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ECT May Have Changed My Life

It has been nearly three weeks since my last of six ECT treatments. And I feel great!

ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) may be the most controversial treatment that exists for mental illness. In my case, it was severe depression that did not respond to antidepressants and talk therapy.

The reason you have not read a blog from me in some time is that I sank into the deepest and darkest depression of my life earlier this spring. Desperate for help, I ended up in the hospital.

ECT: When You’re Desperate, You’ll Try Anything

I had not been at Emory University Hospital very long when my doctors there first mentioned ECT as a possible treatment. I had heard of it when a family friend (who happens to be a brilliant psychiatrist) suggested it weeks before I was hospitalized.

I was so desperate for relief from the horrors of depression that I was open to it, despite the bad rap ECT gets on the Internet and in the media, most notably because of the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.”

The doctors gave me the appropriate warnings about the effects and side-effects of ECT: ECT can cause temporary confusion and even memory loss. They ran the appropriate tests and then made me sign all sorts of documents indicating I understood the risks and the side effects.

Then I went in for my first treatment. I wasn’t afraid, but I found it odd that no less than 90 percent of the patients awaiting ECT treatments at the clinic in Atlanta were senior citizens. Only one other patient I became friends with at the hospital was even close to my age.

They gave me a pill to prevent migraine headaches, which I get on occasion, and then administered the general anesthesia that quickly put me to sleep.

I awoke confused but quickly regained my usual alertness. That was only the first of six treatments, which were spaced out every other day over the course of two weeks.

I was released from the hospital about halfway through my ECT treatments, feeling better than when I had been admitted. I wasn’t allowed to return to work just yet, and it’s a good thing.

ECT Side Effects I Experienced

I did endure some significant ECT problems. I couldn’t remember some things even before the ECT treatments had started and toward the end of the treatment, I was not as mentally sharp as normal. They didn’t let me drive a car for two weeks, which was probably wise because on one occasion, with a buddy driving me, I had trouble remembering directions to a destination I’d been to many times. It was a little disconcerting.

I soon returned to work and the first week back was challenging. If I had to use one word to describe how I felt, it would be foggy. Since I had been open about my depression and the treatment with several key coworkers, I got by because they rallied to my side and even took on some of my workload.

My wife, who was an incredible supporter through the whole ordeal, kept telling me to be patient. She had read that it can take up to two weeks before you start feeling normal again after a round of ECT treatments. Turns out, that was dead on.

Thankful That ECT is Available

Some skeptics will tell you that the relapse rate is too high. Yet there is ample evidence that ECT has a high rate of success. Clinical evidence shows that for “uncomplicated” cases of severe depression, ECT results in “substantial improvement” in at least 80 percent of patients. Some do relapse. Others go back for “maintenance” ECT treatments. The gentleman who ran the ECT clinic where my treatments were done told me that 50 percent of the patients they see never need another treatment.

Could I relapse? Sure. Was it worth it even if I do? Absolutely. For me, at least, ECT was effective and provided almost immediate relief from severe symptoms of major depression.

Would I recommend it for others who struggle from major depression that has not responded to other treatment? It depends. In my view it’s a very personal decision. I would at least suggest that you consider it as an option. It might change your life.

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49 Responses to ECT May Have Changed My Life

  1. colleen says:

    Dear Jack,

    So Happy you are feeling better. I have severe depression and have thought of having ECT.Please keep me posted on your recovery.

  2. Carol says:

    Thank you for this information! I have suffered on and off with depression for over 40 years. I have tried many medicines and at times I have considered ECT treatment. When you are so depressed and nothing seems to help, I think this option is worth thinking over. Thanks, and I’m glad you are doing better!

  3. Ann Graham says:

    Jack, I am glad you tried ECT and it helped you. My mother, who passed away at 84, two years ago had ECT starting back in the 1970s. What I remember of that was more like the movie Young Frankenstein. She was brave then, and I suspect, like many other people her age you saw at the clinic the ECT of today is not even remotely as scary or riddled with side effects as the early treatments were. That’s probably why you see so many older people game to do it.

