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kgrogers22 posted:
I recently did a project on ECT and the controversy surrounding the treatment. After reading numerous articles both for and against the procedure I have found that this treatment should remain practiced because of the benefits that it brings to many people (including some of you, that have expressed your gratitude towards the procedure). I went back and forth during my research because I couldn't decide whether or not it was right to give a person such a potentially dangerous procedure for the means of curing their depression. After much self-reflection, having been treated for depression for the past 4 years of my life, I have concluded that a person should have the option to undergo this treatment as a last resort.
Having grown up in a Catholic family I began trying to bring my religion into whether or not I agreed with this procedure. Drawing from my faith, I believe that every person is a creation of a loving God; there's not one person whom God loves less than another. I have asked myself the question, "What did I do to deserve this?" which I'm sure many of you have asked yourself as well. While I have struggled with this question for the past few years, currently reaching my 18th birthday, I refuse to accept society's believes that God is punishing people with mental or physical illness. With this all being said, I have been able to come to terms with my illness and with medicine and therapy have been able to cope. Although, I am aware that for many people with depression this is not the case. I understand that for a number of people, these treatment options are non responsive and can have opposite affects on an individual.
In conclusion, I would like to say that to all of you considering undergoing ECT that while it may seem scary, the positive effects that it may be able to bring one may be worth the fear. (I'm not advising anybody to get it…because I have absolutely no medical credibility, being merely a high school student.) I would just like to say that I hope the best for all of you that are suffering from depression, and looking for a way out…suicide is not the option. Speaking from a personal place, I have struggled with self-harm and feelings of suicide, but now, being in a better place, can say that it gets better. I have found my happiness in service to others, and have found that in taking the focus off my own struggles and issues, I am able to live a fuller life. I hope that for whoever is reading this, they understand that I am in no way trying to impose myself because quite honestly, I don't know your story and your past, I just feel a sense of understanding for this group because I understand the pain.
Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
A nice and well balanced approach. The data behind ECT is solid and it is likely safer than some of the medications being used... It is also a politically/religiously debated topic. Good job on your approach here

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