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NJLady

Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Hi all,

I'm sorry if I'm duplicating a thread, but I can't find any option to search the forum. I'm new here and I have a question:

Have any of you ever tried electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for your depression? If so, did it help you or do nothing? I'm considering this form of therapy, but I'd like to talk to some people who have gone through the process.

Thanks in advance!

NJLady

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I did 25 rounds of it in 2017.  It took about 5 or 6 sessions before I started to notice a bit of a change.  I was severely depressed and not really feeling emotions and it broke through that for me.  By 10-12 sessions, I was finally able to have a range of emotions again and I started feeling better.  I did have back soreness and a headache after the first 3 or 4 but that wore off as I had more treatments. Unfortunately, once I entered the maintenance phase, I fell back into a severe depression and a a ramped up burst of treatments didn’t help me so I stopped altogether.   The only lasting impact I have now a year a few months later is that it changed the way I look at things in that I just lost a bit of my filter for saying what I think about situations.  I am more blunt and it made me realize that I can’t put up with doing work that makes me miserable any longer.  So that’s a good one.  I’m still really depressed but I haven’t turned back to ECT.  I’m getting ketamine treatments, which seem to help me more, but have the drawback of being expensive and not covered by insurance.  Good luck!  I know ECT has helped a lot of people.

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I've done a few rounds around 6 years ago. Sadly I was ill prepared, just wasn't mentally in the right place and the temporary memory loss scared me so I stopped too early before getting any positive effect from it.

ECT tends to be very successful if you undergo the recommended number of treatments, I regret not finishing it.

Good news is, the memory loss and confusion I was experienced was really just temporary, a few weeks later I was back to normal. I wish my doctor would have told me about this ahead of time, maybe I wouldn't have freaked out so much. 

I'd also like to mention that there was no pain whatsoever. The only uncomfortable thing is the burning sensation in your arm from the anesthetic before you fall asleep, takes like 30 seconds or so. It's nothing like the torture scenes they show in movies. 

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I’ve had 5 treatments. Had to stop to go back to work. Working on a referral to a new location 

 

they definitely made a difference but the process was scary and anxiety producing to me. 

 

I can can tell it’s wearing off and look forward to my next consultation 

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My shrink wanted me to do it. I asked for ketamine. He said if ECT doesn't work I can go on ketamine because ketamine is not yet approved here. I refused and had to find another psychiatrist.

 

@extendedrelease How is ketamine working for you aside from money. I have heard it's like cure for depression.

 

@extendedrelease

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I'm getting ect during my stay at hospital now. I've gotten it before and it helped to get through the worst.

There seem to be memory things this time around. Like missing insignificant moments during treatment.

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I have never tried this before, my doctor has refused to let me try it...I have a friend that has tried it before...I believe he told me it affected his memory in some way if I am recalling it right..I have seen it done before on t.v. and it scared me really bad!!! I hope you really think it through before you make a final decision about it...

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8 hours ago, APFSDS said:

I'm getting ect during my stay at hospital now. I've gotten it before and it helped to get through the worst.

There seem to be memory things this time around. Like missing insignificant moments during treatment.

I have memory issues now and have had my first migraine issues ever. 

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So, I've never had it, but this is what I've heard from good sources:

1. Can be a life-changing treatment for most people, but what they may not tell you is it doesn't necessarily work for everyone.

2. You will probably see an improvement, but to maintain it, you will need 'maintenance' sessions, possibly for the rest of your life.

3. Memory and headache side-effects happen a lot. In some people, they are less severe or wear off. In others, they are big and permanent. The medical community downplays this element, so if you are very attached to or rely on your memory for most of your daily living, work requirements and hobbies, I would give it a lot of thought.

4. The actual session is not scary at all. It's very high-tech now, and you won't feel anything, except maybe the headache afterwards, and drowsiness that day from the anesthetic. Also, you will almost-definitely get some memory loss for the periods surrounding the treatment.

I hope this helps you make a decision!

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10 hours ago, MargotMontage said:

So, I've never had it, but this is what I've heard from good sources:

1. Can be a life-changing treatment for most people, but what they may not tell you is it doesn't necessarily work for everyone.