    For my mother, who suffered from many bouts of depression from her 20′s on, ECT was a life saver. I think she had it in total about 5 times in her life. Her memory never suffered for long and what it did for her mood was well worth it. Take care, Ann

  4. Jo says:

    Awesome that you have shared this. I have been in Jack’s position a few times over. Stigma has prevented me from sharing with many folks. In total before the EC Treatments had to end when I wrapped my auto around a utility pole, I had 43 treatments. I had been receiving psychiatric care since June of 1980 and had repeatedly been hospitalized.

    My first 12 Electroconvulsive treatments were in-patient. The last 31 were out-patient and my mom drove me to and from all of these; about a 2 hour trek to and 2 hours back to my home. She also stayed with me 24-7 to keep me from killing myself, which I had attempted more than 2 dozen times. ECT did INDEED save my life. I also at the time of the first round of 12 treatments had dropped to a weight of 86 pounds and had been dealing with “bulimarexia” for more than 10 years. INDEED it did save my life. Then the Lord saved it for good in 1997… 6 years after the wreck. Nothing is normal or okay about the type of depression I suffered. Nothing is okay about the way I have been treated. But I am alive and now hope to share my story with others. Perhaps I can offer hope and some kind of help!

  5. Iris says:

    I also tried ECT during a time when my depression could not be lifted. I also was desperate. I felt better; the effects were subtle and happened over time. I had nine treatments over a period of 5 weeks. I would recommend the treatment to anyone who feels that they are really stuck.

    I did have loss of memory side effects which has caused some distress, however the fact that I felt better outweighed the side effects for me.

  6. Jon P. says:

    So glad you’re back and feeling better Jack!

  7. Margie Stowe says:

    Hey Jack,
    So happy for you! I am your friend Margie from Emory Hospital. Email me and I will tell you my story. ECT definitely works! Unfortunately I had to discontinue due to memory loss and my mentally demanding job. Look forward to hearing from you.
    Margie Stowe

  8. Cat says:

    Dear Jack – Happy you are feeling better and thank you for your assessment of ECT from a personal experience. I keep thinking with the high rate of relapse, why bother? But on the other hand, if I could just get 6 months of relief from this hell of depression that gets worse every year for me, it would be worth it. Maybe it would spring board me into having something work out with the right med even if I have a head start. I am someone who has suffered for a LONG time and have tried every med in the book. I also practice yoga at least 3-5 days a week for over an hour each time and guess what, not effective enough during this terrible depression I get into for all of Spring and half of summer every year without fail now. I’m tired. I’ve tried all the supplements, all the therapies, all the alternative treatments. And I did have ECT when I was 20 ( I am now 46) and they did help for a while and I was able to function much better but unfortunately, I also was that age and also had an easting disorder so I was unable to sustain any stabilizers in my life that I might have sought otherwise. As for ECT ruining my brain, I went on to get three different college degrees and was on the honor roll a few times. What is ruining my brain now, I believe, is either all the medications that never worked or the depression itself over time. So, thank you and I am glad you feel better.

  9. Annette Reyes says:

    I am going through a depression sometime now i had ect in the past and it worked im on meds but they arent working im thinking about going back for ect i been feeling depressed for like a year now its not a mayor depression but its a depression were i dont feel like doing anything i feel scared i have withdrawn from my family im stuck in my room i dont wanna go outside please tell me what you think

  10. Cattitude says:

    I know ECT helps some people, but for me it has been a nightmare. I had my treatments 9 months ago. They did nothing for my depression, but they did cause profound and severe memory loss. I say “profound” because I didn’t realize I’d lost anything until others told me or I noticed things in my life I couldn’t explain. Example: while getting the treatments 3 times a week for several weeks, I was staying with my boyfriend. When I got back home I noticed I had several fish tanks – which I had no memory of owning and had no idea why I had them. Sadly, most of the fish had died due to lack of care because I didn’t know they existed! Example #2: I totally forgot the existence of a therapist I’d been seeing regularly for 2 years. My bf mentioned her name and I had no idea who she was. I have no memories of the several months before the treatments, and have also lost random memories from the months after the treatments. Even now I discover “new” things that I had forgotten about. This goes to show that ECT can have very powerful effects on the human brain, beyond what it may do for depression. I think it’s overprescribed right now and that it should only be used as a last resort until its effects on the brain are better understood.

