A LONG list of celebrities ranging from novelists to fashion designers have had electroconvulsive therapy.
Ernest Hemmingway committed suicide shortly after being given ECT in 1961. He is reported to have said to his biographer: “Well, what is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient....”
Sylvia Plath described ECT in her poem The Hanging Man, in which she wrote: “By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me / I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet.”
Coronation Street star Beverley Callard said she lost her memory after receiving ECT for depression.
Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, American actresses Carrie Fisher and Judy Garland, blues guitarist and founding member of Fleetwood Mac Peter Green and singer-songwriter Lou Reed have all had ECT.
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent suffered a nervous breakdown early in his career after being enlisted in the French Army. He was given electroshock therapy after 20 days of active duty.