Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy demystifies ECT, which can be beneficial to many
suffering from depression, bipolar disease, and other disabling mental conditions.
Chapters alternate between Kitty Dukakis, who shares her personal experience with depression and ECT
treatments, and journalist Larry Tye, who discusses the history of ECT's stigma, and the misuse of ECT in the
This book is very informative. However, I felt Kitty Dukakis' discussion of her personal experiences was too
vague. I feel this book would be more beneficial to readers who may be considering ECT if Kitty Dukakis had
shared in more depth about the process of receiving ECT's and the memory loss associated with them.
The stigma regarding ECT has not gone away. Movies such as The Cuckoo's Nest have made ECT treatment a
contentious matter. Unfortunately the problem was not the ECT itself, but the abuse of it. In some countries
even today ECT is used for torture as well as therapy.
Kitty Dukakis shares her personal story, her addiction to diet pills and alcohol. She had no energy, no
interest in what was going on around her, and bouts of despair. She used drugs and alcohol as an escape from her
mental state. She spent several years in and out of rehab and psych units. Nothing would silence this deafening
depression - nothing, that is, until ECT.
Because of the historical misuse of ECT and the inaccurate media portrayal of it, many are opposed to the
therapy. But the fact is it does help an awful lot of people. I recommend this book to anyone considering ECT, as
well as anyone who desires a broader knowledge of this controversial method of treatment.