Jack Nicholson receiving shock treatment in the greatest movie ever made. Now called “electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)” after the great American tradition of applying more syllables to something horrible to make it sound scientific, then using initials to render it completely soulless, shock treatment is given to an estimated 1 million people worldwide every year. All systematic published reviews of the literature have concluded that shock treatment is effective in dealing with depression, probably because life always seems better immediately after they stop electrocuting your brain.

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