Electro Shock Therapy

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by #18, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. #18

    #18 Well-Known Member

    I've been curious about it ever since my doctor mentioned it. She said a guy she knew who was severely depressed like me had it done and he got a lot better.

    Has anyone on here ever had it done?

    I heard it can have some bad side effects but I'm at the end of my rope with my social anxiety and constant depression.
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    It has helped some hun usually it is alast resort though I have seen it help many and others not so but it is worth a try if you have no other options.
  3. #18

    #18 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to think it may be my last resort. I've been through so many doctors, therapists, and pills. The only downside I've heard about it is the temporary memory loss and cognitive abilities.
  4. Lisani

    Lisani Member

    Hi Ivy,

    I'm really new here, but I've had ECT. Fourteen treatments over a three week period two and a half years ago. Yes, there's temporary memory loss, fatigue, some confusion, and the results aren't immediate, but they are usually fairly quick. Some folks respond to ECT when nothing else works, for others, ECT doesn't work either. To be honest, I can't answer either way from personal experience. I can say that there is a certain element of trauma that I associate with it, but it wasn't physically painful. My advice? Ask a lot of questions, especially about how many treatments your team wants to try - this is a last resort. It's a technique that no brain biologist can really explain why works; of course there's some insight, but it isn't a fully understood treatment, so all of the consequences are also unknown. Ultimately, it's a decision you should weigh carefully - just because it has "last resort" status doesn't mean that it will work.

    I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but ECT is a serious thing to subject your body and mind to, and if you can find another route, I'd recommend taking it - ECT is not a cure-all, it's more like finally throwing in the kitchen sink.

    Take care!

  5. #18

    #18 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lisani,

    Thank you for your reply. To avoid confusion I recently had my name changed to #18 on here lol. I will do more research on ECT and decide carefully on what to do. I admit for a time I started to think it was a cure-all but I know there's the side effects and like you said, it may not even work. I don't know, I just know I've been through so many different pills and doctors, it gets old after awhile. How much better did you feel after you received the treatments?

    Thank you and take care too.
  6. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Never had it, but I just wanted to quote you because I think youve summed it up very nicely. Sorry to hear about the number of treatments though. I hope regardless of it, that you are doing better now x
  7. Lisani

    Lisani Member

    I went through the whole gamut of therapy, partial, inpatient, residential, strapped-to-my-bed, drugs, more drugs, debilitating drugs, and a whole bunch of other treatments too - including some experimental stuff at NYSPI. Nothing helped. For me, ECT didn't really help either - but it's hard to tell. With the frequency and number of my treatments I was pretty well numbed and dulled over that period, and for some time after. Also, everyone's body and brain chemistry is different, and mine was hampered by a severe eating disorder at the time, which also conflates my lack of responsiveness to treatment. Did I get better? Yes, after a long while and after deciding once and for all that I was going to "snap out of it." It's always nice and neat when you say it, but you know the reality is far from simple. I got better, I am still better than I was for most of my life - but I am also finally learning to accept my depressive personality. Ok, so I'm not at accepting it yet, but I'm aware of it! It's something I will always struggle with.

    My honest objection to ECT? I earned a nice case of CRS from it (also known as Can't Remember Spit). There's about a two year period of my life that's feels like I'm riding the Scrambler at the county fair whenever I try to think about it. Again, this may also be a result that arose from the complications associated with my eating disorder. Also know that if you do choose to have ECT, you can stop whenever you want. When you sign on the dotted line, that's permission for them to treat you with less liability, but it isn't a court order that forces you to go the full course. And you never, ever go alone, so you aren't the only one interested in your wellbeing at the time of your treatment - pick someone you trust and who can advocate for you; preferably someone who knows you well enough to know when you're not doing ok even if you haven't explicitly said so.

    I'm no professional - please do not base your choice on anything I've said, or, if you're going to take anything I've said to heart, take this: everyone is different. Look up any treatment, drug, or brand of coffee you like and you'll find folks who both rant and rave about it passionately. Do what's best for you.



    @SBlake, thanks for the quote!
  8. 1Lefty

    1Lefty Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread, as my doctor has also mentioned it. Thanks, no decision yet but I'll keep watching this thread
  9. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    I had it done last year. About a year and a half of memories are a real blur but I don't really regard it as a loss. I'd like to erase most of my brain. The benefit was pretty quick, but it only lasted for a little under 2 weeks. Didn't think about suicide during that brief time tho and that was pretty amazing. But overall I wouldn't do it again. It got my hopes up and then let me down. At least before I had it I could thing that there was one final treatment out there that might possibly work.
  10. HawthornePassage

    HawthornePassage Well-Known Member

    i wouldnt do it, its not treating the root of the problem. the brain may be imbalanced but its BECAUSE the emotions are messed up, not the other way around. seems barbaric to me, even as a last resort...but then again the docs just want to blame the patient for everything and place little blame on a negative environment...which means they dont actually try to solve the environment
  11. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    Well, doctors can't really do anything about our environments. And many cases of depression aren't environment related, but due to brain problems.
  12. HawthornePassage

    HawthornePassage Well-Known Member

    brain problems caused by the environment...the broken brains model isnt really proven much at all, its just a stopgap 'idea' and way to stigmatize people

    actually, people do plenty about the environment by NOT buying into the taboo and treating people with respect and not like a diseased pariah
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