Depression Community
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Avatar universal


I have gone through 37 ECT treatments 2 years ago and have not gotten any better.  After all my treatments were over, the hospital nurses in charge of the ECT's told me that I only convulsed three or four times.

Shouldn't they have told me sooner before there was so much brain damage done?
20 Responses
1110049 tn?1409405744
I am so sorry you have been through so many ECTs with no improvement. What has happened during the two years after those treatments?  What help have you received since then?  

How are you now?  You mention brain damage.  What happened?
480448 tn?1426952138
Hello and welcome!

Maddie asked you some great questions.  Can you elaborate a little more?  Did the nurses basically tell you the ECT treatments were ineffective?  What were you told at that point?  Were you given other treatment options?  What else have you tried?  Which meds?  Therapy?

I'm sorry you're still suffering.  It's one hell of a battle for some people, that's for sure.  You're in the right place.  You'll get loads of support and help here.  If anything, you know you're not alone, and among people who care, and who understand.

Looking forward to your next post.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.  I still see my physician every four to six weeks.  I know that my brain does not and can not use one of the chemicals that involve the feeling of happiness, it’s nor epinephrine.  I know this for a fact through some physical chemical research done by a friend of mine that is a pre-med student.  I explained everything done in the test, in detail, to my doctor and asked him if he thought the Mayo Clinic could help me.  He basically told me that the Mayo Clinic just likes to do ECT’s and that’s it.  It seems to me that he just wants to shoot the breeze, prescribe my meds., and end the session.  I really cannot discuss, to any great level, serious issues with him.  He is a physiatrist and not a physiologist.  Is that normal?  I have been considered to be disabled by my employer and the department of social security.  At this point, I feel helpless and hopeless.  I get mail with important information which requires my immediate attention.  A lot of times I cannot make since of it and cannot handle it.  It’s too much for me to handle at one time so I pile it up. This has been and has caused a real problem for me.  I do not have someone that can be of help with this.  The following are my current conditions as I can best describe them or which I have been diagnosed as having:
Severe, untreatable depression
Lack of motivation
Lack of energy
Poor memory
Lowered level of intelligence
Life with no future
Feelings of worthlessness
I do not feel sorry for myself at all
I am angry about this whole situation and just want it to end.  Other than my grown son, I feel no other reason to be around.  
I don't even like re-reading this, I sound pathetic and I don't like that.  I want to feel upbeat again, at least sometimes.
480448 tn?1426952138
You do NOT sound pathetic, you sound depressed!!  Your self esteem is in the pot.  You've suffered so long, I'm SURE you're just tired of it all.  I don't blame you ONE bit.  I know it's hard to believe, but there's always hope, and coming here was a great idea.  It's always nice to get a fresh perspective.

If I may ask...what kind of research did your friend do?  Were you a participant?  What was the conclusion?  Did you seek treatment based on those recommendations?  What meds have you tried?

Sorry to hit you with so many questions, I'm just trying to get a better picture of how you got to where you are.

1110049 tn?1409405744
Hi again, you sound as though you are a mature gentleman.  

The thing about not opening post is same with me.  I have just been fined £200 because I did not renew my driving licence.  It was one of those things I put aside when I was low with depression, and forgot about!!  Also did not pay bills, for same reason.  So I know all about that.  

It is marvellous that you say you don't feel sorry for yourself.  Most people would in your situation.  

When our depression is due to lack of certain chemicals, I think it can be worse, because therapy does not help.  In the UK where I live, I have found that psychiatrists only deal with medication, nothing else.

I am 71 now, but I lost my job because of depression.  I went onto invalidity benefit until I received my retirement pension.  Because of loss of job I could not pay mortgage, and had to move from a house to a 1 bedroomed flat.  So much of our life is affected by the depression.

You sound like a fighter, and I commend you for that.  I am so sorry that your depression is untreatable, and with all those ECTs it has not improved.  

