ect "shock" therapy

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by morden, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. morden

    morden New Member

    my pdoc is suggesting shock therapy. i've read a book about it. i'm not particuarly intersted in having it done. my bf doesn't want me to have it. my pdoc wants me to get it as an outpatient which means someone has to look after me when i get home because he says i will be confused after treatments ... and i was kinda assuming it would be my bf taking care of me. i remember thinking when i was on the ward that the patients who were getting shock therapy really seemed messed up (after getting shocked). thoughts?
  2. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    I have not had it done personally, but when I was in the psych hospital there was someone there that had it done, and apparently it made her totally better (temporarily). She went from being depressed, psychotic, living in the hospital, to someone who was able to go home and be with her family.

    Ultimately it's your choice, make sure that you read up a lot about it, from many different sources, and then make a judgement on what you want to do.

    It's your body and your choice.

    Good luck
  3. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Why doesn't your boyfriend want you to have it? :huh:

    I have never had ECT but I know someone personally who has. And my mum is an ECT specialist at work and she is always involved in treating the outpatients.

    The friend I have who had it is in his forties (he's more of a family friend than my friend really). He had a course of ECT about five years ago and it completely changed his life around. He functions perfectly now after being practically crippled by depression for decades. No medication worked for him, and therapy didn't really improve things either. He never stops singing ECT's praises.

    So it definitely can work, and can change lives :smile:. But for some people, it doesn't, and you should bear that in mind when you make your decision.

    The main thing is that it should be pretty much a last resort. You should have had different types of therapy and many different medications (all unsuccessful) before they give you ECT. But I'm assuming that's probably the case as your pdoc suggested it.

    My mum has said that people can be very confused for a short while afterwards, in the same way that some people are after an epileptic fit. It passes relatively quickly and then hopefully you feel that your mood has been lifted. There's no long term confusion or anything.

    There's a common misconception about how traumatic it is (these days). Obviously some people who have ECT are very mentally ill in other ways too and they don't necessarily understand what's going on so for those people it can be distressing. But you are obviously a clear-thinking person so there's no reason I can see that that would apply to you :smile:. Some people are upset by the fact that they suffer a short period of confusion afterwards. But the actual session is done under an anaesthetic these days, so it isn't traumatic in itself anymore.

    Get as much information as you can, weigh up the pros and cons. Talk it over at length with your pdoc. It should be YOUR decision.

    Take care, and keep us posted :smile: x
  4. Hazel

    Hazel SF & Antiquitie's Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi Morden, I have had a course of 12 ECT treatments, it took a long time for my pdoc to convince me to have it, but I'm glad he did, my depression is so much better, I am still on medication but the difference is now they work! Before the ECT, I had many different meds with no effect.
    The actual procedure is carried out under anaesthetic and totally painless. I was an inpatient at the time although I knew others who had it done as outpatients.
    The one downside for me has been memory loss affecting just before and during the treatment and continuing poor memory... (others may blame my age for that! :mad: )
    This is a decision you need to make in consultation with your pdoc, if you ever want to talk to me about my experience please pm me.

    Take care Hazel
  5. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

    I apologise if this sounds stupid. If you go into hospital for ECT and stay in overnight, do you go to a medical/general ward or the psych ward?
  6. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    It sounds like it can be done on OP therapy, which implies that it is a procedure that does not need to be observed or admitted onto a medical ward afterwards.

    If the person is already in a psych hospital/ward/unit, different rules may apply, and obviously is there is a problem in some way, for example with the anaesthetic, then things would be different.

    I guess it will depend on the rules of the hospital, or psych ward. Some psych wards might take the person back, others might want to wait until the next day, but have someone mental health related with the person.

    Probably there is no set rule, but given that assumably the procedure does not need an overnight stay (if everything goes to plan) then I can't see why anyone would stay overnight in a medical ward.

