"Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock therapy, and often referred to as shock treatment, is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in patients to provide relief from mental disorders. The ECT procedure was first conducted in 1938 and is the only currently used form of shock therapy in psychiatry. ECT is often used with informed consent as a last line of intervention for major depressive disorder, mania, and catatonia. ECT machines have been placed in the Class II category (special controls) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1976.
A round of ECT is effective for about 50% of people with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, whether it is unipolar or bipolar. Follow-up treatment is still poorly studied, but about half of people who respond relapse within 12 months. Aside from effects in the brain, the general physical risks of ECT are similar to those of brief general anesthesia. Immediately following treatment, the most common adverse effects are confusion and memory loss. Among treatments for severely depressed pregnant women ECT is one of the least harmful to the gestating fetus.
A usual course of ECT involves multiple administrations, typically given two or three times per week until the patient is no longer suffering symptoms. ECT is administered under anesthetic with a muscle relaxant. Electroconvulsive therapy can differ in its application in three ways: electrode placement, frequency of treatments, and the electrical waveform of the stimulus. These three forms of application have significant differences in both adverse side effects and symptom remission.
Placement can be bilateral, in which the electric current is passed across the whole brain, or unilateral, in which the current is passed across one hemisphere of the brain. Bilateral placement seems to have greater efficacy than unilateral, but also carries greater risk of memory loss. After treatment, drug therapy is usually continued, and some patients receive maintenance ECT.
ECT appears to work in the short term via an anticonvulsant effect mostly in the frontal lobes, and longer term via neurotrophic effects primarily in the medial temporal lobe."
The above I have copied from a leaflet, my consultant gave me, so I can give informed consent to ECT.
My consultant thinks it could be beneficial. I think so too
Before signing consent my consultant took me to the ECT room to do a test run, so I can see what is involved
I lay on the examination couch, on my back. My wrists were cuffed either side of the couch, along with my ankles, leaving me secured in a spread eagle position, keeping me secure and unable to struggle.
The electric shock is given to my brain with pads either side of my head. My nurse was there with me and held my hand with my wrists secured. Unusually I accepted her doing this. I squeezed her hand to show it's ok. She squeezed my hand in return. I told her I wanted her with me on Wednesday, again holding my hand. Maybe, now, I am ok with her holding my hand. I feel it shows closeness between her & though of course, she knows I don't want a relationship between us. She has tried to talk me out of it though.
I was also given a block to bite into, so I can't bite my tongue, which happens as a reflex, with the electric shock to my brain. The two pads were placed either side of my head; obviously not switched on. I am fully aware I could die, or at least become comatose or brain damaged; but I feel it is worth the risk.
I will be sedated to keep me calm & compliant. I'm conscious though.
I decided today to sign the consent form
I will receive ECT on Wednesday
I phoned my partner we need to talk, but not on the phone. She came in & we went down to the beach. She looked at me wanting to know what I have to say to her
On the beach we hugged & kissed before I told her
"Fk off, you could die & then what the fk will I do? If you die I will follow you"
I told her my accounts are quite a lot & it will be for her
Again she pleaded with me not to do it
Now she seems to have accepted it; respecting my wishes
While you SCREAM at your woman, there's a man, wishing he could talk softly in her ear...
While you HUMILIATE, OFFEND, & INSULT her,
there's a man flirting with her, & reminding her, how wonderful she is.
While you HURT your woman,
there's a man wishing he could show her love
While you make your woman CRY,
there's a man stealing smiles from her.
Last edited by Nick Attwell; 08-11-2018 at 01:08 AM.
Reason: Additional Text