Ect - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Ect


Anybody have experience with ECT?

I've had 2 pdocs tell me that it is really my only option if this next med (Nardil) doesn't work. In fact, it seemed like one of them was eager for me to forget Nardil altogether and just go for the ECT.

From what I know, the process doesn't really scare me, but I'd like to hear of any difficulties people have had with it, as well as the benefits they might have seen. What I'm more concerned about though, as a person with SA, is my family (and eventually, their friends) finding out about it and kind of being labeled forever as the guy who underwent electroshock therapy... especially since people's attitudes towards the procedure seem to be unfairly negative. So I'm wondering about any familial or social consequences people had after having the procedure.

I've already started the Nardil since then, as I was very firm about ECT only being an option of last resort, but it's definitely not something I can just wipe off the table. My understanding is that modern ECT is very safe and humane, and the only major side effect experienced is temporary memory loss. I'm willing to go through that if it could potentially make my life worth living - but the stigma associated with it is provoking a huge amount of anxiety, even now, that's forcing me to shelve the idea until I'm reasonably certain that no meds are going to work.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 01:10 PM
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I dont have any experience with it but I am considering it since therapy has had no impact at all. I understand there are risks of mild brain damage and memory loss, but that doesnt bother me much since the way I see it I am already pretty badly damaged psychologically. The other thing is that it often lowers intelligence, but I figure that even with losing ten or so IQ points I will still be relatively normally intelligent and happiness is much more important than intellectual ability anyway.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 05:24 AM
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No more replies? I was hoping that someone had experience with this.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 08:10 AM
 
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The only difference between modern ECT and that used in the past, is that an anesthetic is now used. Memory loss can be permanent. I don't remember the last three months leading to my treatment and I certainly got no benefit from it.

As for family and friends finding out, I don't think it is in my best interests to tell anyone that knows me.

I certainly wouldn't recommend ECT, although it might work for people whose depression is a result of a reaction to a recent traumatic event. Wipe out recent memories and the problem is solved, at least for now. Still it's a bit drastic for a problem that is likely to resolve itself in time.

I can't see memory loss as a solution to SA though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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oh I know it's not a treatment for SA, but I've got severe treatment-resistant depression where nothing seems to work, and so a few doctors have suggested it.

Thanks for the post though
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 02:35 AM
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Have you tried taking melatonin? I couldn't get rid of my depression either (tried Sertraline, Citalopram, Wellbutrin, Dexedrine). Taking .3 mg of OTC melatonin improved my sleep dramatically and my depression seems pretty much under control now.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 08:24 AM
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Ooops, I thought you did a typo and meant to write ACT.

ECT sounds too scary to me! The only thing I've heard was on a show a couple years ago--the person used it for depression and it would work, but had to keep on repeating it every few months. And eventually it fades off and won't work anymore. I don't know...

Have you ever not had depression? Have there been times in your life where you ARE happy? Even short periods? If so, I would try to figure out WHY you were able to be happy--what were the circumstances, who was there, what were you doing, thinking, etc. And really try to get back in that place. ECT just seems like the absolute last resort IMO!

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 11:01 AM
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The last time I remember being really happy for a sustained period was just before puberty.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 05:47 PM
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I've known two people who had it. One guy was in really bad shape. He had scizophrenia anyway. The girl who had it was bipolar. It really messed up her memory. I would be scared to have my memory fried like that. But if I had tried everything else and I was miserable I would probably consider it anyway.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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The Dexedrine didn't help at all with depression? Have you been tested for thyroid problems? They can often mimic other disorders.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derwalrus View Post
The Dexedrine didn't help at all with depression? Have you been tested for thyroid problems? They can often mimic other disorders.
It's too early for me to tell whether or not Dexedrine has helped with my depression, to be honest, and the Nardil has me constantly sleeping so it's even harder. I'm switching to Parnate so maybe I'll see some more obvious changes.

I had my TSH, T3, and T4 levels tested once, but my understanding is that some disorders (eg. Hashimoto's) can swing up and down, and "normal" levels at a given point in time can be deceptive. Perhaps I should get tested again, but I have so many complaints for my doctor that I'm always worried about coming across as a hypochondriac.

What I'm symptomatically a dead ringer for is actually hyperparathyroidism, oddly enough. At least according to written descriptions... fatigue, depression, aches and pains, excessive thirst, and CONSTANT recurring kidney stones (starting as a kid!) from apparent poor absorption of calcium. While there's been no verifiable evidence that I DO have hyperparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency supposedly plays a huge role in its development. And as a result of shutting myself in for so many years, my vitamin D was so low at my last checkup that my GP said he's never seen that outside of a nursing home

I have a physical booked in a few weeks so I'll probably revisit a lot of these concerns again though. But even if I don't have an endocrine problem, such an extreme vitamin D deficiency definitely plays some sort of role, and I've been supplementing with high doses daily for a while now, but it will be my first opportunity to see whether my body's been absorbing it properly.

Believe me though... even before I managed to get my first appointment with a pdoc, I was trying to find a physical cause to blame things on and thyroid disorders were first on the list.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 04:39 PM
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I have considered this treatment after many failed medications or short term relief from them. It does concern me a bit but I'm already so jacked up that I thought it wouldn't make me any worse.. I know one person at work who said they had ECT and said it really didn't do anything

Fluoxetine 20mg 2009-2011, (Paroxetine 20mg 2012-2014) Effexor XR short time. Viibryd 2014-2015, Back on Paxil CR 25mg, Jan-July 2015.

Suboxone 2mg Effexor XR 150mg early 2016. Now 2016-2017: Paxil 20mg, Ativan, Lyrica, Adderall, Ambien CR.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 04:41 PM
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I was talked into doing it when I was younger. DONT DO IT. what a waste of time and brain cells.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 04:46 PM
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I'm on my second course of ECT. Did 11 sessions last year, September, as well as started Nardil. It helped for a few months but I was worse by December. Now I'm doing a second round, I just did my 6th session today, and I'm starting on Lexapro and Seroquel.

Been 20 years, maybe a little more at this point. I'll say that it does increase mood, but I went back out into the world the last time and it pretty much all blew up in my face. So I'm back to square one.

The "memory loss" isn't as bad as I thought it'd be. There was even an older guy at the hospital who was doing it inpatient, I only talked with him briefly during my stay there, but he recognized me today and he's doing ECT. (I'm doing it on outpatient basis now).

I still have intense anxiety. My thought process is a bit different, though. I'm sort of moving away from various negative thinking patterns I was plagued with. However, that baseline anxiety that's been there since I was a kid is there.

Evolve or die.
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