Skip to content

Announcements

Please take some time to click through these links to find out more about our community.

What is a Trigger and When to Trigger a Post
How and Why to Report a Post
Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, call 911 or get to the ER.


ECT Electroconvulsive Therapy aka SHOCK TREATMENT
avatar
Thomas L Schwartz, MD posted:
I've seen about 4 posts on ECT tonight, so figured I would put a resource up as it is a bona fide and good treatment for certain individuals. It is no longer barbaric with patients thrashing around having full body seizures. Basically, you are under anesthesia and your brain has a seizure and your body does not. Info about side effects are noted on the link noted.
Other links
www.acnp.org/g4/GN401000108/Default.htm for those who like medical jargon

www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Advocate_Magazine/E-Newsletter/20065/GMA_Transcript.htm for those who like stories
Was this Helpful?
32 of 55 found this helpful
Reply
 
avatar
An_202981 responded:
I will read this information this evening. I am hoping for something positive as I had it close to 3 years ago and people do not talk about it. And it is so embarrassing...I do not talk about it except to very few including my Psychiatrist. All I have found talks about it negatively or how extreme it is. It was a last ditch effort for me and it was scarey but I had to trust and frankly it did the trick. I may ask further questions after I have read but I just wanted to thank you as I want and need this information... hopefully positive.
 
avatar
An_202982 replied to An_202981's response:
Now to find the other posts... very important to me.
 
avatar
ripcmw responded:
I am wondering.....how bad does the symptoms of depression have to be to get ECT treatments? Who prescribes them a psychiatrist? I have read and heard it both ways, good and bad, but am not sure what the qualifications are for it. I am not seeing a psychiatrist presently, just taking Lexapro prescribed by my primary doc.
One Day At A Time Where There is a Will, There is a Way
 
avatar
Thomas L Schwartz, MD replied to ripcmw's response:
ECT is generally performed by a psychiatrist at a hospital. You can have your general doc our your psychiatrist refer you to an ECT expert psychiatrist. They meet you, go over info about ECT and set it up if you are a good candidate
 
avatar
Jayne4694 replied to An_202981's response:
I have had about or over 50 ECT treatments. Doc is right though your put to sleep your brain has a seizure and it's over. When I had mine I probably had 5-6 people around me just for precautions of seizures in your body to protect you. I think it is kind of a last resort when medication just isn't working. That's when I have had it done. I was in the hospital Psychiatric ward. I had 2-3 treatments a week and was out of the hospital after 2-4 weeks with some medication helping. Good Luck
Jayne
 
avatar
offshoreman1972 responded:
think its good tool for last ditch effort. but its something that could put a blanket over the problems.
 
avatar
susiemargaret replied to An_202981's response:
hello, 18066 --

here is what i wrote about my experience with ECT in a much earlier post here --

about six 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.
 
avatar
offshoreman1972 replied to susiemargaret's response:
are you still doing the ECT treatment?
 
avatar
susiemargaret replied to offshoreman1972's response:
hello, O --

no, it was just that one twelve-session regimen six yrs ago, after i had spent basically four months in the hospital.

at times since then, when i was feeling esp bad, my psychiatrist has asked if i wanted to consider one or two "maintenance treatments," but i've always said no. however, that doesn't mean that i've permanently ruled out the option.

i've also considered being hospitalized again several times but have always responded to a change in meds quickly enough for me to drop the idea. however, i haven't permanently ruled out that option, either.

i see hospitalization and ECT as remedies for two different things. hospitalization gets me into a safe place, one where i can temporarily relinquish my burdens until i feel stronger emotionally. ECT is to effect both immediate and long-term changes in my mood.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
 
avatar
offshoreman1972 replied to susiemargaret's response:
any memory loss and so forth?
 
avatar
area25 responded:
I have had more ects than i can count, both sides of the brain, caffine induced They no longer work for me. Why does this happen. I will most likley be getting vagus nerve stimulation or Deep brain stimulation. No meds work. Has anyone else gotten to this point?
 
avatar
susiemargaret replied to offshoreman1972's response:
hello again, O --

no, i had no permanent memory loss, only for the six weeks or so after the ECT. and even then, it wasn't anything critical, like who i was, who my sister was, where i lived, anything like that; it was stupid things, like my sister's dog's name!

it was annoying and frustrating but not debilitating.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
 
avatar
nicola311976 responded:
Was reading all the reviews on Ect and am still quering whether or not to give it a go.

Really strange that my dr mentioned the treatment and suggested that it maybe the way to go.He has known me now for 6yrs.however my pdoc has never suggested it and I have never mentioned it.I have also been seeing her for 6yrs.Have now been diagnosed with treatment resistant depression and am on the verge of losing my job,im currently on lithium,mirtrazapine and pregablin with the occassional diazpam.

Im just so confused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
avatar
okie761 replied to nicola311976's response:
I have had ect, I don't know how many but, it helps in the short term but, in the long term I have bad memory loss. Not long term but short term. I used to be in the churches handbell choior, it was one practice a week and I had to give it up because I couldn't remember and learn the music from one week to the next. It all looked like the same for me, couldnt remember and learn from one practice to another. Can't meet new friends very good either--can't rememver their damn names! And most insurance policys don't pay for the antistigelost, and believe me they get paid more than the Dr. You get a very high dollar hospital bill thrown in your face. My bill was just in the stratasphere.I don't want anthying to do with it.


Featuring Experts

Thomas L. Schwartz, MD, received his medical degree from and completed his residency in adult psychiatry at the State University of New York (SUNY) Up...More

Helpful Tips

Sexual Problems from Meds..What to do!Expert
Serotonin type antidepressants can cause 5-30% of the time- sexual problems such as no orgasm, impotence, no libido. Consider that ... More
Was this Helpful?
29 of 36 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.