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Electro-Convulsive Therapy

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#1 vcutrell


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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

My name is Tori and I am new to this site. I'm 24 yeards old and have been diagnosed with depression/anxiety for the majority of my life. I am very resistant to drug therapies for depression, but currently take Prozac and Klonopin for my symptoms. The best treatment I have found is ECT treatments. I was wondering if there were more people out there that have had this treatments for severe depression, and if it has helped you as well. I've had 3 "rounds" of treatments in the last 6 years, with my last treatments being in Oct, 2010.
What's your experience with electroconvulsive therapy been like? Anyone else have any medication resistant problems? If so, what mess do you find help the most? I'd love to hear feedback.

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#2 Simba Cub

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:32 AM


First, welcome to the site.

I have treatment resistant depression (as well as psychotic illnesses etc) and nothing touched it. Not SSRIs, NARIs, TCAs, AAPs, nothing. So I was given a round of 12 sessions of ECT. It changed my life. Suddenly I could get out of bed in the morning. I hold a job. I can think without brimming with tears. ECT was fantastic. Now, albeit with the aid of a high dose of MAOIs and Clozapine, I am pretty much normal!

Would I do it again? I don't know. It was pretty scary and it terrified my poor family half to death. That and they got the anaesthetic plus tranquilliser wrong with me a few times, resulting in Scoline Apnoea, which is the last thing you want!

I hope you find refuge in the treatments like I did.

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Diagnosed with: Schizophrenia with co-morbid Depression; Panic; GAD; OCD; Transient Ischaemic Attacks

Experience in: Alprazolam, Aripiprazole, Bupropion, Chlordiazepoxide, Citalopram, Clonazepam, Clozapine, Dothiepin, Duloxetine, ECT, EMDR, Fluoxetine, Imipramine, Lamotrigine, Lithium, Lorazepam, Mirtazapine, Moclobemide, Olanzapine, Paroxetine, Procyclidine, Propranolol, Quetiapine, Reboxetine, Risperidone, Sertraline, Sodium Valproate, rTMS, Tranylcypromine, Trifluoperazine, Venlafaxine, Zolpidem, Zopiclone.


#3 Traviese


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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:32 PM

Hi Tori,

I'm also new to the site. I'm 49 and have fought the depression dragon for most of my life, but it's only within the last 15 years or so that I've had meds and therapy to try to control my symptoms. My depression is medication-resistant. I've tried so many of them, and each in turn works for a while and then poops out on me--whether taken individually or as part of a "cocktail." The latest medication I have found to work is Abilify (30 mg.) which has given me about nine months of decent symptom relief--but like all the others, it's starting to poop out.

When I first started ECT, I was nearly suicidal. I was frightened at the thought of the treatment, but considered it my last option, my "only hope". I came to discover that I had absolutely nothing to fear. ECT saved my life. I started with three treatments a week, then twice a week, then once a week, etc., then that initial "fast-track" schedule was lengthened to a maintenance regimen of once every three weeks that I kept for about two years. The only side effect I experienced was a bit of foggy headedness the day of treatment and the next.

I haven't had a treatment for eight months because the Abilify was working so well. Now if my current meds situation doesn't work itself out, I won't hesitate to speak to my pdoc about undergoing ECT again, because it works.
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#4 Dark Grace

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

I was wondering about this, since I've been so depressed for so long. I was thinking of giving it a try. My brain is already fuzzy and my short term memory is already gone, so hopefully I'd stay the same and not get worse that way. I'm going to see if it's covered in Canada. Can you do it while on Lithium or will your head blow off?

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Meds tried: I responded best to Seroquel and Trazadone together, had to stop suddenly because of jaw slamming shut, jaw clenching, neck twitching. Cymbalta made me very apathetic. Celexa did nothing. Tried Prozac, Wellbutrin, and I think Serzone years ago, couldn't stay on them past a week, made me way too speedy.  Wondering if movement disorder issues with Seroquel mean all APs are out of the question now. I would have liked to go on a higher dose of Seroquel instead of stopping it, was only on 25 mgs for sleep when stopped. It also made me pre diabetic, another reason I'm afraid to try another AP. Still had depression, but was able to sleep and be more stable. That;s another reason I think I am Bipolar, because I responded better to Seroquel than any antidepressant. First time I took it at 50 mgs after trauma, it was a miracle. Calm, all constant worrisome ruminations stopped. I thought "I should have been on this my whole life"  


Now I have nothing for sleep, have reached the point where years of benzo use (xanax for anxiety) and years of zopiclone use (for sleep) have given me a tolerance and can't use them for any length of time now because severe depression hits and anxiety starts. Taking clonazepam now for a few days to stop daytime withdrawal of zopiclone. Things have been a nightmare since Dec 5 th when I had to stop the Seroquel and Trazadone. Need something that will help sleep, mood stability, constant irritation, hypersensitive to sound, severe depression. Also extremely exhausted -wired and tired all the time. Fibromyalgia. Also tried Lyrica, did nothing but make me stupid. Flexeril doesn't do enough to make it worth the side effects. Remeron doesn't knock me out and makes me eat so much I get sick. As well as severe insomnia -can't sleep at all without something strong-I would like something that enervated me without the speediness. I'm already 30 pounds overweight and prediabetic. Amitriptyline-Tricyclics don't make me speedy but don't do much else except make me fat. I also have cognitive issues already,not on any psych meds-forget common words, can't express myself, can't focus, think. Sorry for the novel.

#5 Billl


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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:54 AM

My PDOC has tried to get me to do ect for a while now, but besides the depression & anxiety, etc., i have a conversion disorder. I fort things all the time- my memory is useless and it is very frustrating. 

I've read the pros and cons of ect but the idea of memory issues when mine is so bad already worries me. What is the memory loss experience like? I know everybody, I just forget things, names, what I was talking about in the middle of a discussion, and my vocabulary went AWOL.

What is the loss of memory experience like with ect? Can anyone describe the feeling or their experience? I need to know before I say yes or no to ect.

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#6 Billl


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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:48 PM

I started having memory problems, difficulty finding words, and Dementia like episodes regardless of which meds I was on. I've dropped off Clomipramine and Gabitril and am only on Wellbutrin XL and Xanax, which is my original working combo. I'm not off them because I am better, I am off them because I want to start back with those original meds. I have treatment resistant major depression and a couple of anxiety disorders with OCD as well. My wife cant just remind me of things, she has to leave me notes or I will forget. Lots of times I even forget what I am talking about, and y short term memory is the worse problem. 

My pdoc and Neurologist tells me I won't have memory loss after ECT, but my proc has been suggesting it for a year now, along with TMS.

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