Re: TO Sherry Re: American Psychiatric Association

Robert Owen (
Fri, 29 Oct 1999 19:48:47 -0400 wrote:

> Thanks for checking on this for me. I was told NOTHING about any out of
> pocket costs, only given medical and background type info, including that the
> treatment is experimental. Other than cost, my only concern is side effects.
> I will accept only very low risk treatments.
> Sherry

The medical opinion I solicited considers the risk vanishingly small. The slightly controversial aspect concerns the BENEFITS. If insurable, it would certainly be reasonable to obtain this treatment on merely heuristic grounds; but as this is not the case, in my opinion your options are: [1] talk therapy; [2] a new pharmacological regimen, perhaps combined with [1]; [3] transcranial magnetic therapy; [4] ECT, perhaps limited to a unilateral application which causes virtually no transient disorientation and which now is associated with NO seizure activity; [5] a meditational approach, e.g. joining a local ZEN community. Some extropian List members may have additional suggestions and as extropians reject [5] as a desirable option.

Please know that the worst case scenario for unilateral ECT is being convinced that the recovery room is full of onions (the smell of onions is a universal response), feeling sleepy, and perhaps crying for a little while. Except for somnolence, the mechanisms for these reactions is, as they euphemistically say, "poorly understood", i.e. they haven't the foggiest idea.

Good luck,


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA