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Famous Shock Therapy Patients

Famous shock therapy patients include Dick Cavett, Lou Reed, Thomas Eagleton, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath. How they feel about ECT.USA Today Series
12-06-1995

Dick Cavett, talk-show host. "In my case, ECT was miraculous. My wife was dubious, but when she came into my room afterward, I sat up and said, 'Look who's back among the living.' It was like a magic wand,'' he wrote in People in 1992.

Lou Reed, rock musician. "Lou's conservative parents, Sidney and Toby Reed, sent their (17-year-old) son to a psychiatrist, requesting that he cure Lou of his homosexual feelings and alarming mood swings. . . . Lou suffered through eight weeks of shock treatments haunted by the fear that in an attempt to obliterate the abnormal from his personality, his parents had destroyed him,'' according to Transformer: The Lou Reed Story.

Thomas Eagleton, former Democratic senator. He lost the Democratic vice presidential nomination in 1972 when it was revealed that he received shock treatment for depression.

Ernest Hemingway, writer. He had shock therapy at the Mayo Clinic in 1961, shortly before committing suicide. He told biographer A.E. Hotchner, "What is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient.''

Sylvia Plath, poet. She wrote a shock therapy scene in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar: "I wondered what terrible thing it was that I had done'' to get shock therapy.

By USA TODAY

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APA Reference
Writer, H. (2007, February 18). Famous Shock Therapy Patients, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/articles/famous-shock-therapy-patients

Last Updated: June 22, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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