Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

ECT's Final Days?


Recommended Posts

PsychCentral

That’s right, a device that can send electricity directly into your brain is being considered to be placed in the same medical device category as a syringe. And guess who doesn’t mind that reclassification? Why, the American Psychiatric Association, of course — they are right on board with this re-classification (PDF).

Currently ECT devices are classified as Class III devices — high risk. Yet they have never undergone the very basic safety and efficacy the FDA requires for all Class III medical devices and medications. Why not?

We’re told the devices were “grandfathered” into the Class III category because they’ve been around so long. That seems like an odd way to run an agency that’s supposed to be looking out for the public’s safety when it comes to medicine and medical devices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of meds got grandfathered in without double blind studies, because their efficacy has been already demonstrate over the long term. Aspirin, for example.

Anna, I think it has lost a great deal of stigma, and p-docs are able to calibrate "doses" in a way that is much less dangerous. My dad always used ECT on at least a few patients, but the closer to retirement he got, the more often he used it.

Psych central has a complete and total anti-ECT bias. I could not find an article that was even neutral, all the titles were scaremongering or snarky (towards drs. who disagree). And I disagree that ECT have not been studied for safety: There has been a concerted effort over the years by the medical community to improve and lower the toxicity of ECT, based on medical observations and procedures that they developed before there was an FDA.

The ECT of Sylvia Plath was totally different experience than that of the people I know closer to my age (this is their claim, I can't speak to it myself). "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" made ECT seem as dreadful as possible. Yet ECT is a lot safer than it used to be, and even in the 70s, when it was still pretty heavy-handed, people reported it worked. Dick Cavett claims he would be dead without it.

I really don't see how this is that different than a vagus nerve stimulator for depression. It sends electrical jolts strong enough that people feel their bodies vibrate a bit. It is a newish, FDA approved Class III device. And in the case of the VNS, people have it implanted inside their bodies to give electric shocks, which is a little more intrusive than electrodes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to agree with crtclms here. I'm currently undergoing ECT, and while it hasn't seemed to help my depression (yet?), I can say my experience is nothing like the scaremongering you see in pop culture. I've been treated very kindly and compassionately. The hospital where I'm having it done assigns a nurse to stay with you from the time you go to sleep until you're able to get up out of bed and go to the recovery lounge. That was, there's someone with you to reorient you when you wake up from the anesthesia. You have to wait 2 hours in the recovery lounge, but they feed you (you have to be npo before anesthesia), and the recovery lounge often becomes an informal patient support group.

The ECT staff has been very responsive to my needs. I get sick from anesthesia, so they give me an anti-emetic every time before the anesthesia. When they switched me from ultra-brief pulse to brief pulse, I got a headache that wouldn't respond to OTC pain meds, so now they also give me an IV painkiller before the ECT. Any concern I've had has been promptly addressed, and I've been very pleased with all of the people I've dealt with for ECT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm confused crtlcms, that was exactly my point, that it has lost its stigma, I mean, if you read kitty dukakis's book,

(well, especially with the unilateral options) ect is a great option for many. one hosp. I worked at had a very busy and flourishing ect dept where they got some great results.

I would always want ect to be an option for me, so I'd not like to see it gone, really, although whether that acually happens or not remains up for debate....

Anna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That piece is so horrifically skewed, I'm not sure how the writer lives with himself.

Yes, ECT sessions are very expensive, but they're not exactly handed out like Seroquel. It's a tiny market, but still a necessary one, because for some people nothing else works. The per-session price tag doesn't tell you anything about the profits the device manufacturers are making. I can assume that Dr. Grohol, the piece's writer and apparently Psych Central's CEO, knows something about economics, which doesn't leave me with very many options for explaining how he figures the ECT device manufacturers are rolling in dough.

And not being able to come up with funding to research something does not say anything about the merits of the research or the thing itself.

I think I'll stop there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...