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KateBeckett

Electroconvulsive Therapy?

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I'm thinking of asking my psychiatrist tomorrow about me possibly doing ECT.  I feel like I've reached a point in my life that I'm not going to get better with traditional medications.  I was very shocked to find out that people actually do get better from depression.  I honestly thought it was just something that I was going to have live with and manage forever and something I never truly would get over.  I have been depressed for 10 years and have never found any antidepressant that has worked.  I need something drastic.  My mom is threatening to send me to a group home because I am losing control.

 

My question is, have any of you had ECT?  What was it like?  Would you recommend it?

Edited by KateBeckett

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I had ECT, twice.

The first time it was a miracle and got me out of a deep depression.

The second time (a few weeks ago) did not do much for me. It definitely wasn't like the first time.

 

It's a painless procedure. Just an IV is inserted into you for anasthesia. Some people have headaches after...I did not.

I would recommend it, even though the second time wasn't as successful as the first time.

 

My family has threatened me with the group home thing too.

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Although, I have not had ECT, I know plenty of people who have said that it saved their lives. If my cocktail ever stops working, I will probably do it because it is highly efficacious and is known to work quickly. It doses have some drawbacks such as potential memory loss, headaches following the procedure, etc.

 

I'm moving this to the ECT forum.

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I'm in the middle of treatment. Will have #7 on Friday. Made a difference first couple times but I've been in a depressive rut the past couple days. The memory loss is brutal...cant remember anything. But it's worth it if I get better

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ECT didn't work for me - but i would still recommend that people who have had bad luck with meds give it a try.  i saw enough people in hospital that got BETTER that i know it's possible, and it was awesome to see them brighten up within a few weeks.  even though i have some residual memory problems, i'm not sorry i tried it.  i would try it again if for some reason i could no longer take meds.

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Hi, Kate. I'm San and I mod the ECT forum. I had ECT in 2008 after a manic episode crashed into the worst episode of depression I've had in my life. I had 5 sessions of unilateral ECT and 1 of bilateral. It helped tremendously with my depression. I'm one of the success stories, thankfully. My high's aren't as high anymore and I rarely have lows. I'm schizoaffective, bipolar type, and it definitely helped on the mood end. I also take much less medication now.

 

It was painless for me, the nurses put in a little IV for the anaesthetic and muscle relaxants, and I woke up with a headache that I only took Tylenol for. I was inpatient when I did it. Some people have headaches and muscle aches after. ECT has a high success rate and I'd say it saved my life. This is my experience. If you want me to go over the procedure and how I felt, I can do that.

 

It wasn't very nerve-wracking. The first session I was nervous, but the treatment team was great, and after that I wasn't nervous. I just wanted it over with so I could go sleep all day (they woke us up at 4:30am to go to the general hospital for the procedure). It's a simple procedure, and it can seem scary at first, but it's not painful and you may wake up confused. It would take me a few hours to get my bearings back, and I'd see my pdoc during that time. I don't have memory loss, just a fuzzy period during the treatments.

 

If you have any questions, post them. Quite a few CB members have gone through ECT and can give their opinion, too. 

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I'm considering asking about it.. I know they do it at my local hospital. Meds don't do much for me. If it's got drowsiness as a side effect, it makes things worse for me :( that is most anti depressants.

 

dancingteapot, how long did it work for you the first time???

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I'm considering asking about it.. I know they do it at my local hospital. Meds don't do much for me. If it's got drowsiness as a side effect, it makes things worse for me :( that is most anti depressants.

 

dancingteapot, how long did it work for you the first time???

 

About a year.

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