Electroshock and Minors: A Fifty-Year Review

By Steve Baldwin; Melissa Oxlad | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Clients' Testimonies

BACKGROUND

To authenticate the published accounts of children and teenagers given electroshock, an attempt was made to interview any of the minors whose treatments were reported in Chapters 5-9. Interview access to these children was extremely difficult, however, due to the ethical boundaries of confidentiality and privacy. In this chapter, confidentiality for these minors is protected by clinical anonymity. Where possible, mental health staff who had worked with these minors were also interviewed. Partial transcripts from client and staff interviews are reported.


Client (girl, age 14)

"Unless you have been in a mental hospital, you have no idea what it is like...you lose all sense of time and place, and they take everything away from you...if you do what they want, they give you things back in pieces and then you have to fit everything back together. Staff were not interested in me, just in keeping their jobs going. The child psychiatric unit (service name removed here) had only one other kid in it as well as me...they had really only admitted me to give themselves something to do...some of the staff were OK -- but lots of them were bullies...they also did drugs -- I mean they took them at work _and took drugs home from work as well. One nurse (staff name removed here) was about 25 or 26 and the biggest bully. He pinned me down to restrain me -- sometimes he pressed it against me...when he was leaning on me...he was sick. He also brushed up against me, to make it seem like an accident, but it wasn't. Even the other nurses thought he was sick. Later they fired him -- he should never be allowed to work with kids like me...He was sicker than I was."

-135-

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