Anyone else have ECT?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Obsessive, Mar 1, 2011.

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  1. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    I'm curious if anyone else that's undergone electroconvulsive therapy feels like their mind was just further impaired by it? For the longest time it's been nagging me - I can't even do simple things anymore, and I wonder if I would've been more capable had I not done it. I was lied to by the doctors, claiming a 80% success rate and only short-term memory loss. I was desperate, but the more I read about it since getting it done the more I feel like a total retard. I always end up regretting every choice I ever make cause I'm such a failure.
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Not had it but have a friend who did.
    He found he had short term memory loss which, given that he was a surgeon, pretty much ruined his career.
    However, it did help with his chronic depression.
    Guess its a case of weighing up the plus against the negative.
    You were'nt to know the negative was going to be so high, so please don't beat yourself up over taking your doctor's advice.
    Hopefully the impairment will lessen over time and you will be back to your normal self :hug:
  3. gentle giant

    gentle giant Member

    I had ect back in the late 80s.
    if fact I had 16 2 aweek for 8 weeks the doctor threatened me with a
    section 3 if I refused which is a 6 month section here in the uk which can be reviewed again after
    6 months. it made me feel worse more forgetful more depressed and made the voices worse
  4. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    I've been through four rounds and over forty treatments. During the treatments there is definite confusion and poor short term memory but a couple of weeks after the last treatment all cognitive abilities returned for me.

    ECT pulled me out of terrible despair each round so I would absolutely recommend it until Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation becomes more common and affordable. People who complain about permanent memory or cognitive impairment should remember that clinical depression itself damages the hippocampus which is responsible for the formation of new memory.

    Good luck and please don't let your depression tell you that you are anything less than a brave and very worthwhile person.
  5. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah, it's impossible for me to parse at this point if there was any permanent damage, especially since my head never worked that great to begin with. I can't help but examine all my decisions after the fact though, I always feel like I did something wrong.
  6. Tom Demachy

    Tom Demachy New Member

    This is my first mail - I had 2 courses of modified ECT in the 1970's - over 12 months - it did help my mood but I suffered some short term memory loss which did not improve (I was doing post graduate research and the memory loss meant I had to take a break and return to my studies after a year - if anyone is at the same point - education - :eek:hwell:then beware) but the treatment did help. Maybe just the anaesthetic helped like a placebo - in the UK I read that an ECT machine was serviced after a number of years use and it was discovered that the machine was faulty and had not been giving any electrical shock over hundreds of treatments, but many patients were recording that they felt less depressed!! ECT should be the very last treatment if all fails and there should be complete and informed advice from a different professional.
    Sorry if I'm off message but I hope it helps.
  7. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    I never heard about that, but I did have a terrifying experience with the anesthesia. In one of the ECT sessions my anesthesiologist screwed up and I didn't go completely out at first. My body just froze, and I panicked not being able to breathe. For about 7 seconds my brain was rapidly firing out distress signals to flail my arms, kick my legs, and open my mouth to yell, all with no response. Then I went out.

    Brain's been wracked with suicidal thoughts lately now that I have nothing to distract me from my pain and disability, but I'm certain that what I've experienced is what it feels to die. I wonder if there truly is such a thing as a quick and painless death.
  8. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    My last stint in the hospital they wanted to do ETC on me and I told them no way..I heard to many stories about it...
  9. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    The fuck? I work alongside anesthesiologists all the time, and after about seven years not one of them has ever fucked up that badly.

    That sounds terrifying. Christ, I'd go after that guy for some shit like that. That's traumatizing.
  10. GoldenPsych

    GoldenPsych Well-Known Member

    The people who I have worked with who have had it have said it has saved their life. I have heard of people coming through the system and asking for it straight off as they have had it in the past and it worked. They relapsed years later and it was not given to them to start off with as they had to go through the cycle of meds etc again. Although saying that. If I was told I could have it there is NO WAY I would. As far as I am aware they are not really sure how it works (but it does). For me I would not want any treatment that they don't know why it works or how. Too risky.

  11. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    I had a friend who got ect and she said that she thought it was good.

    I've heard though that some people get it and say they feel worse off.

    I saw a program on tv that talked about rTMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). I think that they said that 1/3 felt no improvement, 1/3 some improvement, 1/3 remission.

    I don't think it's supposed to have negative side effects.
  12. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    I'm planning to get ECT since the treatments I've been going through have only been marginally effective.

    I'm kinda looking forward to it. Even if it makes me feel worse, at least I'll feel different.
  13. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    I know I say this a lot, but you might want to check out acupuncture first if you have any concern about neg. side effect from ect. Ect might still be the way to go, but acupuncture can somtimes work and doesn't have the neg. side effects.
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