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    Freaking out!!
    Lis11 posted:
    I am having a horrible horrible time right now. I have so many negative thoughts in my head right now and it won't stop. I am crying and feel sick to my stomach.

    My poor little boy is being so good with mom freaking out. He is only 2 and has no idea what is going on, my daughters are outside playing with the neighbors.

    I hate this!!! I had an appt with my psychiatrist today and she is aware of my feelings, she feels that my meds need a little more time to work. Hasn't been that long for it to take full effect. Which I get, I do, but I hate feeling like this, I have no idea how much more I can take.

    She also mentioned today that she would like me to be evaluated for ECT. Which I am open to but nervous to say the least. Has anyone undergone this treatment?

    Thanks for listening to my freak out, I am just so lost right now
    niteflier responded:
    Hey Lis, I am sorry you are having such a rough time and that it is taking so long for you medication to work. I am not sure what ECT is - will look it up after I post. I know what you are going through as it took a while (and several trials of different medication) before I calmed down some. Do you have panic attacks? You already posted i'm sure, but what medication is your dr. trying you on? The Dr. tried me on xanax and it helped tremendously - for panic attacks. Not sure exactly what triggers your emotions - have you figured out what triggers these feelings?
    Please hang in there and let us know how you are doing.


    Perhaps the Animal Spirit is so great that one day it may inspire compassion in the human heart. Nan Sea Love

    chez1 responded:
    Hey Lis, hope your day has eased for you and that you have had a bit of a break from that exhausting anxious feelings that are rushing through you.
    I have not personally had ECT, I have cared for people who have undergone this treatment and have also done some research on it. I absolutely get the theory behind it, kick starting the wiring in in the brain? I think it must be one of the most scary treatments to have, simply by knowing what is going to happen, but if potentially effective - ???
    I would like to share my personal thoughts, I have nursed and cared for alot of clients with epilepsy, I have witnessed them go through some scary mood changes in a build up to a seizure, I have witnessed aggression, low moods, high moods, real personality changes, and wham post seizure they are back to themselves and confess the release and "normality" of how they feel.
    This is such a simplistic view of ECT and built on observations as opposed to evidence, but to pull evidence in, for those who benefit from treatment, there appears to be prolonged period of time without relapse and reduction in medication requirement.

    I just want to note, this is my personal view which is based on personal, not professional experience and I am speculating at the possible benefits of the treatment
    People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily....... Zig Ziglar
    havetolearntoaccept responded:
    Hello Liz. So sorry for your struggles. Extreme anxiety is very uncomfortable and can make it impossible to function. I have lived with depression for many year and back in 2009, after many years of being on Paxil, I, with approval of my psychiatrist, slowly over a period of months weaned myself off of it 10mg at a time. Around one week after being off I crashed really bad. I was away from home when it happened and had a real hard time driving back. My doctor immediately had me gradually get back up to my 30mg of Paxil but I couldn't get back to where I was. He decided to have me undergo a series of ECT treatments. I knew there wasn't any harm in trying and it is 100% painless. In the end it didn't help and when I asked the doctor who performed the treatment he said it doesn't work as well on people who have depression that is anxiety based. So maybe you should talk to a few doctors who know ECT well and maybe you could do some online research. I am what they call "treatment resistant" now and it is a struggle every day. With the help of the right medications I did well over the years being very productive even with major setbacks at times. I will be 60 next year but I still expect to find the right meds or treatment that will get me productive again.
    So if you try ECT and it doesn't work well then please don't get discouraged. You may have to try different doctors but there is a treatment, most-likely medication, that will eventually work for you.
    Lis11 responded:
    Thank you everyone for responding to my cry for help yesterday. It was a really bad day. Today isn't great but a lot better than yesterday.

    I am not really having panic attacks or maybe I am and really don't know. I have xanax for the times that are really bad like yesterday and it helped a lot!! I love having them on hand when I need help.

