pound out" the issues that are so disturbing. Can sweep them under a rug. People in authority don't encourage independence {there in lies the main bone of contention I have with feeding people pills or shock treatment.

Why use a blunt instrument? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#45766457)

When there is a method that can be used in a much more targeted fashion?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910140941.htm [sciencedaily.com]

In the near future, it could be as simple as take a pill, interview an analyst about your most disturbing memories and be free of them. The trick is not to recall anything you don't want to forget before the pill wears off.

Re:Why use a blunt instrument? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45766707)

And now please don't think about an elephant in a tutu...

Clockwork orange (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#45766463)

It probably can be used to change people behaviour and even (political) thinking. Just don't use it to make people hate Ludwig van music.

Electric soma... (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 10 months ago | (#45766539)

Not a good idea. You need the bad memories. It's called learning, even if they're terrible experiences. And, unless you want treatments forever, one must realize that's it's quite probable that they will simply seep back into your conscious memory over time. Imagine what it would be like ten years later to suddenly realize what you'd gone through - and elected to forget - and hadn't.

Rape and PTSD (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 10 months ago | (#45766575)

So rape and PTSD are just learning experiences?

Re:Rape and PTSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766767)

Sure much, but not all of the time they can be avoided through the propper application of situational awareness

Re:Rape and PTSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768593)

(AC because modded elsewhere) Yes, they are. Maybe not for the victims, but they are learning experiences for the society. Take away the horror of rape and it becomes a less serious crime.

Re:Rape and PTSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45770665)

thats fucking sick

Re:Electric soma... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45766761)

There is a difference between remembering bad things to learn from them and turning them into something pathological.

To give you an example, a normal person would maybe walk across the road when the traffic light shows red and gets almost run over by a car. He will learn that it's not a smart thing to cross the road when the traffic light shows red.

The pathological "lesson" from it would be that it is dangerous to cross the road. These people do not learn from the experience in the normal sense. They do of course get the message that they should heed the traffic light, but they go way overboard with it. Not only do they blame themselves for everything that they did wrong, but for everything that did GO wrong. That the traffic light was red, that the driver did not watch out, and that's just the start. Things get added to the memory to make the experience even worse over time.

That's not really a healthy learning experience. In the end, their lesson is that it's probably better if they don't cross roads. Or maybe even better that they don't leave the house. In the most extreme form not even for their safety but to keep others from harm. After all, the driver that kills them could get hurt or he could have to deal with the guilt of killing someone.

ECT saved a close relative's life ... (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 10 months ago | (#45766549)

... nothing was working to turn her severe depression. Multiple suicide attempts. ECT literally saved her life.

Yes, it had sucky side effects. But she is alive. And a lot happier now.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45766773)

It's said that dumb people are happier. I hope that's not what you imply.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 10 months ago | (#45774535)

Did you seriously just type that?

Of course not.

She's a lot more human than most people who replied to my post, that's for sure ...

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (0)

strstr (539330) | about 10 months ago | (#45766853)

There is no way to tell what is missing from her brain. I think she's nothing more than a zombie corpse walking around with your sisters appearance and voice, and nothing more. They did a total lobotomy on her, and all of her original self is gone if there is any difference in her.

Suicide is also natural. Maybe she should have been allowed to kill herself to end her suffering, rather than be transformed into a zombie without a soul. Yeah, she sure is compliant now that she lost free will, forced to be happy with that damaged brain, that perhaps can't experience anything else because they severed everything that allowed her to experience other emotions.. hmmm?

Yep, yep, yep.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768745)

There is no way to tell what is missing from her brain. I think she's nothing more than a zombie corpse walking around with your sisters appearance and voice, and nothing more.

What is your excuse for missing empathy from your mental grab-bag of emotions? Tonic-clonic seizures administer and exhibit the same effects as ECT; does that make all epileptics "zombies", as well? There are varying levels of everything...similar to your well exhibited sociopathy.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45773293)

... nothing was working to turn her severe depression. Multiple suicide attempts. ECT literally saved her life.

Yes, it had sucky side effects. But she is alive. And a lot happier now.

Is she even your "relative" anymore? Does she have a different personality now? Is she a completely different person?

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 10 months ago | (#45774531)

I'll take that as a real question ... man, the others who replied are a piece of work.

Yes, she is the same person. She's different in that a brain disorder is no longer telling her that she is horrifically miserable and should kill herself. That's a difference that is OK.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45776533)

I spent a couple of years in & out (mostly in) of mental hospitals during my late teens. I knew several individuals who had undergone ECT at some point during their treatments. Granted I didn't know them before the rounds ECT, but they couldn't be distinguished from anybody else there or outside the hospital.

One was a girl with anorexia with whom I became *quite* close (you might be surprised what can happen in there), and she had undergone ECT multiple times before our meeting one another. While it did not seem to help her, it also most certainly did not make her a 'zombie'.

Re:ECT saved a close relative's life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45776569)

P.S. I very much hope and pray that your sister continues to do well. I was in there for the same reason as her. It can seem easy to tell someone to suck it up and deal like everybody else in the world, but it is a very different thing when you are in the midst of depression and fighting that compulsion to escape via pain and/or suicide.

