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Permanent Link: mental notes

Posted Jan 07 2009 12:00am

On today’s skimming pile of books by my couch Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer
Mayo Clinic on Depression, edited by Keith Kramlinger, M.D.
Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison
Sociology of of Mental Disorder, Fifth Edition, by William C. Cockerham

Books that should arrive at my door soon Electroshock: Healing Mental Illness by Max Fink
Shock by Kitty Dukakis

I was glad to find the most useful amount of information, especially the type I actually need right now, to be in the book edited by Mayo Clinic, complete with a two-page seven-photo layout explaining the ECT procedure (Chapter 9, page 101-102). The Cockerham book was one of the texts I read as a college sophomore.  I found that I underlined the following in this text “Unfortunately, there are no controlled studies that demonstrate how EST affects the mind, and it is this lack of information that contributes most to the myths about electroshock.  All we know is that the procedure produces a significant improvement in certain patients….”

I wonder why I thought to highlight that particular portion, of all the parts that I could’ve noted.

I read Against Depression in November after it was clear that I will be having ECT. Kramer, who wrote Listening Prozac, refutes the increasing romanticized notion of melancholy and depression, and makes a case that depression must be treated like a disease that it is. Therefore, it is the scientific community’s obligation is to eradicate this disease.  Though Kramer’s references to ECT are neglible, I thought that this was a book that any person with a mood disorder should read.

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