I suffer from atypical major depressive disorder. After trying a variety of medicines and combinations of medicines my doctor has suggested ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Has anyone undergone this procedure and if it worked well, how did you feel afterwords? Could you go back to school? Did you have side effects?
Please respond if you have had it recently (like in the last 10 years). Alot of horror ECT stories stem from the 60s, 70s and probably 80s.
Yes I have known some people who have had favorable results from ECT. It also might be worthwhile to ask about trans cranial magnetic stimulation as it appears to have a more favorable side effect profile both short term and long term but you could discuss the specifics of this with your psychiatrist.
First off please understand that I'm no expert or professional but do have some recent experience with ECT. I checked into an in-patient recovery hospital about a month ago to start to deal with my addictions, anxiety and depression because like you it seemed I had taken every drug / dose there is without great results. After talking with the doctors and psychologists at the hospital they asked me if I would be open to ECT treatment and I agreed. Well I won't bore you or anyone else with the detail but I go for my 7th session tomorrow morning as part of an out patient program I've continued at the hospital. What I can tell you is that since the treatments began I've experienced moments of clarity and peace like I haven't felt in years. They come and go but the doctors tell me that I may need a few more sessions and they're also still working on balancing out my meds. I currently take 60mg of Prozac. I haven't experienced any side effects from the treatments as of yet other than the positive feelings.
Of course the ECT treatment is just one facet of my recovery but after my first pathetic attempt at suicide I told them I'd be open to anything, even though there are lots of crazy ECT stories out there. If you can, try and get your hands on a book called, 'Shocked' written by Kitty Dukakis. It's a wonderful story and I read it cover to cover before my 1st treatment.
I think it's a very complicated decision that has to be made with the support of others in your life but for what it's worth It has worked wonders for me so far. Please feel free reach out to me if you have any other questions about the process. Wasn;t sure how much detail you were looking for.
I have had about 30 ECTs a few years back but they did not help with my depression. I suffered from memory loss but m doc said that it is because of my severe depression and not from the ECTs. But every one is going to react to meds and ECTs differently. This may not have worked for me but it may work for you. You don't feel a thing because they put you under and then you go home.
I did go back to school and my memory is finally coming back because I am feeling better. If you have any reservations research it online at WebMd.com or medhelp.com and try to come to your own conclusions.
Hope you get better,
I am currently having ECT sessions. I had one yesterday and I am fine... feel good. I started having ECT this time at the end of June. I had three a week for two weeks, then weekly, then every other week, every three weeks and now once a month. I have minimal to no memory loss. The few things I forget come back to me when I am reminded.
I have had other treatment sessions. About three years ago I had maintenance ECT for 18 months along with 9 months with no symptoms following that time. It was well worth it. Treatments make me feel so "normal" that when my pdoc has said we were going to quit them I was disappointed.
I see ECT as my ace in the hole for when things get bad.
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