Depression Community

Electroconvulsive Therapy Experiences

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online conference transcript

Sasha, our first guest, suffered from treatment resistant depression and had a positive ECT experience.

Julaine, depression, ectJulaine, our second guest, has a different story to tell. Although her depression has greatly improved, her ECT experience really shocked her.

David Roberts is the HealthyPlace.com moderator.

The people in blue are audience members.


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David: Good Evening. I'm David Roberts, the moderator for tonight's conference. I want to welcome everyone to HealthyPlace.com. Our topic tonight is "ECT, Electroconvulsive Therapy Experiences." We have two guests who have undergone ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), with differing experiences and results.

Sasha suffered from treatment resistant depression and had a positive ECT experience and will be coming on first. Our second guest, Julaine, who will be joining us in about forty minutes, coped with excruciating anxiety and depression, underwent ECT, and had a different ECT outcome.

If you're not familiar with ECT, also known as shock therapy or electroshock therapy, or want more information on it, find here the latest information on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for Depression. Both ladies have extraordinary stories to share. They are truly inspiring.

Good evening, Sasha and welcome to HealthyPlace.com. We appreciate you being our guest tonight. Please tell us a little about yourself and your experience with having depression (see: What is Depression?).

Sasha: Hi! I'm so happy to be able to share my experience. Last year, I got married and it was the happiest time of my life.

Suddenly, I began experiencing severe depression and anxiety. I began a new job and we also bought a house. I was very stressed out at work. I'm a teacher and I was crying all the time. I went to the doctor and he told me that I was depressed. He prescribed Paxil for me and everything just got worse. I ended up so severely depressed that I had to leave my job and check into a hospital.

Nothing worked, and I started talking about killing myself almost all the time. I could not function. I thought that my life was over, and I thought about all the different ways that I could die. I was in the hospital for over a month, until finally, a doctor suggested ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). This was our last hope, since we tried all the medicines and nothing worked.

After my first ECT treatment, I could already feel the difference. It was a miracle. I never thought that I would feel good again. I had six treatments and now I am back to work and leading a normal life. I feel so good and I am so thankful for the ECT. It saved my life.

David: So everyone knows, Sasha is thirty years old. She underwent Electroconvulsive Therapy, shock therapy, about six months ago.

Sasha, when the doctor discussed ECT with you, what did he tell you about it? How did he describe it?

Sasha: He told me that it was a safe procedure and that in Europe it is often the first line of treatment. He said that he has seen many success stories with it and that I should not worry.

David: Were you worried at all? (See: ECT Therapy for Depression: Is ECT Safe?)

Sasha: No, because at that point I wanted to die anyway, so it didn't matter what I did.

David: Please describe for us what it was like getting ECT?

Sasha: It's just like going in for surgery. You get anesthesia and you go to sleep. You wake up and it's done. I didn't feel a thing. I remember that they put something on my head but that is all.

David: So when you woke up, what were you feeling?

Sasha: Sleepy and a little sore on my head.

David: Sasha, you mentioned that you underwent six ECT treatments. Did you steadily feel improvement in your mental condition as each treatment went by?

Sasha:It's routine to do at least six treatments. It is actually a small amount compared to others. After the first treatment, I felt better right away, and I felt perfect after the third.

David: We have some audience questions, so let's get to those and then we'll continue:

jonzbonz: Sasha, did you experience memory loss and confusion?

Sasha: Only during the time of the treatments. I think it was mainly due to the anesthesia.

Steve11: Did you get bilateral or unilateral ECT?

Sasha: Unilateral.

tntc: Are you receiving any maintenance treatments?

Sasha: Yes, I'm on Remeron until January.