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Portrayal of ECT in Movies from Australia and New Zealand.

Walter, Garry M.B., B.S., B.Med.Sc., F.R.A.N.Z.C.P.

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Abstract

SUMMARY: The portrayal of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in recent Australian and New Zealand movies is considered. ECT scenes from the films An Angel at My Table (1990), Cosi (1996), and Shine (1996) are described in detail. Overall, the portrayal has been negative but arguably might have been worse. The representation of ECT is also compared with the depiction of psychotropic drug treatments in films from Australia and New Zealand, with the portrayal of ECT in written fiction from the two countries and with the representation of ECT in American movies. The potential ways in which mental health professionals can seek to modify distorted cinema depictions are presented.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.

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