A mum given electric shock therapy when she was 17 has urged the NHS to stop using it on vulnerable teens.
Jacqueline Dunn was in hospital for months and had four bouts of electro-convulsive therapy in as many weeks.
But she claims the treatment – for severe depression and psychosis – left her with brain damage.
She struggles with her memory and finds conversation difficult.
Jacqueline, now 50, today calls on doctors to prescribe counselling and other forms of therapy.
Her plea comes after a Sunday Mirror probe revealed NHS trusts do not offer any rehabilitation for long-term brain injury caused by ECT.
Mum-of-two Jacqueline, from Sutton, Surrey, received the treatment while she was heavily medicated and can’t remember signing her own consent papers.
She says: “I was put into an adult’s ward instead of a child’s ward and I was 17.
“I felt they should have given more time for the medication to work. I really don’t know the ethics of doing the ECT.
“I only saw the psychiatrist a few times. They didn’t even ask my mother.
“They put me on a bed on a back ward and I remember being on the bed and them putting a shield in my mouth.
“I woke with an extremely bad headache. I’ve had headaches ever since, every day.
“I take Anadin every day to cope with the headaches. As soon as I wake up I need to take pain relief. They gave me four lots of ECT in four weeks. I don’t know how many volts were used.”
She says the treatment has robbed her of precious memories, adding: “I can’t remember my 18th birthday. I can’t remember much of my late 20s and 30s.
“When someone talks to me I can’t take part fully in that conversation. I’m unable to follow it through.”
Jacqueline suffered from depression and stress from the age of 13. By 17, her mental health issues had escalated – heightened in part by studying for 13 O-levels.
Jacqueline later had her diagnosis changed to bipolar disorder, which can result in episodes of psychosis and delusional thinking.
She adds: “The damage from ECT has knocked me from a spirited person to an unspirited person. I’m looking for ways to help come up with therapy, ways of treating brain damage caused by ECT.
“I think devised plans should be put in place to treat people and reverse the effects of ECT brain damage. We’ve been left on the shelf. We just need help.”
Patients as young as 16 were among 5,165 given ECT from 2016-18, despite studies showing it can cause memory loss, disorientation and brain damage.