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Found 21 results

  1. Greetings, I recently had the initial 6 treatments of Ketamine infusions, and that helped my Bipolar II depression (which is treatment-resistant) for about two weeks. Then I had another booster infusion, and that held for a week, then I had another booster infusion, and that lasted a week. These "boosters" shouldn't have to be given more than once every 1-3 months, yet it seems I need one weekly. So the Ketamine failed to provide prolonged relief. My only other option now is Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which I don't want to do. I know it's gotten better vis-a-vis memory issue side-effects, but I just don't want to do it. I don't like the idea of having my brain electrocuted (however little the electrical charge), and I don't like even the idea of me potentially losing cherished memories. My question: If I had such a poor experience with the Ketamine, needing weekly boosters, does that bode poorly for ECT therapy? I know ECT also frequently requires "boosters." I don't want to have to go in weekly for an ECT booster. I'm tired. I've been through the ringer for the past 16 years. I'm just tired of trying to get better. I'm tired and worn down. Please share your experiences and insights, I'd much appreciate it. Thanks! Troop
  2. Greetings, I have been struggling with my Bipolar II depression for years, and am now going to pursue ECT due to my being medication resistant. I take 250mg/day of Lamictal (an anticonvulsant), 12mg/day of Valium, and an anti-depressant. I had a consultation with the ECT doctor, and he said that not only will my Lamictal make it difficult for him to induce a proper seizure, which I was already aware of, but that Valium, a benzodiazepine, also prevents seizures. I never knew that, but apparently paramedics use a benzodiazepine nose spray for people having seizures. So I got hit with two barrels when I was only expecting one: Not only will the Lamictal hinder ECT, but so will my Valium, a benzodiazepine. I have hyper-withdrawal syndrome, so I can't just drop the Lamictal (which stopped working years ago) and begin ECT. I'm also at a good Valium dose which I don't want to mess with. The doctor will have to increase the electric charge sent to my brain (as relative to someone not on two drugs that prevent convulsions) in order to induce a seizure. I'm understandably wary of having electricity sent through my brain, but given my particular circumstances, I have nothing left to lose. But as stated above, a larger-than-normal charge of electricity will need to be used. I worry that such a high voltage could have lifelong negative side effects, like chronic migraines for instance. Have studies even been done using such potentially high electric charges in modern ECT therapy and what kind of unknown dangers that could elicit? Bipolar patients usually have an AC in their med regiment, as well as a benzo of some kind, and I'm sure lots of people with treatment-resistant BP II depression have had ECT. How did they do it? The doctor also said that as treatment continues (Mon, Wed, Fri. for a couple weeks) even a normal person not on seizure-inhibiting drugs has to have the voltage increased with each treatment, as if the brain develops a type of tolerance to the procedures. For the sake of simplicity, let's say the voltage scale is from 1-10, with 1 being the typical charge sent into an ECT patient's brain who's not taking two drugs that inhibit seizures. As stated above, the doctor told me it's not uncommon to have to increase the voltage for a regular person not on the drugs I'm on as treatment progresses. Well, I'm taking 250mg of Lamictal and 12mg of Valium daily. For me, let's say instead of 1 voltage, it takes 4 for the first procedure. By the time the entire ECT regiment is finished, let's suppose a regular person will have ended up on a voltage charge of 5. For me, with my seizure-inhibiting drugs, let's say I end up at a 10+ voltage charge. That's what I'm afraid of. Relatively (in the modern sense) untested ECT territory and its effects on the brain. I'm aware of the side effects for ECT for regular people, and I'm not bothered. Like I said, I need help desperately. But in my case, essentially taking TWO anticonvulsants, could my brain be permanently damaged by electric charges that could end up being substantially greater than 95% of people who have this procedure done? Do I need to worry that I'll develop side effects, potentially lifelong? Side effects/damage that would be very rare for someone receiving normal, low-voltage charges? Chronic migraines, ticks, general cognitive defects, noticeable loss in creative ability, writing ability, etc. I'll be receiving high-voltage charges, potentially much higher charges than 95% of people who undergo ECT. And as like normal patients, each treatment should require an ever-increasing charge to induce the seizure. What should I think about all of this? What should I do? I'm in an acute depressive state right now, so treatment may begin in just days. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks! Troop
