Electroconvulsive therapy - sizzling your brain to induce a clonic seizure (to the point of losing consciousness and bringing on convulsions for at least 15 seconds) - is back in vogue. Recent studies show it can be remarkably effective in treating depression, mania and psychosis for sufferers resistant to the typical suite of pharma concoctions.
Having grown up with a father who experienced severe uncontrolled epileptic seizures the idea that actively inducing them could be beneficial for some people strikes me as bizarre, but intriguing, nonetheless.
Anyway, this concept made me wonder - is it possible that being tasered could ever have positive mental health outcomes for people?
I'm not sure how the voltage compares with ECT but its an interesting thought, particularly since a number of people at risk of being tasered would likely be acting out issues associated with underlying mental health conditions.
I rang Australian pop-cultural science guru Dr Karl Kruszelnicki to see if he had the heads up on this one, but it stumped him too.
I imagine there would be a myriad of factors/variables that would need to be considered including the context and percieved 'fairness' of being tasered and the likelihood that police intervention would be positively correlated with later uptake of other mental health services (i'm postulating that if an incident resulted in tasering, that victim would be more likely to have a mandatory or voluntary assessment) .
I'd be fascinated to hear of any studies or anecdotal evidence on this one - so drop me a line and i'll post up any links.