From p18, xviii:
I woke up this morning determining to do another post on Dr Christmas's 471 page thesis before getting caught up in other mental health matters with a critical voice. So I traversed the Table of Contents and Lists then the Abstract on my way to the Introduction where I had been before, for the second blog post. A few things caught my eye.
The research investigated 28 individuals, it doesn't state the male/female divide, over a 14 year period which averages out at 2 a year. I was checking out the reports on the Advanced Interventions Service website to see how many people are now getting ACING (anterior cingulotomies) on average per year. However there are only recent reports since 2010. (they seem to have stopped doing the anterior capsulotomy or ACAPS)
In 2011 there were 6 ACINGs while in 2010 there was one. 2012 there were 3, 2013 there was one although 5 were Planned. Statistics only tell us so much. I note there was one "formal" complaint in 2013 "the complaint was related to aspects of assessment and the patient did not progress further down a neurosurgical pathway".
Getting back to the thesis Abstract and it says that "seven individuals underwent a subsequent ACING". In other words they got brain surgery twice for mental illness. In laywoman's language. Very risky in my opinion. Especially since I've never believed in the mental illness construct which is pinned on a person when the treatment doesn't work. They tried to pin it on me.
Another quote from p18:
This paragraph doesn't reassure a non-scientific person such as I. "Clinically significant" according to Jacobsen & Truax: "A statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy" which is what I came up with when searching definitions on the internet. A bit like going round in circles.
I'd like to hear from the voices of those who underwent the ACING, twice. Why did they ask for such an invasive treatment when the cause of the "mental illness" was to do with challenging life situations and trauma? Drug treatment and ECT not working. Why would destroying brain tissue be any better a solution? Is it about faith in science rather than a belief in yourself?
And finally, for this blog post, from Dr Christmas's thesis Abstract:
Is it good enough that no-one died among the 28, as a recommendation that anterior cingulotomies or ACINGs are an effective treatment for whom the psychiatric drugs and ECT don't work? What about the 2 out of the 28 who had the seizure and the haemorrhage, respectively? Don't they matter in the scheme of things?
I'd like to hear the stories from the people who went through the experience. I suspect that the attention they received, the rigorous testings, the many appointments, the relationships formed and the time spent keeping an eye on them was what really mattered rather than the couple of hours of brain surgery.
A favourite song of mine at present from a Sixties Album I received from my son for Christmas: