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#1 etvc15

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 05:46 PM

I've been reading a lot of the posts here on ECT, and am considering (just considering) ECT. I've had some advice, mostly warning against it, and so far I'm not really looking specifically to do it. I don't even know if I'm covered, there' s a million questions I need answered before I even get deeper into the possibility. A brief history: I've tried just about every type of crazy med, including the old (Tofranil years ago to Paxil, Zoloft, Pristiq, Gabapentin, Ativan, etc, ), and they all made me worse, either right away or within afew days or a week at most. Someone here mentioned that I may be Bipolar and not Depressed, as I was diagnosed, along with Panic/Anxiety disorder. So I'm going next week to my pdoc to see if maybe a new diagnosis is called for , if that's even done. But6 I'm currently on Klonopin only, and dosage varies from 1 to 3(sometimes 4) mg a day. Yet I feel worse and worse, suicide ideations , just thinking that I'd be better off not being here. And I'm no kid, I'm 47 and living like this inside my head for as long as I can remember. So, is ECT so totally a last resort? And I'd really like to know sopmething that particularly bothers me. Memory loss is always mentioned, but what kind of memories? Does anyone have any experiences on what exactly (if there is an exactly) is lost? If it's the distant past, more recent events, this is what's really bothering me most. Would I still be able to work? Does it make you forget basic things, like how to do your joib, people, what? I'm sorry to be so naive, but this topic s new to me, and I didn't really notice any answers to the particular question of memory loss with ECT. Thanks for any help...
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#2 Simba Cub

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:09 AM

ECT is the last resort barring surgical intervention. And yes, it will cause memory loss - my immediate memory was naffed over and my long term memory was quite hazy too.



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Diagnosed with: Schizoaffective Disorder of the Depressive Type; Panic; GAD; OCD; PTSD; 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, Tranylcypromine, Trifluoperazine, Venlafaxine, Zolpidem, Zopiclone.



#3 seaview

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:42 PM

............... my immediate memory was naffed over and my long term memory was quite hazy too.

Same for me too.
Everyone I've spoken to who has had ECT says similar. That's only 6 people though.
The medical staff I have dealt with all seem to truly believe that the effects on memory are less than they are - in my experience and according to people I know personally.

...............If it's the distant past, more recent events, this is what's really bothering me most. .............

I didn't lose the far distant past, but I lost a lot from the 6-ish months before the treatments, the time during them, and a bit after.
Most of the stuff that I forgot is totally forgotten (for me); no amount of prompting with photos, diary entries, or the insistence of other people brings it back. It has felt a bit disconcerting sometimes, but I can handle disconcerting.

...............Would I still be able to work? Does it make you forget basic things, like how to do your joib, people, what? ...............


I work fine.
I didn't forget how to do anything. Maybe if I had learnt some new skill for the first time in the month before treatment it could have been affected..... but that's total speculation on my part.

For what it's worth, I'd agree to have ECT again in the future if it was advised by people whose judgement I trust.

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#4 etvc15

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

Thanks guys for the input. simba cub, you had a very interesting and long set of posts which I read with great interest. You weren't sure then if you though it was worth it, how do you feel now?
and seaview, thanks for your input too. I'm really afraid of losing my job, that's one of my main fears because I don't have any savings to live off or fall back on if I lost the job. Do you have to take a lot of time off from work? I was trying to read up on that, but I got really vague responses....
thanks again.....
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#5 dymphna

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:41 AM

Here's something else for your consideration:

In 2000, my brain "blew up". We still don't know what caused it. They couldn't find evidence of a stroke. I didn't have a psychotic break. I may or may not have had a serious seizure (got to the hospital/had EEGs way too late for that). But most of my memory? Gone.