  3. Hello, everyone! I'm a long-time lurker and I have finally decided to introduce myself. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I with psychotic features 14 years ago; since then, I've weathered nasty manic episodes and mixed states, three hospitalizations, failed whole classes of drugs (over 50 meds, many tried multiple times). As it turns out, as I'm sure is the case for many of you, medication just doesn't work that well for me. I responded reasonably well on Lithobid (generic lithium does jack shit, go figure) for years, though recently it seems to have lost some of its efficacy (increasing the dosage just makes me violently ill) and some of the old neuroleptics (gave me bad EPS- Cogentin didn't help), but I'm always a little symptomatic, even at my most stable. Up until recently, I've coped with residual craziness (intrusive thoughts, excess energy, agitation) with cardio- long-distance running, swimming, kickboxing- and by dumping all of my energy into my full-time job (that I love) and school (I'm working on my MLIS part-time). I have a great psychiatrist who has really tried to come up with creative solutions, including off-label treatments. I was never resistant to the idea of meds; they have just failed me. I'm really here, though, because I am on SDI after a 6-month manic episode that began at the end of last summer and ended with me paranoid, delusional, sleepless, and broke (I'm sure this situation sounds familiar to many of you). After trying Vraylar, which actually seemed beneficial (brought me back to earth, thanks!) but gave me such bad dysphagia that I was waking in the middle of the night feeling like I was being waterboarded by my own saliva, my psychiatrist is pushing me to do a course of ECT. I actually had the Vraylar compounded out of desperation to see if the dysphagia was dose-related, but it was as bad at .25mg as it was at 1.5, and I can't go through life choking on food. I am sick and tired of the med-go-round and ready for ECT; I've combed PubMed for studies and read patient testimonials and after everything I've been through with medication, I honestly don't see how it can possibly be any worse. I hate not being able to work, I hate how selfish and self-involved I am when I'm unwell, I hate not being able to read. I hate that I had to drop out of school for the semester. At this point, I'm willing to try anything if there is even a small chance that I will be able to regain my independence. I have always liked this board for its raw honesty and sense of community. I'm going through an especially difficult time with this illness and I want to be around others who understand. I hope you will have me.
  4. Has anyone become numb, severely depressed, "blank" minded after ECT and recovered? I wasn't depressed prior to ECT, and the "ECT specialist" thought I had a "rare form of Bipolar." After my 5th bilateral session I started to feel "off" and different, and subsequently plunged into a deep depression. A few months later my mind went "blank"/silent after experiencing strong negative thoughts and emotions, and now I feel totally flat (this was becoming gradual until the blank mind), disconnected from my self and others/family, etc. Has anyone experienced something similar and recovered their emotions and "self" again?
  5. Any ideas about ECT? Pros and cons?
  6. Hey everypeoples, Checking in after feeling good for a few months and then having two complete bipolar cycles in TWO days. I have no idea why I'm feeling this way and I'm pretty sick of it. I'd been avoiding ECT for years, but at this point I've tried so many medications that I put "too many to count" on my newest doc's intake form. I literally have taken everything currently and formerly on the market except Geodon and ... maybe Tegretol or Depakote. I can't remember which one of those I was blessed enough to miss out on. Anyone have any idea if ECT is a good idea for bipolar, but at this point I'll pull out any of the options I have. I looked it up as much as I could and it seems NAMI, Mayo Clinic, and the NIH say it can be used for bipolar that's resistant to medications. To be clear, I have BP1, OCD, and some sort of anxiety (pdoc thinks social anxiety). I only started having manias in the last 4-5 years and my rapid cycling is going insanely rapid. Currently on Lamictal (150mg), Lexapro (20mg), Trileptal (900mg in two separate doses), Abilify (5mg) and Lorazepam (1mg at night for sleep). It worked for three months and then I totally lost it after a stressful phone call. Is ECT my next step here?
