Anyone have experience with ECT?

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AnxiousHeart88

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#1
Yes I know this is a extreme form of treatment but I hear many positives from people that have had it done as a last resort. I'm asking this because I've become so terrified of my conditions and feel like everything I'm doing is failing me. I am diagnosed with Major Depression, Anxiety, and severe insomnia(this one probably has a root cause from my other illnesses) I'm so sick and TIRED of being up all night and not sleeping well. Even when I take 1mg Lorazepam, 1mg Hydroxazine, and 100mg Prazosin I don't fall asleep for hours and then only get like 3 hours of sleep! I am also on Trazadone but my prescription ran out and when I was taking that a week ago I slept better. Still though I have to take Trazadone, Lorazepam, Hydroxazine and sometimes melatonin to sleep. My mind never lets itself rest and I'm becoming a very unfunctional person. I'm desperate for help at this point. I have had my first experience with insomnia in 2012 where I did not sleep for 8 days. It has not been that bad since but sometimes I can't even sleep some nights. I'm seeing a therapist and psychiatrist and my therapist taught me grounding techniques that worked before. I'm thinking I may have some psychological sleep issue that hopefully ECT can make me forget so I can become normal again! There was only one recorded case study where a woman with paradoxical insomnia was cured with enough ECT treatments. I'd like to know if anyone has ever received this treatment here and if it made a positive change in their life. ANY help would be greatly appreciated... please. Most people don't understand or take sleep issues seriously but it's really serious to me because it has gotten so bad.
 
calypso

calypso

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#2
I think lack of sleep is a major effect of many MH conditions and causes them to deepen more. I also was put on a cocktail of drugs and found eventually Mirtazepine worked as it has sedating qualities.

As for ECT I had it back in 1980 when it was different from now. I was forced into it and it made me lose short term memory a lot. But nowadays they do amore focussed type of thing. I am in two minds about it as I don't see the logic of why it works and its a very extreme form of treatment. I have also heard that it works but I also have heard that it works only for a while and then the old problems resurface again.

I would suggest that you ask about a cocktail of drugs which are reviewed regularly and look for something that works. A low dose of anti psychotics often have a positive outcome as they are major tranqulisers after all. I work on the premise that you need to sort the short term problem of lack of sleep and then see a longer term solution. Therapy is the long term support you need. Have you ever thought of that?
 
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AnxiousHeart88

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#3
Thanks for your reply. Since you did receive the ECT treatment can you tell me if it worked? I know it comes with memory issues but I'm willing to sacrifice memory for relief at this point. I have never tried Mirtazapine before I hope my psychiatrist is willing to experiment with different meds with me. I am trying therapy right now actually it's when my therapist taught me grounding techniques. I see her again soon and I'll have to report that I'm regressing again. I talked to my PCP about having a brain scan and sleep study done.

What concoction of meds are you on? Also, do they help?
 
calypso

calypso

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#4
ECT did work for me but I am against it on principle really. Its electricity through the brain essentially!

I have a diagnosis of bipolar so I am on Mirtazepine 45mg although 30 mg is the normal dose, Lamotrigine (an anti epilepsy drug which works as a mood stabiliser) and Aripiprazole an anti psychotic. But there are major tranquilisers like Quetiapine, which in lower doses induce sleep. I just don't think you have been given a proper medical review of your meds. You shouldn't be having these problems with sleep. Have you ever been put on Zoplicone? It is a sleeping pill.

As I said, I believe that meds are a short term help but can be very useful for times. I hope you find the best combination for you.
 
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AnxiousHeart88

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#5
My doctor prescribed me lamictal but I was afraid of taking it because the deadly rash it cause although rarely. I have severe sleep issues so I've been taking the meds nightly for over a year. I mean I wish I didn't have to but sadly it seems I do. That's why I was hoping something could really cure it even if it is a risky last resort treatment. Thanks for all you help. Thank goodness I can start contacting my providers tomorrow. I've already broken down and cried soo much from lack of sleep.

sigh what a screwed up illness to get.
 
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refractory

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#6
I did a full month of ECT and it didn't do a thing, except mess me up worse because they made me stop taking all the meds I had been on. Didn't help with sleep, depression, hopelessness - nothing.
 
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elanka

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#7
I had two sets of ECT (10 times per set). The first set was a miracle in my case, as I was very severely depressed (basically in a zombie-state without eating, sleeping or speaking) at that point and resistant to all the meds I tried. The second set didn't have as big of an impact, but helped a bit still. After that I started to react to medication and heal.

I did lose short term memory and it took a couple of years to get my memory and cognitive abilities back to normal level, but in my case it saved my life. I'm not sure if the cognitive problems were because of my depression and burnout or the ECT, so I'm not of help there.

ECT worked for me, but I'd recommend it only as the last option when all else fails. Not really because of the treatment itself, but it is done under a quick general anaesthesia and they are never 100% safe.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#8
the only reason i agreed to ect was i thought it'd kill me by altering my personality, too much science fiction reading i guess, i now regret it but some would say i'm still alive
 
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AnxiousHeart88

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#9
I did a full month of ECT and it didn't do a thing, except mess me up worse because they made me stop taking all the meds I had been on. Didn't help with sleep, depression, hopelessness - nothing.
How horrible! I'm so sorry you had a bad experience! Has anything or is anything being done helping you at the moment? I hope so because suffering with hopelessness is terrifying! We all freakin deserve to get better!
 
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AnxiousHeart88

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#10
I had two sets of ECT (10 times per set). The first set was a miracle in my case, as I was very severely depressed (basically in a zombie-state without eating, sleeping or speaking) at that point and resistant to all the meds I tried. The second set didn't have as big of an impact, but helped a bit still. After that I started to react to medication and heal.

I did lose short term memory and it took a couple of years to get my memory and cognitive abilities back to normal level, but in my case it saved my life. I'm not sure if the cognitive problems were because of my depression and burnout or the ECT, so I'm not of help there.

ECT worked for me, but I'd recommend it only as the last option when all else fails. Not really because of the treatment itself, but it is done under a quick general anaesthesia and they are never 100% safe.
Thanks for sharing you experience! I'm glade to hear that it was a positive one for the most part.. that is at least how I'm understanding what I've read in your reply. I have tried a lot of treatments already. I've been diagnosed as depressed since 2003 with on and off bouts. I have also been diagnosed with chronic insomnia since 2012 till present on and off although many of the years were good. But the last 1.5 years has been hell. So I'm getting desperate and I hope I qualify.

Thank you all for your very helpful replies and sharing your experiences! :)

I won't lie I'm really scared to try ECT:panic: But I'm desperate for something to make a positive change in my life!

Have a nice day everyone.
 
Hopeful313

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#11
Have you looked into TMS treatment? It’s very safe and no side effects.
I am looking into it at this time. My doctor said she will have no problem giving me a referral to the May Clinic to try it.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#15
if it's a powerful magnetic field inducing an electric currrant in the brain thats much the same as shock treatment, but without the electrodes
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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#16
if it's a powerful magnetic field inducing an electric currrant in the brain thats much the same as shock treatment, but without the electrodes
True. TMS comes with no side effects whatsoever except it feels uncomfortable. It doesn’t cause memory loss. I hope I get referred to the May Clinic. If I do get, I will keep you guys posted.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#17
theres plenty of psychiatrists who deny to your face that the drugs they push have side effects, in the past they'd deny memory loss with ect as well