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ECT what are people's experiences?

KP1

KP1

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Has anyone on here had a course of ECT and found it successful?
Is it still used much now and what makes the psy decide you need it?
Is it a quick cure?
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

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I have had two courses of ECT, the first with 12 treatments and then a second with 6 treatments. I loved them mainly for the general anaesthetic - it was great to have the feeling of sinking into blackness (what I was looking for from suicide). They did mess with my memory and I still have big gaps on things that happened while I was in hospital but this tends to be fairly meaningluss stuff so is not a problem.

Did they help? hmmm not sure on that one. My psychiatrist would say that they helped me to make a faster recovery... (to a slightly less suicidal level of depression - not a full recovery) and maybe they did help to cover the gap until the meds kicked in (if they did infact kick in!).I certainly wouldn't try and sell the idea to anyone on the basis that they will see a big effect - but then maybe I was too close to tell anyway.

I'd love to hear about other people's experiences...
 
nickh

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Has anyone on here had a course of ECT and found it successful?
Is it still used much now and what makes the psy decide you need it?
Is it a quick cure?

First my personal experience - I have only had one course over 10 years ago now when I was an in-patient. I found it a very unpleasant (that's a euphemism!) experience, which did me no good at all and certainly led to some memory loss (which has not recovered). My memory loss was not severe and my experience not bad in comparison to others - because when I was well I researched the matter on the net and found some terrible stories (I know there are problems with that sort of 'research' but still). This has come up in my depression group and of 5 or 6 people who had had ECT only one said it had helped. My impression is that the actual techniques have improved over the past 10 years or so (one thing I found upsetting - and was not warned of - was that I sometimes wet myself ; this may have been because of bad techniques).

I would not want to conclude from my own experience that ECT never works -quite clearly it does work in some cases, at least to the extent of 'curing' a particular severe depressive episode. There is a vast literature and a vast controversy about ECT and I am certainly no expert. Its use in the UK has massively declined from about 50,000 pa in 1980 to around 12,000 pa today. I think basically psychiatrists decide to use it if nothing else is working! (that might be unfair). Obviously some psychiatrists are keener on it than others.

Advice on whether to have it? Read up on it, get your psychiatrist to offer a very full justification and reason why they are recommending it, talk to another medical professional (GP for instance). It is only supposed to be given now with 'informed consent'. I certainly didn't give that as I was in condition to be informed about anything!

Obviously, based on my own experience, I am not really in the pro-ECT camp :). But I recognise that is just my experience and it has worked for some people. So despite my own experience I will say it is worth considering if your psychiatrist strongly recommends it and provides convincing arguments as to why they think it might be efficacious in your individual case.

Hope some of this helps.

Nick.
 
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ramboghettouk

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Ect my psychiatrist wanted to give me a 2nd course and said i'd told him after the first one i felt better, i don't remember

I had it because i thought it'd change my personality and in effect kill me, too much science fiction

Remember all those colours of black i didn't know black could have so many colours

I think my family handleing it better would have helped and would still help but my family are only too human
 
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Marchhare

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hi, I had the treatment some 25rs ago when I was young,vulnerable and naive. It is not something that I would knowingly undergo again but that is based on a bad experience. Maybe it has a success rate but then i believe that i was some sort of guinea pig. My notes have been destroyed which makes me more paranoid about the treatment.
Cheers
marchhare
 
icetsunami

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It was talked about but I never had the treatment in the end. I have seen it performed a few times though. I would be tempted to have it in the future if need be, if only for the tea and biscuits afterwards. In the end, no-one has a clue what exactly it does anyway.

Oh and nickh is right. I have known psychiatrists who have basically, when all is said and done, thought f**k it and prescribed this treatment. I guess in a way its a shot in the dark that might improve someones quality of life.
 
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ramboghettouk

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I remember in mapperley those having shock treatment got a special cooked breakfast afterwoods, when i had it in highcroft they just plugged you in and you woke up in a chair afterwoods
 
nickh

nickh

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I remember in mapperley those having shock treatment got a special cooked breakfast afterwoods, when i had it in highcroft they just plugged you in and you woke up in a chair afterwoods
Describes the Highcroft experience exactly Rambo!!

Nick.
 
honeyquince

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I'm glad to say that the treatment now seems to have moved on considerably. If anyone was going for ECT I would say not to worry at all about the mechanics as the general anaesthetic takes care of that. I just remember lying down on the treatment bed, having some electrical monitors and the transmiting pads attached to my forehead, a sharp scratch for the GA needle in the back of my hand and then waking up in the recovery room. All I got for breakfast was toast and marmalade :mad:.

I have to say that I readily went for it because it fitted with my suicidal thoughts (see earlier post) and with my desire for the most invasive treatment possible due to my desire for self harm (bring on the Highcroft experience) - maybe not the best reasons in the world for going for ECT. There is though loads of info out there (even the BBC has a page on it) so anyone who has this as an option should read up and then make an informed decision for themselves.
 
icetsunami

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I must say I am alarmed by the discrepancies in food available after the session. A cooked breakfast? :LOL:
 
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fharper6

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ECT Treatment

In my case, my doc suggested I have this treatment due to the fact that none of the meds prescribed for me would work for very long. She felt this was a last resort for me. I turned this treatment down because it can cause short term memory loss in some people. I understand it is widely used. This is something you need to discuss with your doc. Good luck if you decide to have it done.

fharper6
 
yakuza

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This is to bring on a seizure to observe the changes in the brain which apparently 'resets' the neurochemical equilibrium by increasing serotonin levels?

Does it have any success with patients who have brain and nerve damage?
 
Bluemoon

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Interesting discussion. Well I've never had ECT but I have thought about having it done as it's "another option to try."
What alarmed me about it is what it did to one of the in-patients I met 11 years ago when my problems started. He came back from his ECT session one day and couldn't remember taking a drink of orange from his glass about half a minute earlier. He started accusing other patients of drinking it instead. When we convinced him no-one had, he advised us never to have ECT as he couldn't remember what he was doing half the time and it was scary.
I've read a number of success stories on the web though and the fact that it "resets your brain, like restarting a computer" is an interesting one and why I would like to give it a try.
 
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ramboghettouk

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Remember one guy who had a brain tumour on the auditory centre of the brain, they gave him the full works ect and everything before they realised
 
Bluemoon

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Remember one guy who had a brain tumour on the auditory centre of the brain, they gave him the full works ect and everything before they realised
I had a brain scan done before I started hearing voices, during my first diagnosis and it checked out. However, there was a second one scheduled some months after I started to hear voices and then they cancelled it - with no explanation. They never arranged for it to be done at a later date either.
 
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