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Re: ECT - Cybercafe

Posted by inertia on August 1, 2002, at 15:30:07

In reply to Re: ECT - Cybercafe, posted by denise528 on August 1, 2002, at 10:28:19

> > > Have you considered ECT? I don't understand why, if ECT is supposed to be the most effective thing out, why then are so many people on this board (including myself) stuggling for so long with medications
> >
> > ... mainly it's about procrastination... i mean if god told you you could make a full recovery by enduring some mediorce inconvenience, i'm sure we would, being depressives, ruminate the inconvenience into a major terror... and though perhaps accepting it... constantly put it off... expecting that MAYBE tomorrow our medications will magically kick in...
> >
> > i think ECT uses anaethetic, and they say like any other operation there is a tiny chance you can die from complications....
> >
> > so if i am ever considering suicide i wonder if this might not be the best way to go -- either you get a clean death, or much more likely you come out of things with a big smile on your face...
> >
> > ... i always get a warm glow when i remember my father telling me of his time in the hospital, when patients would come in suffering, cowering in the corner, have ECT, and magically come out happy and peaceful and social... ECT is magic! ... ECT is a miracle! ...
> Thanks Cybercafe,
> If it comes to it and nothing works, then I will have no hesitation about having it done.
> Denise

ECT is very useful and is probably the most effective treatment for depression, but I've been hearing that it's not as effective as they once thought. From what I hear they used to throw the figure "90% success rate" around, but it is probably not that high. There's a significant minority of people who do better on an antidepressant than after ECT.

As for me, I had it twice. The first time it didn't help me at all because it was unilateral (a shock to one side of the head). The second time I had bilateral and it helped get me to about 80% normal. Good, but not as good as the times before I became resistant to tricyclic antidepressants. They used to make me feel 100% normal.

So I had a lot of experience and it certainly is a great treatment. From a personal perspective though, I found it a little scary (I don't want to deter you, perhaps I'm a coward). I was always anxious the mornings before ECT (Mon-Wed-Fri) and I always woke up with a big headache. But I know that many (maybe most) people have no headache or very slight.

I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone has about ECT. Of course, I may not remember a lot. Short term memory loss is perhaps the most common side effect of ECT.




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