Mind battle

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 January, 1995, 12:00am

SO the Consumer Council wants to control self-help courses (South China Morning Post , January 17).

I cannot defend the un-named course provider whose two students suffered dehydration and hypertension, but how can the Consumer Council attack all such courses, because of two rare incidents? I find it interesting that the doctor, who is president of the Hong Kong Psychology Society, is so concerned about any real or imagined threat of self-help seminars. Most psychologists, after all, promote harmful psychiatric treatments like electroshock, insulin-shock and psychoactive drugs.

Recent news that homosexuals are being 'electroshocked' in Hong Kong, is disturbing. Practitioners of this backward, desperate treatment are involved in a massive PR campaign to legitimise it. Yet most psychiatrists admit it results in memory loss that is often irreversible.

Well-known people such as Ernest Hemingway and Sylvia Plath suffered after electroshock treatment and subsequently sought suicide.

Powerful psychiatric drugs are promoted as a great cure. Yet, many patients become psychotic, suicidal, or murderous, after a course of these drugs. Cases are well documented.

The Consumer Council needs to look at all mental health treatments used in Hong Kong.

It is not enough to condemn a few self-help groups for failing to let someone get a drink of water.