I can remember my childhood, up to about 9th grade, quite vividly. I have a tiny bit of 10th-12th grade. And I mean tiny. I have some spurts of college in there. As in, I remember sitting in some rooms, seeing some faces, having juicy Socratic dialogue - but about what, I have no clue. I couldn't pull a Laffer curve out my ass if you put a gun to my head and I graduated with honors in Economics. I have bits of my child's early childhood.

Then everything stopped.

I can negotiate the streets of the town where I grew up, but not the one from which I moved two years ago (and had lived for five). I can wax poetic about concepts, but can't remember something you told me this morning (or 5 minutes ago) w/o having written it down.

I am not a depressive, I am a manic. At my most manic, I started to seize. ECT is a controlled seizure of short duration. I would have gladly chosen something controlled, with a beginning and an end, to the never ending "50 First Dates" kind of life I now live. Depression will eventually eat your memory as well: I have seen it with my own mother.

Just something else to consider.


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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

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#6 jook

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:18 PM

Someone here mentioned that I may be Bipolar and not Depressed, as I was diagnosed, along with Panic/Anxiety disorder.


I would look into this possibility first.
Going through ECT is stepping out on a ledge if you could be treated for new dx (which is very common).
There are a ton of drugs to treat BPAD that you probably haven't tried.
I would get a second opinion before leaping into ECT.

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my brain hates agonists and reuptake-inhibitors

former rx= Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft, Topamax, Lamictal, Depakote, Lithobid, Trileptal, Gabitril,
Zonegran, Seroquel, Risperdal, Invega, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Ativan, Xanax, Valium, BuSpar, Nuvigil
various combinations with all of the above

#7 etvc15

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:19 PM

Here's something else for your consideration:

In 2000, my brain "blew up". We still don't know what caused it. They couldn't find evidence of a stroke. I didn't have a psychotic break. I may or may not have had a serious seizure (got to the hospital/had EEGs way too late for that). But most of my memory? Gone.

I can remember my childhood, up to about 9th grade, quite vividly. I have a tiny bit of 10th-12th grade. And I mean tiny. I have some spurts of college in there. As in, I remember sitting in some rooms, seeing some faces, having juicy Socratic dialogue - but about what, I have no clue. I couldn't pull a Laffer curve out my ass if you put a gun to my head and I graduated with honors in Economics. I have bits of my child's early childhood.

Then everything stopped.

I can negotiate the streets of the town where I grew up, but not the one from which I moved two years ago (and had lived for five). I can wax poetic about concepts, but can't remember something you told me this morning (or 5 minutes ago) w/o having written it down.

I am not a depressive, I am a manic. At my most manic, I started to seize. ECT is a controlled seizure of short duration. I would have gladly chosen something controlled, with a beginning and an end, to the never ending "50 First Dates" kind of life I now live. Depression will eventually eat your memory as well: I have seen it with my own mother.

Just something else to consider.


Dymphna

Thanks for your help, dymphna..I also forgot to mention (and you'll see the pun coming up) that lately I've been noticing that I'm not as quick to remember things. I've been on Klonopin for about 2 years, maybe 3, I don't remember exactly when I started. I pride myself on being intelligent, (the one thing I can be proud of), and I'm worried. Nothing major (yet), but I'm just not as quick as I was. And this is just from Klonopin! Or is it from the depression itself? Very confusing....so are you saying that ECT is a viable treatment? I'm sorry for your memory loss, but if I'm starting to not remember things already, or at least not as quickly as I used to, should I expect a lot worse? not a pleasant prospect.
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#8 etvc15

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:22 PM

Someone here mentioned that I may be Bipolar and not Depressed, as I was diagnosed, along with Panic/Anxiety disorder.


