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Manuscript from May 9, 2009

Peter Lehmann

Towards the Ban on Electroshock

To avoid censorship from mainstream publishing houses, I founded my own publishing house in Germany in 1986. It is orientated toward the interests of (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry whose main concerns are self-determination and freedom from bodily harm. I am familiar with the problems of (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry because of my own experiences, the experiences of members of my family and the experiences of peers in the self-help movement.

In my publishing house I publish literature written in a spirit of resistance and which expresses the fundamental insights below:

  • Psychiatry as a scientific discipline cannot do justice to the expectation of solving mental problems that are largely of a social nature.
  • Its propensity and practice to use force constitutes a threat for all.

  • Psychiatry's diagnostic methods with its pigeonhole mentality obstruct the view of the real problems of individuals.

For these reasons, I plead for

  • developing adequate and effective assistance for people in emotional difficulties.

  • safeguarding civil rights in treatment on a par with "normal" patients in the medical field.

  • joining forces in cooperation with other human rights and self-help groups.

  • support in withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, use of alternative and less toxic psychotropic substances and a ban on electroshock.

  • new ways of living with madness and being different—with as much independence from institutions as possible.

  • tolerance, respect and appreciation of diversity at all levels of life.

A humanistic approach includes a clear and strong demand for the ban on electroshock. This barbaric method, developed not incidentally during fascism, is based on an artificial epileptic seizure, caused by an electric stroke against the brain. All different modern forms of electroshock are based on this function. In the field of medicine doctors do everything to avoid epileptic seizures, because they know, that brain cells will be killed definitively. Psychiatrists do with their electroshock just the opposite. In general, reasons for raised administration of electroshock are the increase of repression in different countries, antidepressant-caused chronic depression by down-regulation and desensitisation of serotonine-receptors and neuroleptic-caused tardive psychoses and "side-effects" of neuroleptics like neuroleptic malignant syndrome or malignant hyperthermia, which demand some medical knowledge to be distinguished from so-called febrile catatonia. And psychiatrists don't worry, that febrile catatonia can be treated effectively by spasmolytic drugs like dandrolene (market names: Dantrium, Dantrolen etc.) or some benzodiazepines like lorazepam in doses up to 16 mg per day or diazepam also in high doses.

Scientific books and articles are published and sold by my publishing house and my mail-order bookstore, see On I offer an information tool on electroshock in English and German language. Kerstin Kempker's book "Mitgift" (see in German language) is highly recommended. There you can read, how the German psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Hendrik Uwe Peters administered a cruel combination of electro- and insulinshock and psychiatric drugs to the youngster Kerstin Kempker in the 70es. Her father had an insurance, which paid everything. H. U. Peters surely made a lot of money. Kerstin Kempker had to suffer an odyssey through different madhouses, combined with several attempts to kill herself because of those treatment consequences. H. U. Peters got president of the German psychiatrists' organisation DGPPN, and until today he is worldwide most appreciated by his colleagues.