  7. I've been in an episode of moderate/severe depression for about three years, and I've tried so many medications - some failures, some partial successes but eventual failures - that my medical team is recommending that I consider ECT. I've always thought of ECT as something for very severe depression. I've luckily never had to be hospitalized, which makes me think of myself as someone who's not experiencing severe depression exactly... I've also been told that I'd have to stop taking Lamictal, which does make sense, but I've been on it for seven years and haven't had any kind of serious hypomania since I've been on it, so I'm rather attached to it. Does anyone have experience with ECT as a treatment for intractable depression; depression that isn't responding to medications? Thanks in advance.
  8. i have been here on CB since 2009 and this is my first time posting in seven years. anyone from chat who knows my background knows why. after a hellatious summer things have crashed again. (for those who haven't been watching me go bonkers in chat). three of the docs agree it's time for ECT and my system needs a break from the meds,some of which go back over 20 years... the cocktail has grown to six meds when i was on four before and last IP was to go down. got the appt on the books to see the psychiatrist (p-doc) and he was very supportive of the idea. the insurance approved it. so all of the hard paperwork pieces are done. since i have been suicidal he wants me IP. my poor tummy has shut down, had the pleasure of gastroenterology. the tummy top and bottom are healthy physically. but i'm battling dehydration still. the social worker has been trying several times a day to get me into the nearest psychiatric facility that is 90 miles away. vermont has an online database of open psychiatric space she can look at and what she can see are also saturated. for those who don't know, i live in the middle of nowhere in vermont just south of the quebec border in northern new england. she has been calling them early in the morning and through out the day every day. the next facility is 140 miles away. mass general in boston is 225 miles away. the social worker at p-docs office has been seeing me daily since this has been identified. so we talked about finding a different way in, i.e.the back door as we would call it in the military. so i call the triage nurse in the ER and they have several people stacked up camping out for IP space, they sent six down to boston this week. they said there has been some bad heroin going around which has saturated treatment facilities since september in northern new england. i can appreciate that as one of my homies from the old days recently overdosed - fatally. morale has been in the toilet, but after speaking to the hospital, it is now somewhere in the septic tank. so i'm kind of lost now. i'm posting this here as i imagine people in chat are tired of hearing this over and over and over. i waited too long to seek IP in the spring, but now i'm trying to act now but cannot find help.
  9. So, you may have read my post about Deep TMS and how it saved my life. Unfortunately, my feelings were short lived. My last treatment was Wednesday 4\27\2016. As soon as I tapered down to one treatment a week, I was sent into a depressive fog. I became suicidial, depressed, isolative, and started to self injure. My treatment team is very aware and I live in a boarding home so I am pretty safe. I am on suicidial checks and also just hang out in the community. I, still am on the end of my rope. So, next step: ECT. I hope it works. Peace.
  10. Hello! I have a question for those folks who have undergone ECT, and thank you in advance for your replies! The question: Once one's psychiatrist has decided to "prescribe" this treatment, how long is the wait to actually begin treatment? I know it probably differs depending on where one lives,access to providers, etc, but am hoping to glean some general information. I'm at my wit's end with treatment resistant Bipolar Depression, and am considering ECT, with the hope I will not have to wait weeks or months to start it if that's what my psychiatrist decides is best. Than you for your time and knowledge!
  11. I have treatment resistant depression and have been told that I have tried every drug that is available for depression, none of which have worked. I've also had a round of ECT recently and that did not help me either. Is it possible for some people to just be uncurable?