  11. sarah says:

    Hey, not meaning to be disrespectful to you about your story of recovery and how ECT “saved” you but three weeks is not anywhere near enough time to properly judge ect’s success or lack of. I feel very sad whenever people promote ECT as life saving. It makes it incredibly hard for people who have had negative horrific experiences and are trying to get it stopped and get other safer and more successful treatments started up. ECT may have been better for you than the alternatives you had on offer but that just means that the alternatives you weren’t any good. My sister was forced to have ECT. Court orders were made that went against my sisters, myself and my mothers wishes and it didn’t matter how much we protested we were ignored. ECT causes brain damage and unimaginable horror. It didn’t work and just caused trauma and distress yet no apologies were made just “ECT is wonderful” “ECT is life saving” “people tell us they want ect…” blah blah. Because people like yourself testify in public of how “brilliant” it is doctors continue to ignore evidence that it is damaging and that there are absolutely zero studies proving its long term effectiveness and feel justified in forcing it on people. ECT may help you to forget your problems for a little while and may cause a temporary sense of euphoria but it wont resolve any issues that are causing your depression. Relapse rates are so high because the issues aren’t dealt with and when memories that were lost return patients more often than not sink further into depression than they were before. This usually results in further “maintenance ECT” with no end date in sight…until they die of old age or they kill themselves (Ernest hemingway). I highly question the statistic quoted to you by the hospital staff member that 50% of patients never need another treatment….you wont find any evidence or studies backing that claim…the relapse rates for ect are huge! and “maintenance” is becoming more and more common.

  12. Traci says:

    I am scheduled to have my first ECT treatment …..I’m worried that maybe I’m putting to much hope in this….are my expectations to high? Out of all the major depression symptoms whip ones can I expect relief from.????

  13. Ann says:

    I had several rounds of ECT in 2008. I had been so depressed that I was nonfunctional and suicidal. I was 47 at the time. I lost my job and didn’t want to be alone. My husband had a job but my Dad had retired. My Mom was still working. So while my husband was at work my Dad would drive the 45 minutes one way to pick me up and take me to his house. He was also taking care of my Grandmother. Then after my husband got off work he drove the 45 minutes to pick me up. The emotional pain with severe depression is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it but I have never felt so hopeless and tortured in all my life. After a year or more of trying pretty much every medication I attempted suicide. It was a few more months after that before I decided to try ECT.I know without a doubt that it saved my life. I could not have lived without it. I know it doesn’t help everyone as much as it did me but I wish it did. That has been 6 years ago and I am just starting to have mild depression now. If I don’t feel better with medication increases or changes and I get worse I will definitely have ECT again.

  14. Wendy says:

    Hi, I am currently undergoing ECT, and I stumbled upon this looking for some sort of blog where I might be able to talk with others going through the same circumstances as I am.

    I must say I really related to almost everything you said. I think you were spot on in describing your situation. As it was truly honest and nonjudgmental. I love that you have great support, and most of all positive results from your treatments!

    Today is September 4th 2014, and I began my ECT treatments on February 12th of this year. For 6 weeks I had treatments twice a week. Then for 8 weeks I had treatments once a week. Since then I have had treatments every two weeks. All of my treatments have been out patient, and just as you I was the only patient not a senior being treated.

    I was not hesitant or scared when I began ECT. After trying medication after medication, outpatient group after group, and Therapist after Therapist…I WAS EXCITED TO START ECT!

    About 4 or 5 treats ago I really started to notice positive changes. I do struggle though with extreme memory loss. Which gives terrible anxiety. I don’t have great support system either, and that does not make recovery any easier.

    All I know is I am doing these treatment to better myself, and I have to build myself up at the same time to completely change my life for the better.

    I wish you well, and anyone else reading this and going through anything similar. Please feel free to contact me (w_haltom80@yahoo.com please put ECT treatment blog at the heading). I would to talk, or help anyone!

    I wish everyone their contentment, peacefulness, and happiness :)

  15. Kristen says:

    If you’re reading this thread, as I was, and were frightened by the comments Sarah left, I encourage you to do your own research. Although there are instances when people have more trouble with side effects, the statements she made about ect causing brain damage and no conclusive studies existing are completely and blatantly false. I’m a patient and a degreed social science researcher and I have read the studies, findings, and ongoing research thoroughly. There is zero evidence of brain damage caused by ect. In fact, studies have shown areas of further brain development in animal studies. This treatment is a serious decision for any of us, but there is plenty of reliably sourced information available online. Take the time to read it. I cannot comment on the legal situation outside of the United States, however, here you cannot be forced against your will to undergo this procedure. Message boards can be helpful for sharing experiences, but keep in mind comments like the one I referenced cannot be trusted for medical or legal accuracy. Likewise, do not take my comment as gospel. Please do your due diligence and be comfortable that you are adequately informed of the risks involved with this or any other treatment option available to you.

