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Well, heck.  I took the plunge.  I was so against trying ECT, but my latest mixed state wasn't showing any signs of breaking.  Will I regret my desperation?

I've had four treatments so far, and have nothing but headaches, confusion, dissociation, and hopelessness to report.  The pdoc says that I might as well do 6-10, since I started the series.  It's not his memory being scrambled!

I am legitimately scared that I'm going to lose my life to this illness.  If this fails, I can supposedly try oral MAOI's, but that sounds dicey with my mixed states.

I'm just really, really out of hope.  Any words of kindness or wisdom are welcome.

Edited by lifequake

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hey quake,

was poking around and saw this. you know i always wish you well, including with this. it really helped me (bilateral did) and i hope very much that it turns things around for you.

xx

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I haven't done ECT but am in a bad depression. I have been told to think about it. I wish you well good luck and take care.

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5 hours ago, Hermione said:

I haven't done ECT but am in a bad depression. I have been told to think about it. I wish you well good luck and take care.

Thank you, Hermione.

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My agitation is improved, but I'm still depressed as funk.  ECT pdoc asked about switching to bilateral, but I'm already having tons of memory loss and confusion.  I just can't win!

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On 8/27/2017 at 5:43 PM, Iceberg said:

How many rounds have u done?

I did #9 yesterday and actual felt some improvement.  #10 tomorrow.  How does one know when to stop?

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Darn, that was some short-lived stability.  Some flavor of mixed state or mania is trying to make a comeback...

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@lifequake :( Sorry to hear this. I think you have a lot of courage to try ECT! It's been in the back of my mind for awhile but i'm too afraid of the risks & possibility of getting worse. I hope things get better for you.

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  1. Did not respond to ECT.
  2. Memory and cognitive abilities profoundly f^&*ed. 
  3. Devastated by the above --> near-suicide --> thrown IP.
  4. Rock bottom + regret.
  5. See no way through this. 

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@lifequake I am so sorry to hear this!!! you did both unilateral and bilateral? I can only imagine how beyond devastated I'd feel if I tried ECT and it didn't work, or made me worse. Did the docs say that the side effects will go away eventually? Thinking of you, hoping you get through this.

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11 hours ago, lifequake said:
  1. Did not respond to ECT.
  2. Memory and cognitive abilities profoundly f^&*ed. 
  3. Devastated by the above --> near-suicide --> thrown IP.
  4. Rock bottom + regret.
  5. See no way through this. 

i'm so sorry you're suffering so much... i hope beyond hope that it gets better for you. xx

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@Blahblah @mellifluous  Thank you two for commenting and supporting.  Family won't be around to help me get to a doctor for a week+, and recovery is not really happening.  I'm so scared.  Lots of trouble walking, speaking, loss of taste, God-please-kill-me-now headaches.  I'm sobbing and begging the universe for some sign of hope.

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2 hours ago, lifequake said:

 I'm sobbing and begging the universe for some sign of hope.

Well, I don't know if it will help out in the case of bipolar mixed states, but for depression if ECT fails there is always ketamine therapy.

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lifequake, I am so sorry that you are suffering and I truly hope that you get better. I'm an ECT vet (three series, maintenance for 5 years--I found better results with TMS) and I remember the pain, confusion, and memory loss--oddly enough lots of those ECT memories didn't disappear.

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I'm kind of in the same boat. Just starting ECT now after failing so many drugs and TMS. I'm starting a MAOI, Parnate, after ECT. I've only had one session and feel ok. It might be worth finishing the course, you can't really cross it off the list unless you do. Memory problems usually go away supposedly and perhaps some of the other side effects you're experiencing are from the anaesthetic. 

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Lifequake,

I have been away from the boards for awhile, but just read your posts. I am profoundly sad and sorry to hear the negative effects ECT had on you. I don't know the details of the deleterious effect it had on you. My experiences with ECT were not good. I wanted to offer you one glimmer of hope though, and feel free to disregard if it's not applicable to your experience.  I had some cognitive impairment post-ECT. Difficulty finding the correct words to express a point and difficulty spelling. Both these things previously came very easily to me so it was extremely frustrating and absolutely devastating.  After about six months, however, these issues resolved. I very much hope this will be the case for you.

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I have had 27 treatments spread out over 3 hospitalizations. The last one was 12 treatments. I did have missing memories but most were when suffering from the depression. I was however, extremely mentally fatigued for sometime.

