After Sargant left the ward, the nurses would start preparing the horrors he had prescribed for the day - the electro-convulsive therapy. Friends have asked what it was like to have electrodes put either side of your skull before huge surges of power were fired through your brain, while you squirmed and wrestled and shrieked and moaned and dribbled into the pillow. But the truth is I don't remember.
I do, however, remember vividly watching the woman in the next bed when it was her turn to be assaulted in the name of health. I remember every sight, sound and smell. The huge rubber plug jammed between her teeth; the strange almost silent cry, like a sigh of pain; the shuddering contortions and jerky gyrations of the tormented body; the scent of burning hair and flesh.
I remember also the famous Narcosis Room, a ward where patients were forced into a drug-induced sleep for days while tapes played instructions to them from under the pillow.
Whenever I have been asked about Sargant's Narcosis Room, I can describe it perfectly. I used to sneak out of the ward to peer through the portholes in the swing doors, and gaze at dead-looking women lying on the floor on grey mattresses, silent in a kind of electrically induced twilight.
My electric shock nightmare at the hands of the CIA's evil doctor