I would look into this possibility first.
Going through ECT is stepping out on a ledge if you could be treated for new dx (which is very common).
There are a ton of drugs to treat BPAD that you probably haven't tried.
I would get a second opinion before leaping into ECT.

jook

thanks jook...I am still considering only, researching what I can. I'm going to my pdoc next week , and we'll see what he has to say about it (the BP possibility) I realize that ECT is a HUGE jump, but I'm so afraid to try any more meds, they all have made me worse, and I can't go through any more panic attacks.....I'm really kind of lost....but all these people talking to me is a big help, yourself included.. Thanks again...
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#9 Anna

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:34 AM

ECT is a very viable tx, but there are side effects. To minimize memory loss you can try one sided ECT where they only seize the side of your brain that isn't responsible for memory. This really makes memory loss much more unlikely, but the treatment can be less robust.

If you are BP, actually, ECT CAN set off some pretty intense effects, potentially mania, which may be hard to treat. So, if you really suspect you are bipolar, well I, at least, would try some other things.

You might respond really well to lithium or lamictal for instance, etc., etc. There are a ton of tx to try first.... Definitely.

Klonapin can impact memory a bit (all benzos can) but untreated long term depression definitely eats the brain. Some treatments reverse this, for example lithium has been shown to cause neuron growth and whatnot. Some of the SSRIs can show increases in brain density, also, I do believe (don't quote me on that one).

In any case, I would personally explore the BP issue prior to starting ECT, although if that didn't work, I personally WOULD try ECT, if I ever needed to.

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Anna

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#10 etvc15

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

ECT is a very viable tx, but there are side effects. To minimize memory loss you can try one sided ECT where they only seize the side of your brain that isn't responsible for memory. This really makes memory loss much more unlikely, but the treatment can be less robust.

If you are BP, actually, ECT CAN set off some pretty intense effects, potentially mania, which may be hard to treat. So, if you really suspect you are bipolar, well I, at least, would try some other things.

You might respond really well to lithium or lamictal for instance, etc., etc. There are a ton of tx to try first.... Definitely.

Klonapin can impact memory a bit (all benzos can) but untreated long term depression definitely eats the brain. Some treatments reverse this, for example lithium has been shown to cause neuron growth and whatnot. Some of the SSRIs can show increases in brain density, also, I do believe (don't quote me on that one).

In any case, I would personally explore the BP issue prior to starting ECT, although if that didn't work, I personally WOULD try ECT, if I ever needed to.

Anna

Thanks anna...I'm going to ask my pdoc on Wed. if the bipolar is a possibility. Also, I'm looking into getting a 2nd opinion at the NY Psychiatric Inst. Part of Columbia University, and apparently they have a very long standing and well-respected tradition of being a VERY good institute for psychiatric disorders. Now if my insurance covers them.........we'll see
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#11 etvc15

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:21 PM

Well, I went to the pdoc and we're going to try Lamictal. So, I guess the ect just isn't for me yet. too scary, for now. I've got to give this Lamictal a chance. thanks for everyone's help so far...I'll still need help, so don't any of you go away! thanks!
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#12 shiny

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:36 PM

Since you've had so many bad reactions to meds you should be aware that it can be a bitch and a half to get on Lamictal. Read the "Setting yourself up for success" thread in the Lamictal forum for a start.

Give yourself several weeks to adjust before giving up if it doesn't go well at first. It can do a crazy better-worse-better-worse thing for a while. I hope it goes well for you :mad:
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Stuff I've taken (that I can remember): Trazodone (good), Amitriptyline (3 days asleep), Risperdal (instant relief), Lamictal (great), Wellbutrin (mania + panic attacks), Zoloft (good sometimes), Paxil (good but fat), Prozac (hospitalized 10 days), Ambien (awesome), Pamelor (did nothing)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

#13 etvc15

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:57 AM

Since you've had so many bad reactions to meds you should be aware that it can be a bitch and a half to get on Lamictal. Read the "Setting yourself up for success" thread in the Lamictal forum for a start.

Give yourself several weeks to adjust before giving up if it doesn't go well at first. It can do a crazy better-worse-better-worse thing for a while. I hope it goes well for you :mad:

thanks shiny!! and for your help on the Lamictal post too...We'll see how it goes.
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