  12. Hi, How are you? I'll get right to it. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizoaffective Disorder. I take Depakote, Seroquel, Lamictal and I'm tapering off of Lithium (with doctor's instruction). I did a series of 6 ECT treatments in October of last year (2013). I've had 'maintenance' ECT treatments over the past year. I've been through DBT 3 times. I've had the same psychiatrist for 20 years (I am 39). I'm seeing a therapist. Had a good session last week. I figured out that I need to learn about my diagnosis, my disorders. Then I can possibly help myself. Otherwise I've felt like I don't want to get better. I just don't care if I "get better". Life is pointless. -Shocked
  13. Hi everyone, I'm new here, but have been reading a TON from the various forums over the past week. I've been struggling with major depressive disorder for 20 years - since I was 16. I typically have around 3 severe depressive episodes per year, each of which tends to last anywhere from 1 to 4 months. I've been on a ton of different medications, been hospitalized 3 times, done outpatient programs at least twice, and have been in therapy for 19 years with the same wonderful therapist. With my most recent episodes (of which I am in the middle of one now), my psychiatrist and therapist both are describing me as treatment resistant. We are considering ECT (I have a consultation with the ECT doc next week - I've been basically living in the ECT forum all week). In the meantime, my doc has increased my dosage of Lexapro and added Wellbutrin. I have been on Lexapro for several years and we thought it might have been working, even though I still had 2-3 depressive episodes per year. I started out at 20mg of Lexapro, and now I'm on... wait for it... 100mg. I've never heard of anyone being on such a high dose, and I'm wondering if anyone here has heard of it. I asked my pdoc if that was a safe dosage and she said it all depends on the individual and their tolerance and side effects. I haven't had any major side effects. To complicate things further, my hubby and I have been trying to have a baby for 2 years (have had 3 miscarriages). Everyone agrees that it would be far less harmful for the fetus for me to be on an antidepressant than for me to be as severely depressed as is my norm. Pdoc did say that we'll stop the Wellbutrin as soon as I know I'm preggo, but I've stayed on Lexapro during my last 3 (failed) pregnancies. I can't help but wonder if the meds are contributing to the miscarriages, though I know 100% I cannot be off them. Whew! That's a LOT of info. I'm sorry for the novel! I'm thrilled to have found this forum, and you guys seem like a very intelligent, supportive, and well-informed group. Thanks so much for reading and letting me know your thoughts!
  14. After dealing with treatment-resistant depression for a number of years, I think I am finally ready to go the ECT route. I have asked my doctor to put me on the waiting list. Does anyone have any experience with ECT that they would be willing to share? Any thoughts?
  15. Hello, I posted about this originally in the actual ECT section but I have not been successful in getting many responses. I'm posting it here in hopes i get more responses and it is bipolar related. Has anyone here had ECT specifically to treat mixed states? If you have, please let me know about how effective it was and how you even got to that point where it was even considered. If you are not comfortable sharing publicly on this thread, please message me. It's very important. I need to collect some patient experiences with ECT being used for the treatment of mixed states because I am at wits end with 11 years of meds still not quite cutting it. My doctors didn't even give me a full sentence when I brought it up. I was cut down and the big fix for my issue was yet another med change. I would not even have known about ECT if I had not been researching information on treatments for mixed episodes on proper medical databases in well respected scientific journals. This isn't something I just wove up out of nothing. I was desperate, and it was the only option being written about that I hadn't tried. I got the idea directly from a scientific study notfrom myself. Please pm or reply with your experience if you have one. I'm not naming people here or publicly publishing them. I just need a back up so the wall that shoots up when the subject is broached, goes up a bit slower. My pdoc is usually really reasonable, but she seems unwilling to even discuss this. i need something besides those studies to show her i"m not making this up and that it real does happen with apparently pretty good outcomes. You'd think the studies would be better, but I guess not.
  16. I don't know if I am posting in the right forum but I couldn't find this topic anywhere else. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. I'm not new to crazyboards but I am new to posting.... Anyways, I've been getting ECT for almost a year now. It has changed my life for the better. SAVED my life. Before I got ECT, I was on every drug imaginable and pretty much just spending my days lying in bed without getting up to eat, drink, smoke cigarettes (big deal for me haha) or even using the bathroom. My mom found me as she came over out of concern of me not answering the phone for days on end. I started my ECT, as I believe everyone does, with 3 treatments a week and gradually reducing them until I was just going once a month. My doctor and I decided I needed them a BIT more frequently so I now get them once every 3 weeks. Bilateral. The thing is, I have received treatments in 2 states with 2 different doctors but even that being said, I have NEVER seen anyone even close to my age there. I am 24. Usually the people I see are seniors. Anyone out there in their teens or twenties that gets ECT? I realize it is a last resort sort of thing.... Just wanted to talk to someone about what it is like for them...