    The meds he has me on currently in the last month are seraquel, lithium, and effexer. I haven't shown any real results yet but she said it needs more time yet. She is bumping up the effexer to the max this week so we will see what that does.

    Chez- Thank you for your personal thoughts on the ECT. Its good to hear everything from every angle. I am still in the thinking process of what I want to do.

    This is the second psychiatrist to recommend this for me. To answer one of your questions I suffer from severe depression not anxiety. I have a little anxiety that comes with the depression but depression is what I have suffered with since 2000. And I have been on every medication under the sun and every combo of meds that the docs can think of. So now they classify me as treatment resistant.

    Thanks again for all your concerns I am just so tired of being so depressed and so tired of my young kids seeing me suffer that I am willing to try anything at this point.

    Hugs to everyone!
    alaska_mommy replied to Lis11's response:
    I'm sorry things are so hard for you right now. It only compounds the negative feelings when you see your little one and agonize over what your mood is doing to them. I know, I have a 2 year old too...and I have felt so sorry for him but still felt unable to do a thing about it.
    As for ECT, I've heard about it, my understanding was that it was a last-ditch effort when medications have failed.
    How long has it been since you started on medications? Have you already been through a couple ones or are you on the ones you started at the beginning?
    I'm glad the doctor is upping your medication, I hope that helps you! If it seems like they are just not working though, remember there are lots of medications out there and most of the time you will be able to find one that works well for you. I hope you land on the right combination of meds for you!

    I feel like I finally (almost 6 months later) have the right medication regime and I feel pretty good right now. I hope you can get to that point soon too.
    Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
    I am sorry to hear all this but it best to wait for meds to kick in, otherwise you end up on too many meds, overmedicated with side ffects ECT is a good treatment if the ECT doctor feels you are a good candidate
    susiemargaret replied to Lis11's response:
    hello, L --

    i'm sorry i didn't see your post until today, and i hope you are still following this thread.

    here is what i wrote about my experience with ECT in another post here --

    about eight years ago, i was suffering from very severe depression -- i had the privilege of being what my psychiatrist said was the most depressed patient he had ever seen -- and was in and out of the hospital over a period of about four months. we could not seem to find any med that worked well enough to make a difference in my emotional state. with reluctance and nervousness, i agreed to have ECT. i had approx 12 treatments at 3/week, inpatient at first, then outpatient.

    frankly, that whole period is a blur to me, and i don't remember feeling a change in my emotional state, but my sister and others said that they could see an immediate change for the better. we saw it as a temporary measure to get me to an equilibrium where i could think straight and where we would have some more time to try different antidepressants. it does not solve all of your problems (nor do antidepressants, as i'm sure everyone knows), it just sort of "resets" your brain chemistry so that you can think about your problems more clearly.

    the treatments don't hurt. you lie down, they hook you up to various monitors (heart, etc.), they give you some sort of short-acting anesthesia, then give what i understood to be an extremely short and small electrical charge thru things on your head that look like very small earphones (except that they are not on your ears, just on the sides of your head). you are completely unaware of anything after they start the anesthesia. because of this, you may want to ask for a blanket before you start, because the next thing you will be aware of is waking up in the recovery room, and i was always cold there.

    as for side effects, i usually had a headache and was very tired after each treatment. and i did experience some short-term memory loss; i could not remember the name of my sister's dog, for instance, but i never forgot who i was or where my house was or who other people were or why i was in the treatment room. as i recall, this memory loss was for about a month or six weeks; it's a drag and frustrating, but it's not physically debilitating or emotionally crippling in terms of daily life.

    the idea of ECT is scary, and it is definitely a last-resort measure; i don't think that anyone disagrees with that. but after my treatments, i've never had to be hospitalized again. so my advice is that if you have been suffering disastrously and you trust your psychiatrist, you should very strongly consider having the treatments.

    of course, this is solely my experience, and i acknowledge that others' experience might have been different. i would not lightly agree to do it again, but i would seriously consider doing it again if i became as depressed as i was then.

    if you or anyone has any Qs about this, i'll be glad to answer them. i hope that this has helped and that you are having a good day today.

