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Am I The Only One Who Has Had Too Many Ect Treatments To Count?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 In_Remission_Jen615

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:03 AM

Hey guys,

Well, I have been getting maintenance ECT for 7 yrs now (either weekly or bi-weekly). I know... It sounds nuts. But it it has been the only therapy that has kept me alive so far. It has also done more than it's share of destroying my memory and cognition.

I wondered if there was anyone else on this planet who has had countless ECTs like me? I feel like an alien most of the time to be honest. It would be so nice to meet others who have been in or are currently in this situation. Figure I would reach out and ask.

Take care,

#2 Simba Cub

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:21 PM

That sounds like a helluva a lot of ECT! I only had 12 and that was enough to set me straight, along with MAOI therapy. Mind you, YMMV and if the ECT keeps you human, I say go for it!

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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 Rambler


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Posted 10 December 2011 - 04:44 AM


That does sound like a lot.

I had a course of ten and my pdoc did talk about maintenance ECT if I needed it.

The maintenance ECT would start off once a week for a few months, then once a fortnight for a few months, and then once a month for six months.

Luckily I didn't need it after ten rounds.

I know what it's like for medications not to work, so if it helps stick with it.

You certainly seem much braver than I was.


Edited by Rambler, 10 December 2011 - 04:50 AM.

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GAD and MDD 250mg Tofranil

#4 In_Remission_Jen615

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:37 PM

Not braver. Just desperate. Resistant to every other treatment. I keep hoping a new amazing med will be created...

#5 swimfan93


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

I do understand this. I started getting ECT 2.5 years ago, when I was a sophomore in highschool. It started with unilateral...didn't do anything. Switched to bilateral, and things (finally) started to change. I got maybe 20 treatments then? (3x per week). Since then, I've basically been getting "ECT as needed." So, its basically been as the ECT wears off and I become extremely suicidal again (aprox. every 3 months) I go back and get ~12 treatments. This has been working pretty well, except for the extreme memory loss. Even though I'm only 18, I take an alzheimers medication, Aricept, as an off-label use to try to counteract the memory loss. Also, over the summer I found a study about ketamine being used for anesthesia with ECT. The results showed that it "boosts" the positive effects of ECT and minimizes memory loss. So I've been doing that since then. My last round of treatment was in december/january, and I don't remember anything I did during the fall semester at school. It's rough. But without ECT I would be back in the hospital again, probably institutionalized.
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#6 Rainman56


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:47 PM

As I posted in another thread I had 14 treatments a number of years ago.10 unilateral followed by 4 bi lateral.I sympathize with you on finding a med that works,I,ve only had a few.Fortunately a select few.ECT did work well for me as well..Hopefully soon they,ll find a combination for you.For some people ect doesn,t work so keep your chin up.Again hope your doc finds your "magic combination" that puts a smile on your face.Great hearing from you and God Bless. :mad:

Edited by Rainman56, 16 February 2012 - 10:28 AM.

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Past meds:Zoloft(pooped out after 5 years),Effexor,Luvox,Cymbalta,Pristiq,Remeron(pooped out after 3 years),Paxil/lamictal(2nd go around and pooping out now after 5 months)Abilify,Lexapro,14 Treatments ECT,anafranil


Current meds:Paxil/lamictal Combo(pooping out) so looking for new med.Clonazepam/prn Seroquel/prn

#7 littlejenm


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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

My family and I were desperate for anything that would help with my bipolar I by the end of 2007! I had tried countless medication "cocktails" for many years (approx. 10) before that - and we had reached a point where I would just simply not exist anymore if we hadn't resorted to ECT treatments. I went through the initial 3 x weekly, then 2 x weekly, then 1x week in the beginning - and was unfortunately convinced that it was "my miracle" and continued every 1-2 weeks for approx. 2-1/2 years. My memory is literally wiped clean for 2008 and 2009, but I was blessed with getting pregnant in February of 2010 and stopped the treatments. I realize now that my baby was "my miracle" because who knows how many years I would have lost memory of because of ECT treatments! Yes, they did help me stabilize my world at that time when nothing else would - no meds, hospitalizations, therapy, etc. - and I am thankful for that. But I refused to do any more treatments after I had my daughter because I wanted to "remember her".... and I am thankful for THAT. She's 15 months old today, and I remember every single minute.... and although I'm fighting the medication merry-go-round again after all these years, she is worth it. :mad: But everyone needs to do what is best for them - and if you would have asked me in the midst of say 2008 - I would have said ECT all the way! I do know just how you feel - I had approx. 60+ treatments so the "alien" description is all too familiar to me. :) I hope it has worked for you, and you are not alone.
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#8 Shocked5150


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

You are NOT alone!  I was wondering if I was some kinda freak too.  I have been getting ECT's sine June of 2007. (51/2 years)  I have had somewhere around 100 treatments now.   I tried everything, all the meds. They either didn't work, or had awful intolerable side effects that I couldn't possibly live with.

I tried ECT and it saved my ass.....I started getting maintenance treatments monthly, but I too paid the price of losing my memory and cognitive skills.  Several times I thought I would be okay without it and stopped for a while.  Everytime I ended up relapsing and in a severely mixed depressive situation where It was the only thing that got me out alive!   I am 47 years old and I am now on permanent SSDI, I have lost much of my long term autobiographical memories such as the birth of my son, my school graduation (of which I gave the class speech) and alot more.  I have to admit that its pretty extreme and it can be very frustrating, but Its a choice I have made because it's the trade off that gives me my life back without the pain and suffering that I was dealing with every day for so many long years.

You are not alone!   What sucks is the stigma that we must face every day by the ignorant people out there that think we are some type of "freaks" straight out of the movies.......When we are just people with a disease that causes us to need our "medication" just like any other type of physical illness does with anyone else that is ill.  Stay in touch......Kat

Edited by Shocked5150, 14 January 2013 - 11:24 AM.

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:shocked: SHOCKED5150


#9 mjpa


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Posted 16 September 2014 - 01:14 PM

For about five years between 1995 and 2000 I was mis-diagnosed or "un-diagnosable" .  Like the original

poster, though, ECT seemed to help ease my discomfort, so I received it every 1-2 weeks, cause "it worked".

i probably had between 60-80 treatments.  Interestingly enough, after a correct diagnosis of OCD and the help

of a local OCD Doc, I stopped ECT cold turkey (albeit with a lot of work doing behavior therapy). Sometimes, I feel anger about

the amount of ECT I received. But like someone else mentioned, it may have kept me alive.



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