About To Have ECT? Fine, but Don't Watch It in the Movies: The Sorry Portrayal of ECT in Film
By Garry Walter, M.D., and Andrew McDonald, M.D.
June 1, 2004
Dr. Walter is clinical associate professor at the University of Sydney and director of the Thomas Walker Hospital ("Rivendell") of Central Sydney Mental Health Services, Sydney, Australia.
Dr. McDonald is staff specialist psychiatrist at the Canterbury Community Mental Health Centre of the Central Sydney Mental Health Services, Sydney, Australia.
Despite a promising start, the portrayal of ECT in film has been deplorable and with little resemblance to modern practice. The audience is left with the impression of a brutal, harmful and abusive treatment with no therapeutic benefit. It encourages stigmatization and discourages patients from its use. Proponents of ECT will need to rely on tools other than movie portrayal to convince those with mental illness about the merits of this treatment.
About To Have ECT? Fine, but Don't Watch It in the Movies
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