  16. Bernadette says:

    What about hypnosis and EFT has anyone tried these?

  17. dg says:

    Anyone considering ect should read this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/electroshock-treatment_b_1373619.html

    There is conclusive proof that ect works by causing brain dammage. Its about time that this barbaric treatment is banned.

  18. heather says:

    I have had ECT many times before but never went the full sessions this time I did (three times a week for six weeks) I have notice significant changes,such as I was never a tidy person I will go as far as saying downright messy house just cluttered and had no interest in sex or intimacy. I was molested from the age of three til I was 13 YO. since having the full course of treatment I now wake up at 5 am make my hubbys lunch for work, clean my house like a mad woman and the need for intimacy has come back to me I am able to handle stressful situations 10 times better. I wonder if this is all because of the ECT treatments I have looked and tried to find places online that could clarify the fact that this all could be positive results from the ECT. I feel that this is the only explanation for the new interest in all of these new positive things that are happening. So my question is has anyone experienced any improvement that mimics this?

  19. sheilasue33 says:

    I too had ect. It did save my life, but at a high cost. Now have permanent short term memory loss. I have to write everything down. I have some long term memory loss. My last treatment was over 2 tears ago. I am upset over this because they said tempory memory loss. Now to the good parts I was deeply depressed. Nothing work especially medications. I really had no choice on the matter. It was between life and death. I was doing maintenance but quit because of the O2 mask and memory loss. It did help me, because when I get severly depressed I can use my coping skills. Before I couldn’t. People should be aware of the possibility of permanent memory loss. It effects you when you want to learn. Now I call myself dumb.

  20. Sharma says:

    I was given ECT when I was 20 years old and now I am 29 years old. Unfortunately, I did not know the difference between a counselor and a psychiatrist. I was facing some problems, but my life/educations was going on fine. Instead of a counsellor I went to a psychiatrist and in one minutes he decided to give me some medicines. After I started taking medicines my brain completely slowed down and two days latter I fell down on my back while walking and my head hit the road after that all I remember is my parents telling me that I have been sick for 20 days and I was given ETC by the same psychiatrist.
    I doubt that I am still facing the side effects of that ETC. I cannot focus on anything for more than 10 minutes my brain gets tired and I feel my brain tissues got injured. This does not happen while I am thinking myself or writing down my thoughts. I face problems when I am trying to get information from outside world for example reading, listening.
    It has not destroyed my life but made things slightly difficult.

  21. Laura says:

    I can’t say ECT “saved” my life, but it has prolonged my existence. I have had 275 ECT and after 273 I went back to college and graduated with honors. That really doesn’t matter though because there is no replacement for the decades of memory lost and the increasing rate of relapse. It comes down to choice, do you want to die or “exist”, there is a definite difference between living and existing.

  22. yael schuster says:

    Hi- I’m writing a magazine article on ECT and would love to speak by phone with someone who’s gone through ECT- would anyone be interested in anonymously sharing their story?

  23. Darcie says:

    I am currently going through ect and for a while it worked now all of a sudden the past two treatments have not I am at the end of my rope with everything and don’t know where else to turn is there anyone experiencing the same thing?

  24. Melody Vaughan says:

    After an attempted suicide on Dec. 31 and then falling into catatonic depression soon after, my sister began receiving ECT while in a facility. She was released two weeks ago (insurance decided to quit paying), and she has had one treatment since then. She cannot be left alone at all and we are desperately struggling to care for her. She was supposed to go to a skilled nursing facility, but none will take her. She doesn’t know right from wrong and has no logical reasoning skills. For instance, she has put towels in the stove, can’t properly dress herself, can’t get to the restroom on time sometimes, has no sense of time, poured a jar of okra into my Dr. Pepper, tried to climb out of a moving vehicle, can’t perform ANY typical household duties. She HAS relearned how to take a shower and apply her own makeup. The list is endless. She is suffering from extreme anxiety, sleeplessness, etc… She is on 10 different medications for anxiety, depression, sleeping, etc.. We are desperate for help know how to cope and continue getting her help. We assume her anxiety will subside when her memory improves, but we have no clue how long this will take. She will have her thirteenth treatment next week and then another two weeks later. Can ANYONE with experience in care tell us how long it will take for her memory to improve or ANYTHING we can do to help her. She is extremely combative at times. ANY advice would be great.