 

i would do the 6 and 9 treatments in the first 2  hospitalizations. Virtually no side effects.

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On 11/21/2017 at 11:11 AM, malachite said:

Lifequake,

I have been away from the boards for awhile, but just read your posts. I am profoundly sad and sorry to hear the negative effects ECT had on you. I don't know the details of the deleterious effect it had on you. My experiences with ECT were not good. I wanted to offer you one glimmer of hope though, and feel free to disregard if it's not applicable to your experience.  I had some cognitive impairment post-ECT. Difficulty finding the correct words to express a point and difficulty spelling. Both these things previously came very easily to me so it was extremely frustrating and absolutely devastating.  After about six months, however, these issues resolved. I very much hope this will be the case for you.

I just saw this kind reply, mal.  It really, truly ruined my life to a degree nobody will ever comprehend.

I am fighting placement in a long term care facility and realizing hopelessly that I will never get adequate rehabilitation for brain injury because psychiatrists refuse to admit that ECT can cause diffuse brain damage and cognitive impairment.

Next to zero of my entire life of memory has returned, and I cannot access memories at will, without an external cue.  All things related to executive functioning and the frontal lobe are trashed.  I wet my pants almost daily and drool, cannot recognize faces, cannot read, cannot watch TV, cannot follow conversations, cannot learn or retain information, loss most of my sense of taste, have balance/muscle-coordination impairment, physical symptoms I can't begin to list, severe neurobehavioral and emotional deficits (impulse control, egocentrism, socially inappropriate behavior, violence/aggression, etc).  I am apathetic and emotionally fried to a point of zombie-ness.  Family and professionals tell me that if I had not been intelligent before this, I would be a complete and total vegetable.

I am glad ECT is life-saving for many.  It took mine away.

  • Sad 1

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Lifequake,

 

I cannot begin to understand the utter devastation ECT has had on your brain, body, and life. I am so deeply sorry, I have no words to even express it.

 

After my horrible experience with ECT, I truly wanted to work on banning it in this country (it is banned in many others.) So many folks told me of how much it helped them though that I thought my experience was just a huge anomaly. I have PTSD due to having it.

I do not believe that the medical establishment's idea of informed consent is close to adequate. First of all, if you have a patient so depressed they are considering getting their brain shocked repeatedly, you have a patient who is desperate and who likely has cognitive impairment due to severe depression.

 

Secondly, there is never a mention of how often things don't work, or worse, are detrimental to the patient. Only after I had delirium from ECT did my doctor inform us that 12 percent of ECT patients experience this! I was never even told it was a possibility!

Honestly, I have barely faced the memory loss I have. It's hard to remember what you have forgotten,  right? For me, it's long-term stuff, I think. But I also have had trauma and years of depression so I am sure that's what docs would pin it on.

I would like to be of comfort and assistance to you, in any small way I can. You have always been a good friend to me here on cb, and I imagine what you are going through is terrifying, infuriating, and sorrowful. If you would like to message me we could talk about what I might do to be there for you. I would be honored if you did.

 

 

Edited by malachite
Typo

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Not to be an ass just my 2 cents...my doc gave pretty good informed Consent warning about the memory loss and other issues, I also had my dad with me (I was a minor) and so he and my mom both thought it was worth it because what else is worth trying...but yeah it's a last resort for a reason....but also super effective so I guess it depends how desperate u are 

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19 hours ago, Iceberg said:

Not to be an ass just my 2 cents...my doc gave pretty good informed Consent warning about the memory loss and other issues, I also had my dad with me (I was a minor) and so he and my mom both thought it was worth it because what else is worth trying...but yeah it's a last resort for a reason....but also super effective so I guess it depends how desperate u are 

Yes, it can be effective for people. Most of the people (though not all) that I know who were helped by ECT had temporary results, however, unless they were willing to do maintenance treatments. It sounds like it really helped you though, and I am happy it did. Depression does make us desperate, and I am thrilled for anyone who gets relief in whatever way works for them. For myself, I wish docs had pushed other med options first (stimulants, which have given me the best remission in over 20 years and which I started a few months ago, or MAOIs.) My doc did mention possible memory side effects, but stressed how rare and temporary they were. He also mentioned nothing of the ECT delirium I had. I wish I had known that was a possibility.  

 

Oh, and I didn't find your response to be asshole-ish! I like having civil discussions and getting lots of perspectives!

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Have u tried TMS...I can't say I'm a huge believer but it has much less side effects

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