Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Sacklers

I recently listened to an entertaining talk by economist Ha-Joon Chang. He was quite critical about economists and at the end of his talk he lamented the fact that they could get things spectacularly wrong without it damaging their reputation. He … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

The best laid schemes…

“… one participant (ECT) fell asleep during the fMRI scan” The scans were being conducted by Kamilla Miskowiak and colleagues in Copenhagen, Denmark (Neural response after a single ECT session during retrieval of emotional self-referent words in depression: a randomized, … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 3 Comments

Bismarck, wet leaves, cheap wine, and a nun

Last month (September 2017) the National Health Service in England issued official guidance for general practitioners (GPs) on older people and mental health (Mental Health in Older People: A Practice Primer). The guidance is written by four psychiatrists and a … Continue reading

Posted in ECT in the UK, Electrical parameters, Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

The Royal College ECT lecture: don’t mention its history!

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has created a template for a lecture on ECT. The lecture is designed to be given to a target audience which would include “Trust Boards, Clinical Commissioners, medical psychiatric trainees and associated health professionals new … Continue reading

Posted in ECT in the UK, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

Lost in a sea of abbreviations

If you go to a doctor and say you feel depressed you might be diagnosed as having MDD (major depressive disorder) and prescribed an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). If that doesn’t work there is ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), or VNS … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

The dark side of being a baby boomer

Three stories in the media in recent weeks have looked at how young people in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s experienced psychiatry. On Saturday 30 July the Guardian newspaper featured a story, taken from the ITV series Long Lost … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

A shock by any other name

In the early days of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) doctors were not coy about using the term “electric shock”.  Here are a couple of examples: “The duration of the shock is variable, lasting about 0.35 sec” (from an article entitled “Cardiovascular … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 2 Comments