  25. beatrix nemec says:

    ECT is a last resort. If you are nonfunctoning, numb, isolated, and suicidal, ECT is an option. It is not to be thought of as ‘just another treatment.’ In fact, I only agreed to it thinking ‘This isn’t going to work, but maybe I will be lucky and not wake up after one of these treatments; I have 8 or more chances here (I had 8 sessions scheduled).’ Your depression has to be THAT bad. If you are ready to die, it’s time for ECT. What happened to me? It worked; I felt much better after about 6 treatments.

  26. Kate says:

    ECT has saved my life. After 100 or so treatments, I’ve started a blog (www.myelectricmind.com) to share my experience with ECT and mental illness. I’d love it if you’d stop by. Be well.

  27. Robin Lefler says:

    I’ve had 6 of 12 ECT’s and will have my 7 tomorrow. Desperate for relief, I agreed to try it. Like my knee replacement that I waited two years before deciding to “Just Do It”, I did ECT and I am having great results. I am asking myself why I waited so long? I’m feeling like I used to. I was told I am a good candidate in that I’ve had few side-effects outside some muscle aches and neck discomfort in the very beginning. I delayed because of the images in the movie “One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest” and “The Snake Pit” but modern ECT is nothing… nothing, like what I’ve seen in those movies. I go to sleep, ECT is administered, I wake up. I give it two thumbs up and wish I hadn’t waited so long to finally just do it.

  28. shelley says:

    I started ect Monday woke up Tuesday and I’m. In so much pain is this normal all my muscles are sore I’m in so much pain and have another session on Thursday why does it hurt so much can anyone plz help me

  29. Tracey says:

    Shelley, most likely, the cause of your muscle soreness is one of the anesthetic drugs given to you during the procedure. The drug is called Succinylcholine, and severe muscle pain is a well known side effect of this medication. I have experienced the same effect many times. The funny thing is that it doesn’t always cause the muscle pain every time it’s used, and one of the reasons they continue to use it in spite of this untoward reaction is that for a short procedure like ECT, it is one of the best drugs they can use. Hopefully next time you won’t experience the discomfort. Good luck with your ECT treatments.

  30. william wilson says:

    Only God knows how happy i am for this treatment and cure i got from this clinic, i have been suffering from chronic systemic lupus for over 25 years no cure, i use different kind of medicine which gave me a side effect without cure,until this very last Month that i came across this clinic online that deliver their herbal medicine to me which finally cure me without no side effect just 2 weeks medication, am now free of systemic Lupus. I am not promoting his book, but I feel it is a must read if you want information on how to beat this awful disease.Anyway,their email : (healthmedlab@gmail.com) God bless!

  31. will says:

    I am considering ECT.
    I am slave to medication, and now it doesn’t work like it did. My doc said ECT will help.
    Will I have this battle for the rest of my life?????

    Will

  32. Nicole Flaherty says:

    Hi Will. My name is Nicole. I don’t know if it works and I don’t know if depression is something we are stuck with for the rest of our lives? I’m wondering just like you are. Some of these comments are scaring me- extreme memory loss and inability to do normal everyday things….. Scary. But maybe we just need to have hope that it will work and we will feel some relief. Anyways- to everyone reading this- just know that you are not alone and maybe, just maybe, there is hope.

  33. Joy says:

    It is now almost 5 years since my last ECT treatment. Over the course of about 6 months I had several dozen treatments. This was not my first experience with ECT but it was my last. I lost some 30 years of memory and beyond that my memories are very sketchy. Probably the worst loss was that of my self identity. I did not know what to do with the clothing in my closet. It felt like it belonged to someone else. My house did not feel like mine. And I did not recognize friends, never mind remember their names. I also was left with paralyzing anxiety. About 2 years after my last treatment ( when I began to realize the extent of my memory loss I ended the treatments) my husband found a clinical psychologist who uses among other therapies, Mindfulness. He took me on at a place of my being barely able to function and severely depressed and has patiently listened and taught me skills to live with myself. It has been life changing. But I remain quite disabled. I will unlikely ever be able to work

    I would NEVER recommend the use of ECT. The potential for permanent damage/loss is too great …. and incidentally, there has been no return of lost memory.