2. You will probably see an improvement, but to maintain it, you will need 'maintenance' sessions, possibly for the rest of your life.

3. Memory and headache side-effects happen a lot. In some people, they are less severe or wear off. In others, they are big and permanent. The medical community downplays this element, so if you are very attached to or rely on your memory for most of your daily living, work requirements and hobbies, I would give it a lot of thought.

4. The actual session is not scary at all. It's very high-tech now, and you won't feel anything, except maybe the headache afterwards, and drowsiness that day from the anesthetic. Also, you will almost-definitely get some memory loss for the periods surrounding the treatment.

I hope this helps you make a decision!

I have to disagree (just my own personal experience) that it’s not scary. I cried 3/5 of my treatments. One from waking up to early and the others I think was the effects of the anesthesia. I also spoke with friends who woke up or went to sleep at the wrong time. That’s an anesthesiologist error. 

Not to discount you, just want to share my first hand experience. 

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2 hours ago, SouthernSolitary said:

I have to disagree (just my own personal experience) that it’s not scary. I cried 3/5 of my treatments. One from waking up to early and the others I think was the effects of the anesthesia. I also spoke with friends who woke up or went to sleep at the wrong time. That’s an anesthesiologist error. 

Not to discount you, just want to share my first hand experience. 

It's good that you're sharing! I don't mind at all. After all, it's important to know, and this would be the first time I've ever heard of anasthesiologist errors and how they affect this treatment.

I'm glad you shared!

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7 minutes ago, MargotMontage said:

this would be the first time I've ever heard of anasthesiologist errors

Yeah, that definitely isn't supposed to happen. Anesthesia going wrong is not completely unheard of, there's stories of people waking up during surgery, but 3/5? That must be one shitty anesthesiologist who needs to be fired immediately!

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36 minutes ago, MargotMontage said:

It's good that you're sharing! I don't mind at all. After all, it's important to know, and this would be the first time I've ever heard of anasthesiologist errors and how they affect this treatment.

I'm glad you shared!

The place I got it done was in its first year of doing ect, so I think there’s where some of the issues came in. 

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30 minutes ago, lonelyforeigner said:

Yeah, that definitely isn't supposed to happen. Anesthesia going wrong is not completely unheard of, there's stories of people waking up during surgery, but 3/5? That must be one shitty anesthesiologist who needs to be fired immediately!

Yeah, I reckon if it was any other procedure, they'd have been kicked out by now.

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2 minutes ago, SouthernSolitary said:

The place I got it done was in its first year of doing ect, so I think there’s where some of the issues came in. 

I should definitely remember that if anyone else asks, since it looks like experienced places must definitely be safer! I'm sorry it happened to you but it's good you warned everyone!

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1 minute ago, MargotMontage said:

Yeah, I reckon if it was any other procedure, they'd have been kicked out by now.

Yeah... Sad truth is, next to the elderly, mental health patients are the easiest ones to neglect without risking too much trouble. Few have the energy to fight back and the public or media don't care much about us either. "Woke up while being cut open" evokes much more sympathy than "Mentally ill patient woke up during a non-invasive procedure". 

It annoys me to no end how everybody will talk about mental health when a celebrity commits suicide and a week later it's all back to normal and no one gives a damn about MH. Hopefully someday we will not be treated like 2nd class citizens and patients but I fear we have a long fight ahead of us. 

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4 minutes ago, lonelyforeigner said:

Yeah... Sad truth is, next to the elderly, mental health patients are the easiest ones to neglect without risking too much trouble. Few have the energy to fight back and the public or media don't care much about us either. "Woke up while being cut open" evokes much more sympathy than "Mentally ill patient woke up during a non-invasive procedure". 

It annoys me to no end how everybody will talk about mental health when a celebrity commits suicide and a week later it's all back to normal and no one gives a damn about MH. Hopefully someday we will not be treated like 2nd class citizens and patients but I fear we have a long fight ahead of us. 

Unfortunate, the way the government continue to cut back spending on education ,mental  health

and elderly care.  It might just be a thing of the past where social needs and educational needs

are becoming less important than what they used to be in the eyes of politicians.  

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