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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

L

lonelyandlost

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ECT is a treatment for a small number of severe mental illnesses. It was originally developed in the 1930s and was used widely during the 1950s and 1960s for a variety of conditions. It is now clear that ECT should only be used in a smaller number of more serious conditions.

ECT consists of passing an electrical current through the brain to produce an epileptic fit – hence the name, electro-convulsive. On the face of it, this sounds bizarre. Why should anyone ever have thought that this was a sensible way to treat a mental disorder? The idea developed from the observation that, in the days before there was any kind of effective medication, some people with depression or schizophrenia, and who also had epilepsy, seemed to feel better after having a fit. Research suggests that the effect is due to the fit rather than the electrical current.

Has anyone had this and id it help?

what are your thoughts on it?

My dr once mentioned it to me and she knew in all terms that I didn't want it. My sister had it a couple of years ago and he said it helped her, but I don;t think it helped her, but saying that I aren't her so who knows
 
jax

jax

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Never again! I would refuse ECT if it were ever offered again. I have seen people n hospital have miraculous recoveries with ECT. It was so evident - each treatment they got better and better. I saw several women who weren't talking, eating, drinking ect - several treatments and they were amazing. However, it doesn't work on everyone and I was one of those people.
 
T

TabbyToes

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Perhaps you can find out more information about it from your doctor and then decide?
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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I was in a psychiatric ward back in the 80’s and quite a few of the people had ECT in the past and the general consensus of those was that 1 or 2 courses where ok, but anymore than that wasn’t so good and started to affect memory.

Personally if I got really depressed and medications didn’t work on me I might consider it, what would I have to lose? But I think I would draw the line at 2 courses.

Guess it’s down to weighing up your own personal pros and cons of the treatment.
 
S

*Sapphire*

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I met the chief psychiatrist in my area for the first time, and within ten minutes of meeting me she suggested ECT :scared:

The Psychiatrist who was under her and was treating me looked horrified and said that I was working full time and about to get married, and they didn't think that was the best course of action and she reluctantly agreed.

Then when I got really unwell I went into hospital I asked about ECT in a group, (as the chief psych kept on about it whilst I was in there). I asked what statistics they had to prove that it worked, and the group leaders (including a psychiatrist) could not give me an answer, they tried to avoid my question so I drilled them even more, and they came up with nothing and tried to move on, which I wouldn't let them do, I was so angered.

At the end of the conversation in the group to their complete embarassment I said so you are recommending a therapy to people in here with no available proof to us that it works at all, no available statistics and you don't know how it works or why it works. I may as well see a charlaton because in my opinion that is what you are. Anyway I found out later that I was so underweight that if they went ahead with it, it would have been extremely dangerous. And the psychiatrists I saw in the Eating Disorders hospital I was referred to were shocked and appalled that it had even been recommended in my case. :scared:

I have heard that it has worked in some cases, but I am scared that it can be recommended so easily. I was so frightened as I was under section so I was not sure if they could force what I saw as such a brutal treatment on me. They would have had to drag me kicking and screaming, and knock my husband out of the way as he would be barracading the door.
 
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ramboghettouk

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I had ect, i didn't tell anyone but i agreed because i expectd it to change my personality that i saw the same as killing me, too much sf

The 3rd time in hospital the psychiatrist wanted me to have another course but i refused

In the 80s they plugged everyone in
 
ms_P

ms_P

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I have enough memory problems. I would have to be extremely desperate and use ECT as a last resort...maybe. :unsure:
 
jax

jax

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I had a friend here in the UK who was forced to have ECT against her will. All it took was for her Pdoc to apply to get approval and then he had two independent Dr's (Not sure what type - Pdoc - Gp or what) come and evaluate her. If they agreed that she needed ECT - then that was it. They did say she was to have it and she had 12 treatments. Did her absolutely no good either.
I read on the wiki info there that a patients life must be at risk if they didn't have ECT. I don't think that was the case with my friend.
Jacqui
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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Well, I've met two patients when I was in a unit who had ETC done. The first person was a woman who was suffering from depression. I don't know how many courses she had but it didn't work for her. The second person was a young lad not much older than me at the time. I don't know what he was suffering with but I knew him before and after his ECT treatments. After his ETC he was worse than before, had lost his memory to the extent that he thought other people were drinking his orange juice when he'd just had some of it 30 seconds ago. It was awful to see and I felt afraid for him. He even said, "Don't any of you have this done, because it will ruin your memory and give you a headache."

The first person agreed.

Now, when I was desperate for an alternative course of action once, I suggested ETC to my doc. He said no, straight away and said that they don't do that much any more and only for severe cases where nothing else seems to be working - and they wouldn't help with my voices anyway.

These days you are unconscious when they do it and you are given a cup of tea afterwards as that helps with the after effects. . . somehow.
 
A

Apotheosis

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I have watched people being dragged by four nurses kicking & screaming to the ECT room. & seen them all sat round drinking tea afterwards; looking like they have all been hit round the head with a shovel. I have only met one person that said it was beneficial. Personally I think ECT is akin to a middle ages torture technique.

I was shown the ECT room; by a nurse one time - it left me feeling cold.
 
S

*Sapphire*

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After my last experience of being sectioned and the real fear I had of possibly being made to have ECT I have gone on and on about it with my social worker for the past couple of years about the disgust I have that it was even suggested so flippantly. Especially when it could have really damaged me.

Now i'm considered well (without ever having any ECT!) I am able to write an advanced directive that I never want it. This is legally binding and even under section they have to follow a code of ethics and follow the desire of the advanced directive. So i am comforted that if I should ever get unwell again they can not give it to me. :clap:
 
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