    Joy

  34. Jen says:

    My husand had his 13th ECT treatment this morning and I’m afraid that it’s not working. He says he doesn’t feel any different still feels depressed and he gets really bad nightmares in that short period of a time that he’s asleep for the treatment. Is this pretty common? I know everyone’s different and for some it can take a couple to feel a difference or it can take a lot of treatments. I’m just hoping for that one day that he wakes up and everything is ok. He attempted suicide January 19th and I wa really hoping this was the solution as he’s been on medication after medication and behavioral health facilities. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

  35. Dave says:

    hi there, I am currently undergoing ECT. Have completed 8 of scheduled 12 treatments with possible maintenance after regular course.
    Hoping to get some relief!
    Have had good results in the past.
    Praying for same. Dave

  36. MPDB says:

    Hi everyone. I came across this thread looking for anyone that could answer some questions for me. Maybe someone can? I don’t know. I’m feeling really hopeless. I had 8 rounds of ECT recently for severe depression and it worked wonders at first. It’s been about a week since my last and I was doing so well, better than any medication that I’ve ever tried and now just the last few days, I’m descending back into my depressed state. I don’t know what to do. I can’t find any information on anyone relapsing so quickly……any advice or help would be truly appreciated!!!!! Thank you!

  37. Wk says:

    I had 10 ECT treatments and I felt great after my 6th and I was released from the hospital and being treated for ECT be-weekly and now I feel my depression is coming back. I do my housekeeping chores, I start working part-time again but my negative thoughts are back again. I am still taking anti depressants but most of the evening I just want to sleep so
    I don’t think! I have a husband who has always be supported since my diagnosis of depression after having two children. I have no desires but I do not feel I want to commit suicide. I guess I have to see my psychiatrist again because I don’t want to do ECT anymore when it does not work.

  38. Debbie says:

    My husband just had 14 ECT, and he feels he is worse, as all his emotions have come back where before he was very flat, he seemed fine up until his last I’d say about 4 not sure if I would recommend this, but it is entirely up to the individual, I just wish it would get better.

  39. sandra says:

    My mom had the worst type of schizophrenia there is …he got ECT, and I cannot believe it. It changed our life, she is almost the same person she was before the sickness…

  40. Hi Sandra,

    I am so glad to hear that ECT worked for your mom. The benefits of it affect not only her, but your entire family.

    Have a good day,
    Tiffanie

  41. Bridget says:

    I am about 3 weeks away from my last of 12 ECT treatments. I was better at first, but the last 3 weeks I have sunk so low in depression. This is the most depressed I’ve been in my life. I lost my leg a year ago in a accident. That was a piece of cake compared to this depression.

  42. Shannon says:

    My Husband is 67 and has battled with PTSD, for nearly 40 years, along with recurring episodes of moderate-severe depression with suicidal ideations. Approximately 3 years ago we were frantically looking for help as my Husband sank into a deep depressive state, with nearly daily talk of suicide, that seemed unaffected by medication. We came upon ECT while doing our own research and followed up with his Provider, who referred us on. After multiple consultations, he was cleared for the treatment and opted to move forward, having 12 treatments over 6 weeks.
    There was some short term memory loss noticed after each of the first 2 treatments, but it seemed to have resolved quickly with no further issue. It wasn’t until about the 9th treatment that we started to notice some subtle positive changes in his mood/behavior, that only became more obvious by the 12th, and final, treatment.
    I’m happy to say he successfully concluded his treatments December 2015 and has yet to need any maintenance treatments. My Husband denies noticing any residual deficits or adverse effects and would highly recommend to others.
    This treatment has been a lifesaver for our family and I would encourage others to do their research and weigh the risk vs benefit for themselves.

  43. DEB says:

    Wow I feel like I have been reading about myself. I have just completed an index series of 12 and like many others hit a high about 6 and then just crashed after that. I now have extreme anxiety trying to recover from the memory loss and the thought of going back for maintenance terrifies me.