  17. My psychiatrist has recommended that I think about trying ect because I'm medication resistant. I'm 34 years old and have been on at least 10 different drugs for depression and anxiety since I was 12. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year and, between the pain and depression, have been on disability for over a year. I don't know if it's the pain, the depression or the meds but I've felt my focus, concentration and memory just crumble over the last year and a half. I'm scared about being an inpatient for ect and I'm scared of the memory loss. I'm not suicidal but I'm coasting and low. I used to feel so much more intelligent and on top of things, even thru recurring depression. I don't want to be worse off than I already am. Does anyone have any advice they can give me?
  18. I've been lurking here for a quite a while. I think I even made some posts a while back. Anyway, to quickly introduce myself...My name is Susan, I live in Northeast USA, I"m 39 years old and have been depressed since I remember. I can recall being 5 years old asking God to let me die because I didn't want to live anymore. I've been on meds for 19 years. I've pretty much taken everything there is and my doctor (who is awesome) has suggested that if things don't get better I might want to try ECT. I've heard some really scary things about it..like memory loss and not being able to recognize your own hand writing after. Not sure if I'm going to do it. I'm out of work. Trying to get SSDI because I can't seem to go one day without crying. I sleep about 14 hours a day and even taking a shower is exhausting. I don't know. I guess I just needed to rant and get this out. Thanks for listening. Hope everyone else is feeling ok and having a better week. ~Susan
  19. I am checking into the hospital today for another series of ECT. My last series was last December, so not that long ago, and I was in the hospital about 6 weeks. This time after I am done I will go in about once a month for just one ECT and hopefully that will keep me better. Last time I lost a lot of memory and husband says that it took about 3 weeks after I got home before I was able to form regular memory and be able to read and understand what was going on. I still don't remember most of last year. But it was worth getting the ECTs even with the memory loss. I have run out of medication that works and was suicidal for several months. So I probably won't even remember I made this post. I guess I just want to say to my future self that it was either the ECT treatment or death so don't feel too bad about the memory loss. To anyone else who is considering ECT treatment my memory loss is worse that usual and the other times I have had ECT the memory loss has not been an issue. Still, it is better than death or the living death that you go through after all other treatments fail.
  20. i'm not as stuttering, stammering now as i was a few months after ect treatments but at least then i had the ability to articulate my ideas instead of drawing a complete blank like i sometimes am now. this really isn't some selfish desire to be smarter anymore, this is about being able to function like everyone else.. at this point i dont' care about being perfect , but i want to at least be able to explain myself when i'm expected to do so for the sake of efficiency. i.e. so i'm not making other people finish my thoughts for me.. so there's the background, now the question is can the effects of ECTs be such that they get worse over time and then gradually cease? or do they reach their worst point immediately following treatments and get better over time? the latter would make more sense to me, which brings me to another possibility, that these are negative schizo-symptoms. can negative symptoms be this disabling? there's no richness to my experience anymore, although i dont' think i'm depressed. med-wise i'm not on that many drugs, ativan, antipsychotic, in transition seroquel and antidepressant prozac that's it, just the "necessary" meds. i should probably add that i may be getting biofeedback sessions with my prospective therapist i saw a few days ago who seemed to agree that id benefit from some form of cognitive rehabilitation following ects. thoughts, please?
  21. There are some murmurings of ECT going around. I know people on here have suggested I give Emsam a longer trial, it has been almost a month. The thing is my suicidal desires are real high, the only thing keeping me from acting on them is the fact that I have no money and I don't have the time needed for IP if I messed up. Even still I've had desperate thoughts like covering myself with the last of my Emsam patches and binging on cheddar cheese. I'm not sure it would do anything but the thoughts been there. I don't know what other options I have. Emsam is the only MAOI I've been on, but I don't think any of the others would be a good choice for me because if they don't work I would be so tempted to eat my way to a hypertensive crisis. I know that a lot of people have said that ECT has saved their lives, but it frightens me and I wonder if I've exhausted all my options yet.
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