Going to Have ECT. Has it worked for Others?

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JulietEC

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#1
Hi - I saw a Consultant last week and said I was fed up with anti depressant juggling for years so I suggested ECT and I think it'll go ahead. I'll try anything now and have read about it. It works best if you have been ill for less than 2 years whereas I have a more chronic state. Apparently it does not prevent relapse and if you fail to respond to ECT then your prognosis is extremely poor. This worries me. I'd have to stay in hospital overnight twice a week as I have no-one really and that's an expensive bed to book for six weeks so I felt I almost had to plead. I probably needed the treatment 20 plus years ago.

I'm anxious about the stigma but a bit passed caring now.

I currently take Fluoxetine 20mg one day and 40 the next plus low dose Amisulpride for Augmentation. I told the Consultant I feel very de-motivated and low with poor functioning and feel very hopeless about the future.
 
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Thoth

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#2
I was told earlier this year I would have to have ECT, however since then my psychiatrist has changed her mind, unfortunately. I have done my research and heard a million stories, from it being a lifesaver, and wonderful to being a terrible vile method. I asked on Whirlpool, an Australian internet committee and a few had positive results.

What you should do is make sure you do your research. Ask them how many you will need? how many milliseconds/seconds will the zap be? and how long the shocks will take? Will they have to resort to unilateral ECT if it doesn't work out? or will they stick to Bilateral treatment?

also this might help - Electroshock | SBS News
 
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JulietEC

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#3
Thank you - the most important thing I should have mentioned is that it is the Most Effective treatment there is.
 
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Thoth

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#4
Thank you - the most important thing I should have mentioned is that it is the Most Effective treatment there is.
It still exists for that reason. I have mulled over it for a long time, and I personally would accept it on certain grounds. The biggest struggle for me is trying to get away from certain traumatic memories, and these days I'd rather have my memory zapped in order to liberate me from what feels like a ball and chain.
 
Grape

Grape

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#5
It's not the amisulpride making you feel this way is it? Only I think it makes me feel like that.

If it's the depression...ect according to a psychiatrist friend of my dad, it's tye safest and most effective treatment they have.

Some on here have had a bad experience with it though.
 
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Nicola398

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#7
Hello Juliet,
I have had ECT, I had it in 2003 and 2005 and 2006, each time for six weeks I had it twice a week.
I won't say it is a pleasant experience being put to sleep in a room with three men and waking up
after being knocked out with no recollection of having gone in.But it doesn't hurt apart from the needle going into your hand to give the anesthetic.For me it did lift my severe suicidal depression and I was no longer at the bottom of a deep dark pit unable to climb out.I was reluctant to have it and they threatened me with a court order to make me go through with it, so I was pleasantly surprised it made me so much better.I still get depressed but nowhere as severe and not permanently like before.It does affect short term memory, so at first you don't remember the last six months events, and that doesn't always come back.Even now after 8 years since my last ECT I have to think and actively focus to remember events in sequence that happened in the last 6 months.Longer term memory is ok and if that had been affected I'd say no it isn't worth it.But the way it turned out it is worth it for me personally because I couldn't bare the deep dark depression and suicidal state I was in before, I would have killed myself if not for ECT.If your depression is bearable I'd say no don't have it.But if it is unbearable it is worth a try and as I say i was pleasantly surprised how much better I was and still am.I can't say everyone who has had it has the same experience though and some like me say it was very helpful but others call it a nightmare treatment that has ruined their life and destroyed their memories.Sorry I can't speak for how it will work for you personally.I think you should know it is a gamble for you and you can't know how it will work for you personally.
I wish you all the best.NicolaX
 
coldwater00

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#8
I was friendly with a woman in hospital who had it twice a week for several months. Didn't seem to work for her, she is still in and out of hospital.

My Grandma knows two people who swear it took them out of severe depression and they have never relapsed.

My own personal opinion is it is a hideous treatment but then again the drugs are pretty awful too.
 
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JulietEC

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#10
Thank you for your replies and hugs. I feel too desperate to wait a month - the Consultant said the Crisis team are the "gatekeepers" for beds and that the only quick way to get one is to commit fatal self harm then said not to say he'd said that but I get the gist. I've got three children. I've no future aspirations and I'm enduring each hour mostly.
 
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Nicola398

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#11
It's not the amisulpride making you feel this way is it? Only I think it makes me feel like that.

If it's the depression...ect according to a psychiatrist friend of my dad, it's tye safest and most effective treatment they have.

Some on here have had a bad experience with it though.
You might have a point there about the Amisulpride, Grape,it could be making everything feel flat and causing the demotivation.I am on it, not through choice, It dampens my feelings, makes me flat and emotionless, although I do have emotional responses I often feel numb and flat inside as though my core feelings are frozen in a solid block inside me instead of spread throughout my body and easy to feel.I feel nothing some days and I am sure this drug, Amisulpride is a depressant.I am not taking it for depression though, never taking anti depressants again cos they didn't work but made it all worse.No I am taking Amisulpride as an anti psychotic and can't stop it without going into psychosis cos it is addictive.
It does affect moods adversely IMO.
 