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    SammyJoGirl responded:
    Hi Lis,

    I have taken ECT, several treatments. I DO NOT recommend it.

    They say you loose only short-term memory and it comes back, no problem. Not true. I underwent MANY treatments and I lost both short and long term memory. I forgot my children's birth dates, where my mom lived, my sister's work, many people I didn't remember, I also forgot my own wedding and the first years we were together. Currently, and this is after almost a year later, I still have trouble remembering things. My short-term memory just hasn't returned and I can't hold new information very well. I even had to give up going back to school to get my paramedic license. I am now also 100% disabled and was approved for SSI in Jan. Not all of that is due to just the ECT, I was severely depressed with anxiety issues, social agoraphobia, etc. BUT, it did push the disability over the edge so to speak.

    Do your research, talk with others as you are. I pray you find something that works for you, I know the struggles of deep deep depression. I'm sorry you're there, but there is hope. Just keep swimming!!

    While I understand everyone is different and may react differently, I don't think it's worth the risk. There are tons of meds and mixtures of meds that can and will eventually work. It's taken a long time, but I think we've found it. I don't like the term "treatment resistant". To me, that's just a cop and your dr's throwing their hands up saying "I give up". No, there is SOMETHING that will work. Use up ALL those avenues first before ECT.

    If you have questions or whatever about it, please ask, I'd love to give you all the information I can.

    Have a great day, Lis,
    pjrnurs responded:
    Dear Lis,
    I have profound compassion for you. I have experienced severe depression. I have had ECT. My psychiatrist failed to tell me that ECT can cause significant, permanent, memory loss. I have lost years of memories....
    I pray for healing for you and your family.
    gkcmaw responded:
    Hi. I had horrible time with Bi Polar 2 Disorder. It was 15 years ago, and I was put on so many meds that I can't even remember most of them. I was told (after 16 hospitalizations) that I was med resistant.
    So, I requested ECT. I was scheduled for 10 treatments. I received 2. My dr said it did the trick. I have never been hospitalized since, and I still take the same low dose meds that I took back then. Simply Lithium and Paxil. Haven't had an episode since.
    The only problems that I have experienced from the ECT is memory. I can't remember the day before and the day of the treatments.
    So, you see, everyone reacts differently to the treatment. You just have to weigh the pros and cons for YOU.
    I wish you good luck with your decision, and Blessed Be.
    willie0154 responded:
    I've had ECT treatments. It worked for me. No pain, no memory of the treatment. It is no big deal. I was told that I had a very severe depression. I had to have 27 ECT treatments which is quite a lot. The ECT's brought me out of my mental fog. I am functional today and that to me is a miracle.
    Demons2011 replied to willie0154's response:
    This conversation on ECT has been very educational for me. I have been considering the treatment off and on for some time. The variety of reactions to the treatment, gives me concerns. Every thing from near elation to the treatment to problems. I know this is a limited input, but it's beginning to raise more concerns for me than putting me at ease.
    susiemargaret replied to Demons2011's response:
    hello, D --

    you're right; the range of reactions to ECT is a little nervous-making!

    the only things i can suggest are that you --

    -- talk with someone you trust about the aspects of it that concern you personally (will my personality change?), then

    -- talk to a medical person you trust (not necessarily your own dr but some other person, such as a nurse or friend who is a therapist) about the aspects of it that concern you medically (will i lose my short-term memory, and for how long?) .

    i don't think this is a list-of-pros-and-cons decision; i think it has to be guided at least partially by your own instincts. in other words, as you talk with others about ECT, are you getting more comfortable or more uneasy-queasy? you are the one who will have to live with the results of the ECT if you have it.

    i send you caring thoughts.

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    kamlhj responded:
    Around 8mos ago, a new therapy has been discovered that possibly takes the place of ECT. It has the same depression-curing property but uses magnets instead of electricity. No pain & no being put under.
    Don't remember where I read this, but it probably is on the internet.
    Good luck!

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