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Actress Kristen Bell: 'My grandma was a test subject for electroshock therapy'


Kristen Bell

(NaturalNews) Most notable for her bubbly and upbeat roles in various romantic comedies including Couples Retreat and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Kristen Bell is certainly one of America's sweethearts. But the actress, who appears to be one of the happiest and most positive people you could hope to meet, isn't afraid to show her vulnerable side.

In fact, the actress recently made headlines after detailing her personal struggle with anxiety and depression in an interview on Off Camera with Sam Jones. Though gorgeous and vibrant, Bell admitted that she often feels insecure as a result of mental illness, a disease she says has plagued her family for generations.

"My mom sat me down when I was probably 18, and she said, 'There is serotonin imbalance in our family line, and it can often be passed from female to female,'" Bell revealed, adding that her grandma was actually a test subject for electroshock therapy.

"My grandmother was one of the first people they tested electro-shock therapy on," said Bell. Her grandmother would lock herself in her room and drink for says, Bell added.

Electroshock therapy, also referred to as electroconvulsive therapy, is a primitive "treatment" first developed in the 1930s that involves sending jolts of electricity into the brain, causing the patient to have a seizure.

Proponents say electroshock therapy cures depression, but the evidence says otherwise

People undergoing electroshock therapy are sedated with general anesthesia and given a drug that essentially paralyzes the body to prohibit movements that could disrupt the procedure.

Typically, the treatments are administered three times per week until the patient's depression supposedly disappears.

The manufacturers of electroconvulsive therapy, as well as those administering it, say that they have no idea why the treatment "works," but assert its effectiveness for treating depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, particularly in patients unresponsive to antidepressant medications or psychotherapy.

However, Draft Guidance for Industry, Clinicians and Food and Drug Administration Staff states that there is a lack of scientific proof supporting the treatment's safety and efficacy for specific patient populations, including individuals under the age of 18 and those suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar mania.

Despite these recommendations, the FDA is currently considering a draft rule to declassify the risk of electroshock therapy from a Class III device, the highest risk category, to a Class II, defined as moderately risky. Electroconvulsive therapy has remained a Class III device since 1979, and is therefore subject to the highest level of regulatory control.

However, if the devices are recategorized to a Class II, opponents fear that the treatment could be used on a much larger population, which could include children, because the devices would be eligible for "off-label" use.

Even the FDA acknowledges the severe side-effects that potentially accompany electroshock therapy, including memory loss, cognitive impairment, disorientation and confusion. More severe side-effects include prolonged seizures, pulmonary and cardiovascular complications and even death.

Under pressure from the American Psychiatric Association, the FDA may also start permitting electroshock therapy use on children and adolescents resistant to current therapies.

Kristen Bell one of many reliant on antidepressants

Bell is one of many suffering from depression, the majority of whom (including the actress) have turned to psychotropic drugs. While these medications may help some, most experts agree that they are widely over-prescribed and possibly contribute to the mental health epidemic, rather than solving it.

New Scientist recently reported that the increasing reliance on antidepressants in the UK "could be a public health disaster in the making," adding that a growing body of evidence suggests that these medications may trigger prolonged symptoms of depression and other mental health problems.

Sources:

NaturalNews.com

NewScientist.com

Examiner.com

Elle.com

HelloGiggles.com

NaturalNews.com

NIMH.NIH.gov

FDA.gov[PDF]

Science.NaturalNews.com

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