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Rose19602

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#12
Could you get an opinion on the effects of chopping and changing your Fluoxetine dose on a daily basis and adding the amulsipride into the mix.

I was advised that alternating doses of anti depressants is likely to put your nervous system on a roller coaster ride. I can't comment about amulsipride as I have never taken it.

The ECT results are very hit and miss too. I wonder whether you would accept those odds if you were not so ill and feeling so desperate. Do you think you are in the right state of mind to make such a decision currently? Your last post, and I may have misunderstood it so bear with me, suggests that you are willing to commit fatal self harm, despite having three children, in order to get this treatment.

How old are your children? Old enough to help you come to a reasoned decision? That may not be suitable - ignore if this is the case - but someone to balance your decision making process would be helpful perhaps?

Losing your short term memory - which is a stated side effect of ECT - could impact on your ability to parent....especially if it has a very detrimental effect on your memory. If your children are young maybe the consequences of this need to be factored in?

(I do understand that the effects of depression will also impact on young children, but, again, if the consequences of ECT are not favourable you may end up with more problems rather than less.)

Can you obtain the services of a mental health advocate or perhaps someone from a mental health charity like MIND and talk it through very thoroughly with your doctors? Our opinions are worth seeking for first hand experience, but you need a broad and very informed view maybe. I think I would talk to MIND and the advocacy service and find out if there is someone who could support you through this very important decision.

I have not had ECT or chronic unresponsive depression but I do know that desperation is not a good mentor when making difficult decisions.
 
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JulietEC

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#13
Bit harsh I think. No - you've missed the point. That's what the consultant said and not what I'm going to do.

I think I'm a good parent on the whole and I've got very adverse circumstances too.
 
Gajolene

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#14
Juliet I don't think she was trying to be harsh or critisize your parenting, just worried that you may need extra care and much support after the treatment and how that would effect your ability to parent after the fact. Do you have a strong support network?

I being a single parent to 3 boys I raised alone at times really needed the extra family support when adjusting to medications and going through relapses. Which I did not have at all, it didn't mean I wasn't a good parent, just that at the time, circumstances made my ability to parent effectively impossible to the point I had to send my boys to live with my ex's family. Something I swore I would never do and ended up being forced to do anyway as my own family all but disowned me and refused me even the smallest bits of help.

I still have regrets about letting them leave and deal with consequences to those decisions now years later. You don't need to be on guard nobody is judging you here.
 
NicoretteGummed

NicoretteGummed

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#17
i thought you didn't want to go on clozaril
I haven't really got that much choice in the matter.

I'm not saying my shrink is forcing me to go on it-i don't think they can force it on anyone really.

It's to do with the fact that I keep on thinking my anxiety has turned into an alien//monster.

The medication i'm currently on worked till i got sectioned in 2012 but it hasn't really worked since then and clozaril is my last resort apart from ECT.

They say the alien thing is a depressive psychosis.
 
Toasted Crumpet

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#18
I haven't really got that much choice in the matter.

I'm not saying my shrink is forcing me to go on it-i don't think they can force it on anyone really.

It's to do with the fact that I keep on thinking my anxiety has turned into an alien//monster.

The medication i'm currently on worked till i got sectioned in 2012 but it hasn't really worked since then and clozaril is my last resort apart from ECT.

They say the alien thing is a depressive psychosis.
I suppose if that is the choice open to you then I would go with meds above ECT. But there might be some other way to deal with the alien thing, I dunno what though. Seems you are between a rock and a hard place :hug1:
 
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Rose19602

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#19
Bit harsh I think. No - you've missed the point. That's what the consultant said and not what I'm going to do.

I think I'm a good parent on the whole and I've got very adverse circumstances too.
Hi again,

Gajolene is correct. I'm not judging you at all. I'm a parent too and had ten years of psychiatric drugs and associated issues on the mental health spectrum. I'm all for supporting parents with mental health issues.

I recognise that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place here in terms of treatment options and I also recognise that you are very likely to be doing all you can to parent effectively. Nothing you say suggests otherwise.

Part of the point I was trying to make is that when you have kids the decisions you take don't just affect you. IMO this makes it so much more important to consider the risks of any proposed treatments to your future ability to parent.....and YOU matter too!

Not being harsh actually.....trying to get you to consider this from all angles and come to the right decision for you.

I really hope that this happens and that you find an effective treatment.
 
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DaveP

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#20
Hi. I had a course of 8 over 4 weeks, as treatment for suicide attempt 4 yrs ago. Pros and cons. Pro, probably saved my life at the time. Cons. Anterograde and retrograde amnesia, a very hard time absorbing new info, had to relearn some things, Im often very confused, I don't trust the memory I retain. But it saved my life.
 

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