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Personal Experiences With ECT - Electroconvulsive Therapy - Page 2

Speaking from Experience

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Updated May 08, 2014

These are first-person stories of experiences with ECT - electroconvulsive therapy, also called electroshock therapy - from our community. They are readers, forum members, newsletter subscribers and chatters. These stories illustrate just how different ECT can be from one person to another.

Barbara:
Diagnosed with Bipolar II in 1995 after attempting suicide with various "pills."
Had worked for 20 years as LPN.
Entered private psychiatric facility and received approximately 12 bilateral ECT Rx's.
Initial short term memory loss but slight improvement of severe depression noted. Six months later had 12 more ECT.
No hospitalization since 1997, stabilized on Depakote, Lithium, Zoloft and thyroid.
I believe it was necessary for me at the time and would not have second thoughts about more ECT.
Short term memory loss is tolerable compared to constant MANIC DEPRESSION!!
(smile)

Dr. G:
I had a series of 5 electroconvulsive shock treatments back in 1992. I suffer from BiPolar Disorder and was in a deep state of depression. Further, I was suicidal and had a record of several attempts. I elected ECT as the treatment of last resort. In retrospect, I wish I had not gone through with it. Memory loss, particularly short-term, was significant. I am a professional whose mind is my primary tool. The treatments rendered me useless at work and diminished my ability to remember my own phone number. I still have gaps in my memory for certain events, dates, etc., not only from that period during my treatments, but also for things that occurred prior to ECT. I do not feel the benefits of ECT were realized by me and would not ever agree to them again, no matter how depressed or manic I should get.

I know they work for some folks and I certainly don't want to discourage them as a viable treatment option. For me, however, the costs far outweighed the benefits.

Tina Bartels:
About 10 years ago I had a series of 11 ECT's. They were basically painless and I had no problems (such as memory loss that some experience). They brought me out of a deep depression and I did not have serious depression for several years.

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