The report concludes that institutional practices are insufficient to guarantee the safety of patients who undergo electroconvulsive therapy.
The steering group shared a basic philosophy: a holistic, psychosocial approach to mental health, drawing on social constructionist and feminist ideas, on work highlighting the links between trauma and mental health, and on the service user/survivor movement.
Although modern treatments can effectively subdue some of the more extreme manifestations of madness, they obscure the underlying functions that mental health services undoubtedly still serve. And if we wish to think about how to address the problems posed by mental disturbance in the most rational, economical and humanitarian way, we need to keep those functions at the front of our minds.
Doctors must understand and explain that drugs change the brain, and other parts of the body, in ways that we do not fully understand, that are almost always harmful to some degree, and that may be irreversible.
I always seek to use more ordinary language, bringing the person’s own words and metaphors in. It can be painful to hear a person’s detailed and often very meaningful description of their feelings or distress being reduced to a symptom.