If I forgot all of the nasty stuff with the ex (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 10 months ago | (#45766551)

If would forget the mistakes I made in choosing them as a partner, learn nothing from those mistakes, and end up with someone just as horrible as the last person.

slashfag beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45767569)

This normally happens anyway for most people. People are usually attracted to the same kind of person. The issue usually lies within the self, not with the other.

God damn drums (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 10 months ago | (#45766561)

Where they are going, the drums don't stop... :)

Some things ECT cannot fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766621)

ECT cannot fix the convulsions I experience each time I see the new slashdot interface. nobeta nobeta nobeta

Though the new interface does make me wonder why I still come here. Maybe it also has a role in making people forget?

Beats By Dre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45766737)

Product already exists.

That's Shocking! (1)

midifarm (666278) | about 10 months ago | (#45766797)

OK not really. I knew someone with severe PTSD and after going through electroshock they were much better. They were able to be happy once again. While it may seem barbaric and extreme, think about what kind of extreme pain got them there in the first place.

be afraid.. what if I told you the NSA could.. (0)

strstr (539330) | about 10 months ago | (#45766805)

Target you with ECT like remote brain stimulation over long distances, like an EMP for your brain using Remote Neural Monitoring / Electronic Brain Link? It's true, they have the weapons deployed now to do it, and its usually done for covert attacks against political figures, activists, etc. Its all about torture and experimentation on the public, baby! Oh, and warrantless surveillance, with ability to extract and monitor memories and thought remotely.

Details: http://www.oregonstatehospital.net/d/russelltice-nsarnmebl.html [oregonstatehospital.net]

Fuck 'em.

Yeah I bet it works. (-1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 10 months ago | (#45767207)

Do you still remember that terrible thing?

Yeah, I don't see that ever changing.

BZZZZzzzZzzZZZZZZZZTTTTT!!!!

Oh wow! I think you've done it! I'm cured! I feel SOOO much better!! ..

People say all kinds of things when tortured.

Re:Yeah I bet it works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45767269)

i need electroshock for your post

pain/pleasure (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#45767355)

I can see how this would work very well for some people. Read Self Comes to Mind for seeing how the physical brain creates a mental mind.
The fundamental basis is pain vs pleasure.
Scientific American had an article a few years ago that therapy was bad for certain groups of people such as children in school shootings. It brought up and reinforced tragedies instead of allowing them to gradually decay in the memory banks. I can see this doing the same thing for people who can't stop remembering things. It's basic brain training.

I know most people don't do that and "think" their brain _is_ them but you can train your brain to think programming or music or architecture. You can also train to avoid pointless memories and useless beliefs--probably the main reason we don't teach people to think about how they think or even teach people to perform critical thinking. (The first thing you _must_ criticize is the teaching itself and few teachers put up with that kind of shit).

Re:pain/pleasure (0)

ultranova (717540) | about 10 months ago | (#45768493)

You can also train to avoid pointless memories and useless beliefs--probably the main reason we don't teach people to think about how they think or even teach people to perform critical thinking.

The reason we don't teach people to meta-think is that it would make it harder to feed them political and economic messages. A good consumer buys what he's told, a good drone works where he's told and a good parishioner condemns what and who he's told. The less they think about what they're doing and why, the less likely they are to question their masters and their purposes.

Why would the powers that be want to risk their thralls breaking free?

Geez, man up and fuggedabout some romance (1)

MXB2001 (3023413) | about 10 months ago | (#45767527)

Seriously? Zap your brain to forget about a bad romance? Wimps.

cannot forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768045)

Her lawyer makes that one very certain.

Erasing memories (1)

raind (174356) | about 10 months ago | (#45768397)

Why would anyone want this when a proven method (large amount of alcohol)exists?

Manipulation of memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768463)

is a direct manipulation of a personalitys base and therefore should be off limits.
In most cases the environment of a victim imposes the bigger problem than the victim itself had.

Not to mention that missing information is as hard-put as remembering it.
It only sounds good at first look.

Sorry but this is not depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45768533)

Having memories or events that cause "depression" is not clinical depression. These people just need psychotherapy and an attitude adjustment, not invasive physical or chemical therapy.

Re:Sorry but this is not depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45770025)

or Scientology auditing. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Nazi Brainwashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45770189)

War crime "social control" technology weakly disguised as clinical treatment and research. Early 20th-Century Soviet, Nazis, and general tecno-tyrannies were enamoured of it, too. Part of a fad of "doctors", morally defunct scientists, and psych professors having fun running wires with diverse currents and voltages over exposed brains. To MKUltra and beyond. Dynamite with a microwave beam, as Queen might have sung. But, don't worry. We're all much, much more civilized now. There, there.

Not this again (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 10 months ago | (#45770293)

Yeah, it probably erases a lot of good memories too. Every few years you see something like this where the supporters of ECT try to come up with new reasons to justify using it.

Memories of bad romances? Hell, that's a good thing. They keep me from making the same damn mistakes I've made in the past.

Nothing can erase goatse. (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 10 months ago | (#45770645)

Nothing can erase goatse. I know, because I tried...

Re:Nothing can erase goatse. (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about 10 months ago | (#45779159)

That would be the ultimate test case.
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