  44. Yacine says:

    Hello, hi everybody there,
    I am from algeria suffering from severe depression, tried everything, no use,
    Where do i get free ECT therapy since it doesn’t exist in my country,
    Please help a person in need

  45. Lou says:

    Hello I don’t want to sound rude to the people that believe in ect but ect mad my life hell I have suffered from migrations ever sence and I only have small Peace’s of my memory’s of when I was a child and have had trouble rembering some simple things and I tend to forget stuff i was 12 or 13 when I had ect and I was not given a choice because I was hospitalized at jbi and I was a word of the state I believe it is wrong to fry someone’s brain witch it has been proven that seizures can cause brain damage and getting hit by eletrisity can cause brain damage and other heath problems why would anyone want to put someone thrue that just because they think it is ok and the so called benifets out way the risks is crap i beleve my anxiaty problems are geting worse do to the fact that i cant rember what i was afrad of so if i cant rember what i was afrade of how can i fix being afrade that is like trying to fix a squeky chain on a bike even thow you have oiled it and it should not squeke but duse the only difrence is i can buy a new chain i cant buy a new me my point is ect my wipe the memorys that cause the problume for a short time but the likly chance it has caused damage that will make thing worse in the long run is grater then people think so befor you get ect or put a loved one thrue that think about what it can,may,and most likly will do to you,them Dr’s and sintest still do not know all the problems ect causes in the long turm and most sintests and Dr will not tell you of all the studdys thay say its bad because there jobs are to get rezults no matter what when they do a studdy they look at how meny were good to bad thern make a gess. So if 20 people have ect dune and 5 have no real chang but some truble rembering for a littly wile and 7 seem better for about 30 days then start having bad problems they blame the disorder the person was being treted for and the 8 people that are ok with the way things are are the suckses storys and are the ones thet the medical tem rights about not the ones that it did not work on then they only average out there good and bad the 7 and 8 people not adding in the 5 because they dont count because it didnt help or do long term damage and if they do add them in it on the good because they where not heart in the long turm this is my belefe I am naw 35 and have a lot more problems then I did when I was younger thank you for your time hope this helped you think before you just do

  46. Hi Lou,

    I am so sorry to hear about your bad experience. I don’t know much about ECT, but I know that it works for some people, and it doesn’t work for others. I encourage you to continue seeking medical guidance to work with your symptoms, and to keep fighting. You’re worth the effort.

    Tiffanie

  47. Jenny says:

    I had 10 ect treatments from 9/7/16 to 9/28/16. At first I didn’t notice any improvement but for the past at least couple of weeks, I’m feeling MUCH better. However I’ve had about 3 episodes where I feel like I’m out of my head. I’m conscious and aware but everything seems surreal and like I said, it feels like I’m out of my head or out of my body. You mentioned “fogginess” Does what I’m describing sound at all like your experience? And did that occur during the first month after the treatments ended? These episodes have each lasted at least half a day. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and it’s very similar to when I used to disassociate and “leave” due to PTSD. But that was different in that I didn’t always know where I went to….I would get home from work and have no memory of the drive home…these episodes aren’t like that because I’m very aware of where I am…like I said, it just seems like a dream or surreal

  48. Bev says:

    I have been suffering from MDD, Fibromylagia, and Chronic Lyme Disease for the past 15 years or so. I have tried every antidepressant and even was on MAOI’s. After 5 years with my Psychiatrist, he feels I need to try and alternate form of therapy. I have considered ECT in the past but I am just plain scared. I have read a lot of successful outcomes after ECT.
    I have taken the first step to be evaluated of see if I am eligible for this treatment. I just need reassuring that going through this may help me have a better quality of life. Help!

  49. Eliisa says:

    I had 7 ECT treatments as of September, 2016. Had to stop because my blood pressure got
    really high. About a month after treatments I noticed some improvement, but then the bottom fell out and I am back to my anxiety issues. I have read the ECT is not for anxiety,
    but my doctor says depression most always accompanies anxiety. Am thinking about restarting treatments. Going to call Dr. tomorrow. Has anyone stopped and restarted
    treatments? How did it go? Did you have to start all over or did the doctor consider your previous treatments part of your series of 12? Any information will be helpful.

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