I presume no anti-depression medication has been effective in your case either.  I presume you have tried them all.  You certainly don't sound pathetic, I admire you for being such a fighter.  Seems the doctors and
psychiatrists have given up on you.  

Well I do not know what to suggest you do next, seems to me you have tried so hard.  Keep posting here, and at least there are people who will befriend you, and who understand about depression.  I admire your fighting spirit so much.

Take care, and keep in touch
Avatar universal
In answers to various questions I have been asked.  First of all I am a 50s something female.  This forum has me listed as a male and I have no idea why.  I did initally start writing answers to questions with my first response.  It ended up being too long.  I saved it in word and went back after I did respond and just closed the document with 29 typed pages so far.  I typed anything I wanted to about the things that have happened in my life, including the time of my first awareness when I was at the most, three years old.  I feel better and will continue to write.

I did not benefit from the treatment of the ECT's because I was not convulsing.  The patient has to convulse to receive the benefit of help with depression.  Since I had only convulsed three or four times, I walked away with all of the very bad side effects but without any of the benefits.  My point in bringing this up initally is that I believe that I should have been told right away the first time I did not convulse and definately the second time.  The third time of treatment without convulsing and not being told, in my book unethical to say the least.

Yes, I was informed of the risks and signed a consent form for the treatment.  I did not sign up for treatments that were known by the medical staff to be ineffective, only to learn after my very last treatment that I had only convulsed three or four times.

I was put on anti-depressants for the first time when I was thirty.  My understanding is that different anti-depressants affect different chemicals in the brain and stop the reuptake of these chemicals.  I have tried different ones with the help of a physician and am on two that effect different neuro transmitters.  Unfortunately, depression is inherited and my son is effected by it.  He almost died at the end of his freshman year of high school after attempting suicide.  My life was rapidly falling apart.  About a year later things were so bad and I was in such a bad place that I attempted suicide and was considered dead.  Obviously, I'm not dead and not only had to face the tremendous dificulties associated with my son's attempt and then my own.  Believe me when I say "Do not attempt suicide"  It will not fix anything and you will end up putting so much pain in the hearts of the people you love the most.  If you live, you can plan on going through a hell you can not even fathom.  My fiance had been going to see a psychiatrist and asked him if he would take me as a patient.  He said yes and the rest is history.  Years went by but things were not easy.  It was four months before my fiance and I were to be married and I could not get ahold of him.  I had tried for quite awhile on a Tuesday morning.  We both were creatures of habit.  We pretty much followed the same routine each day.  It wasn't like him to not answer his phone.  I received a call from his mother and from his sister with the same concerns.  I couldn't get to his house fast enough.  He lived about fifteen minutes from me and I got there as soon as I could.  I opened the door and called his name, no answer.  I continued this while I searched his house for him with the same result.  I was in his living room, there was only one more room to look in and I could see in that room if I just turned my head all the way to my right.  At that point, I knew but I had to look anyway.  I found him hanging there.  He had either killed himself or had been practicing and he made a mistake and it was too late.  His doctor knew he was doing this and told me about it later.  I thought he had done it one time.  He had visited me the night before and I felt that he might take his life.  I'm not sure why.  His visit with me was unusual and he had done and said some things that are known warning signs.  I had asked him if he was ok and he assured me he was.  He always used the same glass to drink water out of and would keep it on the top of the refrigerator.  I felt better because he had put the glass back on the top of the refrigerator so he could use it the next time he was there.  I kept telling myself that everything was ok.  Big mistake.  I keep thinking things over and over.  I keep thinking what if.  Finally, I have had to come to terms with the fact that he is gone and I have lost one of the two best friend I have ever had.  The second best friend I have ever had is my mother and she passed away in June of this year.  For too many years it's been one thing after another.  I don't meen little things either, I meen life altering terrible things.  I wonder when it will stop and pray that it is now.

His sister was waiting outside his house because she couldn't go inside if he had done what we had feared.  Once I started screaming, she started screaming.  The whole thing is a nightmare.  I will never do anything like that to my son.  
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