    Does any of that make sense? I'm not even sure.
  7. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it does. I don't know why I'm asking, I'm not even having it done. :blink:
  8. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with asking questions :) How else would anyone learn anything? Always better to ask if you are not sure, for whatever reason.
  9. meagainstme

    meagainstme Well-Known Member

    ECT sounds so scary to me!
  10. ~CazzaAngel~

    ~CazzaAngel~ Staff Alumni

    I don't think they have that around here, would probably have to go to Tepeka :unsure:
  11. Syd

    Syd Guest

    If you're the risk-taking type, it's definitely an option.. it certainly seems better than spending tons of money on inefficient meds with nasty side effects.

    However, if your vocation or hobbies heavily involve memory, critical thinking, or other high mental processes, I would not recommend taking this risk. Case in point: Ernest Hemingway.

    On the other hand, if feeling 'reborn' with a new clean slate and positive outlook appeals to you enough (and outweighs any potential setbacks) then go for it! I'd try it myself if I wasn't so dependent on my memory.
  12. Jolanta

    Jolanta Member & Antiquitie's Friend Staff Alumni

    To Morden,

    If your pdoc is recommending ect therapy, then I am assuming other treatments have been tried w/o success. I have had ect therapy myself so I know some things about it. One: it works for MOST people. I think the success rate is about 98%. It is not painful as they put you under anesthesia for the therapy. Also, the dr puts a tourniquet around your ankle so the only part of you that moves is your foot. That way you won't get hurt having a seizure. Also, when you are having your therapy, there are several people standing around you, making sure you stay safe. So, for most people, it brings their life into focus enough that conventional therapies can work to treat their depression.
    On the other hand, for a few people there are undesirable side effects. It does affect the memory, usually for a short time and then it clears up. My memory did not come back. It could be argued that my memory loss is caused by other problems; I have systemic lupus and fibromyalgia. The drs say they have no way of knowing. My memory problems forced me to retire. Would I have ect again? Yes, I think the risks were worth the potential benefits. I'm not nearly as depressed as I was before the therapy.
    I hope that you will talk w/ your pdoc and get as much info as you can before you amke an informed decision. Don't make a decision out of fear.
  13. Isn't shock therapy the same thing as a minor lobotomy?
  14. TheWr0ngChild

    TheWr0ngChild Well-Known Member

    A good way to end up with brain damage. Who the hell would want this draconian "treatment"??? If meds don't work or make you worse, you can stop taking them, but fry your brain and there's no turning back.
  15. LastCrusade

    LastCrusade Well-Known Member

    I've had 12 sessions of ECT done before in my 1st depression and I think I'm able to give a qualified opinion. ECT didnt help me. Finding hope did. But I've met people whose depression symptoms reduced after going through ECT. I suppose it works for those who have clinical depression. But may not necesarily work for those in reactional/situational depression. Those going through the latter should work towards resolving their problems. Then the depression will automatically recover. The mind will automatically heal itself and suddenly you would want to live again.
  16. nedflanders

    nedflanders Well-Known Member

    Y'all have a grossly inaccurate understanding of ECT. Although the mechanism of ECT's action is not terribly well understood, it does not cook parts of your brain. Only the electric chair does that.

    And I wouldn't bother making any arguments at all about current psychiatric practice based on patients do died half a century ago.
  17. wallflower

    wallflower Well-Known Member

    It does seem to mess you up quite a bit. People complain of having severe memory loss, trauma, flashbacks, and feeling like their brain was fried.
    What else would electric shocks do to your brain other then fry it? I can't imagine having jolts of electricity actually spark anything in there other than confusion.
  18. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    Electricity is what makes the brain and hence your entire body actually work. Just think of ECT as a hard reboot. I mean, if you are really THAT depressed and sad, do you really care if you lose some of the crap you have stored in there? As long as I can surf the internet at lightening speed, I don't really care if my computer forgot my "Crate and Barrel" password and login. Take out the trash.
  19. Spearmint

    Spearmint Well-Known Member

    My grandfather had ECT done, apparently it worked very, very well for him...
  20. dazzle11215

    dazzle11215 Staff Alumni

    i had a little self-administered ect last weekend... tried to wiggle underneath the electric cow fence. zap zap zap!! ouch! :laugh: