11 January 2017

Turn it on again! Phil Collins reveals he uses controversial electroshock therapy as he plans his big comeback

An interesting story was published on the Daily Mail: Turn it on again! Phil Collins reveals he uses controversial electroshock therapy as he plans his big comeback. It was published 23:20 GMT, 30 December 2016 and updated 01:12 GMT, 31 December 2016, but I didn’t see it until around 18:30 MST, 11 January 2017. The article seems to imply that Phil Collins has been receiving the same controversial treatment that Carrie Fisher, who died a couple of days before this article was published, received and promoted. However, this article says Phil Collins is receiving this treatment to help “overcome problems with his spine, neck and arm” rather than so-called “Bipolar Disorder” like Carrie Fisher.

Upon a critical read of this confusing article, it seems the implied similarities between the physiotherapy treatment Phil Collins received and the psychiatric treatment Carrie Fisher received are all false.

Carrie Fisher is not mentioned in this article, but her sudden heart attack and death has been among the most major headlines the week this article by Clemmie Moodie was published. Carrie Fisher’s diagnosis of so-called “Bipolar Disorder” and her treatment and endorsement of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has also been mentioned in the articles attached to these headlines, including some articles that point out the connection between ECT and heart related deaths. Why did Clemmie Moodie write such a confusing, misleading, and erroneous article?

The damage caused by ECT is usually not immediately life threatening because the brain can sustain a great deal of damage before death occurs. This is not so with the heart. If ECT were used as this article might be interpreted (e.g. “The painful treatment sends waves of electrical current through the body”) the subject would almost certainly die because that much electricity through the heart is almost always lethal. However, this part of the article is false.

Perhaps the problem is with the alleged quote from Phil Collins: “I am doing water therapy now and will be back doing physiotherapy again, and will nudge it along a bit with electroshock things.”

This quote is understandable since medical terminology is confusing for most people, and musicians are no exception. Towards the end of the page, the term “extracorporeal shock wave therapy” is given. Do you know what that is? Phil Collins may know what it is, but it seems he doesn’t remember what it’s called. He got the “shock” part correct, but he mixed up “extra” with “electro” and referred to the rest as “things.”

This is the section that explains the confusion in the article:
Electroshock therapy was first conducted in 1938 and traditionally has been used in psychiatric medicine.

Depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have been treated with the technique, which involves electrically inducing seizures.

But it has divided the medical world with many describing it as barbaric.

Over the past couple of years a version of the therapy, more commonly known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy, has been used increasingly to treat chronic tendon problems, particularly in the foot and elbow.

Not for the faint-hearted, high-energy shock wave treatments are given over the course of two or three treatments – costing £1,000.

They are said to be extremely painful, and often require anaesthesia.

Pulses are administered by a hand-held machine. The treatment is said to give a 'microtrauma' to the injured tissue which, in turn, prompts the body to begin healing itself.
While the main part of the article capitalizes on the mistake in the alleged quote by Phil Collins, this section, which may or may not have been written by Clemmie Moodie, uses the term “electroshock therapy” for what is now commonly referred to as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT has been and is still commonly referred to as electroshock therapy, but so has a number of other things.

Halfway through this section, the name of the therapy that Phil Collins is allegedly receiving is mentioned: extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). When this sentence begins with “Over the past couple of years a version of the therapy,” the words “the therapy” must be referring to the therapy that Phil Collins is receiving and not the unrelated electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) briefly mentioned in the three sentences before this one. If this is so, this is very “creative” writing that seems intended to confuse and mislead people. If not, it is simply false.

Why are these three sentences about ECT even in this article about Phil Collins receiving ESWT? ESWT uses high amplitude pulses of mechanical energy, similar to soundwaves, and not electrical current as stated in the article by Clemmie Moodie. ESWT has no historic or technological connection with ECT. ESWT is similar to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), with which more people might be familiar. ESWL is a non-invasive treatment of kidney stones using acoustic pulse. Phil Collins’ drum set is actually more closely related to the “electroshock things” he allegedly said he’s having than the, often life shortening and always brain damaging, ECT Carrie Fisher received.

No comments:

Post a Comment