Linda Andre

Linda Andre

Director at The Committee for Truth

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The Committee for Truth

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New York University


Head of the Committee for Truth - Psychiatry's

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Bill sought to ban ECT

Linda Andre, director of the New York-based Committee for Truth in Psychiatry, told MHW that ECT resulted in her losing five years' worth of memory.
She says the Texas bill is necessary because state officials are not enforcing regulations enacted two years ago, requiring documentation of all ECT procedures and records of any deaths associated with the practice. "They are not reporting deaths due to ECT, and are attempting to attribute them to other things," Andre said.

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Shock therapy debate

This does not impress Linda Andre, a single mother from New York City who heads the Committee for Truth in Psychiatry.
This group of about 500 members, many former recipients of the treatment, asserts that patients who receive shock therapy are poorly informed about the consequences; specifically, they aren't told about the risk for profound memory loss. The group lobbies legislators, demanding more detailed informed consent laws and railing at political and medical bureaucracies which, Andre says, tend to regard members of the organization as "just plain crazy.'' "Shock therapy is ... Russian roulette,'' says Andre, who in the early 1980s was treated with electroconvulsive therapy during an involuntary hospitalization she can't recall. The result: Andre says she lost memory, intelligence, personality. "I don't feel like the me I was supposed to be,'' she says sadly. Andre also says her problems have been medically documented, yet the scientific community is clearly unmoved by her complaints. One prominent researcher, Andre says, poked her at a convention and pronounced, "You're alive, aren't you?''

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Electroshock therapy revised

The clearinghouse and others who question the procedure said that the preliminary version of the section downplayed the degree and frequency of memory loss. ``I had five years of memory loss, and to this day, I can't tell you what happened,'' said Linda Andre, director of the New York group Committee for Truth in Psychiatry, which claims 500 members nationally.
Andre, now 39, had shock treatment when she was 25, she said.

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