ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by orionshines94, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. orionshines94

    orionshines94 New Member

    Does any one here know any thing about E/s therapy? My mother had #27 at age 28. She was murdered in 1976 so I never got to ask her much about it. According to my step dad, she lost almost all her memory. She didn't even know what a city bus was. A doctor once told me it was like shuffling the deck. I wonder if she had Fibro. too? I wonder why people receive this therapy? Does it hurt to have it done?and do Fibro patients receive this kind of treatement? Thanks All, Sheila
  2. courtney5771

    courtney5771 New Member

    I had it done in 2001- 24 times which is way over the normal range of treatments. I lost 2 years of my memory and the rest is sketchy. The treatment is barbaric to me- the muscle relaxant they give you makes you not even breathe during the seizure. I know have a seizure disorder, I think it caused it. I am also seeing a neuropsychologist that said ect wiped out the right side of my brain skills- like spatial stuff and memory problems. I have short term memory problems and can't learn easily any more. I graduated valedictorian- now I am stupid. So much for going back to college.

    courtney
  3. courtney5771

    courtney5771 New Member

    bump for others to read
  4. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ....funny, I just received an e-mail from my sister-in-law, who has suffered from the worst depression for the past ten years; she is considering ECT. And then I logged on & found this post! So this was good for me to read....

    I can appreciate Bek's, Courtney's responses---it certainly sounds like a last resort that can rob you of your memory, etc. I'm thankful that I've never suffered such severe depression that I was in the position of even having to CONSIDER such an option.

    What then for someone who IS in that position? My sister-in-law has been in intensive therapy for many, many years (including in- and out-patient treatment), has tried EVERY (and I do mean, EVERY) drug and combination of drugs for depression, and is now suffering every day of her life (she used to pull in and out of periods of severe depression---now, it's never-ending). I've watched her go from a vibrant, intelligent woman to someone who barely communicates with the sons she's trying to raise and can't go out of the house. She e-mails about once every six months just to let us know she's still alive---can't manage the energy more often. Her physical health has gone from great to horrible---her mental health is worse.

    Bek, I'm not being facetious when I say, I would LOVE to know the "much kinder ways to treat severe depression" you refer to----I would much rather see her not resort to trying ECT, but she has certainly tried---for the last decade---everything else I have heard about, and is WORSE now than ever.

    After watching her decline over the years, I can see why people will consider ECT as a possible way to end their suffering; I agree, it sounds barbaric to me, too---but then, I've never walked in the shoes of a severely clinically depressed person who feels she has nothing left to lose.

    Sheila, good luck to you, whatever you end up doing. My sister-in-law does NOT have FM/CFS, BTW, just depression.

    Hugs,
    Pam
  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    whenever I've read about it, it was in context of treatment of depression, or another disorder such as schizophrenia.

    I did want to mention, though, that I've read twice in the last year about another therapy that is in trials right now -- magnetic therapy. Not your dimestore magnets! These are high intensity magnets that are focused on specific parts of the brain to treat depression and such. The treatments are short, and I don't believe it requires any type of hospital stay -- looked pretty much in-office from what I remember (if the office had the high-tech equipment). The articles I read suggested that this would be the future substitute for electric shock therapy.

    Edit starts here:

    Did a short search, back in 1999, Emory University released a study. They called the therapy rTMS -- repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Apparently it does not require anesthesia or analgesics. Side effects -- mild to moderate headaches in some. Improvement in over 60-percent of treatment-resistant depression.

    Other searches will call up similar studies on schizophrenia. And, the magnets are electromagnets.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/10/2003]
  6. Kim

    Kim New Member

    I'm a CPA and college professor. I had my first experience with clinical depression in 1999. I couldn't tolerate the A/D's at that time. I was about to lose my job and I was TOTALLY unable to function. I had 5 ECT treatments at Shands at University of Florida Teaching Hospital in the space of two weeks. It was like a miracle. All my depression left, my pain lessened 90%, my anxiety left, and I felt better than I had in years. I suffered some short-term memory problems for about 2 months after the treatment, but it dramatically IMPROVED my concentration, stopped my racing brain.

    I've undergone maintenance therapy once or twice a year since that point. I've had a total of 22 treatments, 17 as an outpatient. Typically I go in at 7, get the treatment at 9, wake up at 9:30, go home at 10:30. By 12 I usually go out to lunch and return to work that afternoon or the next day, at the latest.

    ECT is not for everyone. I've had the luxury of having top-rated doctors. There are problems like memory loss.

    Just wanted you to hear from someone that it worked for.

    kim
  7. Kim

    Kim New Member

    I would also like to mention that I was seen at Mayo clinic prior to getting ECT. Mayo suggested ECT and that's what convinced me.

    I've also watched ECT being performed on other patients. They just lay there, then 10 minutes later they wake up. Sometimes they are confused but that usually goes away after an hour or so. Once I couldn't remember my birthday but it only lasted about 15 minutes.

    Your body does not convulse. You have a grand mal seizure in your brain while doctors are monitoring your brain and heart and giving you oxygen. You are completely knocked out.

    I was having dizzy spells for the last year and at first I thought it was from ECT. It was from depression! The ECT helped the dizzy spells go away.

    Severe depression can manifest in many physical symptoms. Your pain threshold decreases, you get headaches and body aches. It can even compromise your immune system.

    By the way, ECT is not a last resort. It is frequently used with elderly people and pregnant women who shouldn't take drugs. It is very expensive, not offered in many places, and not well understood.

    Martha Manning wrote a book about her experience with depression and ECT. She is a clinical psychologist. It's called Undercurrants and is a very good read for anyone who wants to learn more about a woman's real-life experience with ECT and depression.

    I hope this helps someone.

    God bless.

    Kim
  8. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Thank you for both posts----I appreciate having both sides of the issue represented (and I'm sure there's a lot in between, too...)

    I'm so glad there was a life after severe depression for you...good to know you are feeling so much better now.

    My sister-in-law is so bad, she seldom can muster the energy or concentration to read, but I WILL recommend the book you mentioned to her....

    Hugs,
    Pam
    [This Message was Edited on 09/10/2003]
  9. Cactuslil

    Cactuslil New Member

    How times have changed! When a psych major went to a local TX Institution and saw behind see-through windows various sessions and ECT sessions .. back in those days ie. late 60's, I thought to myself how barbaric; they still used electric current and it was an eye-opener.

    My last psychiatrist (of 8 years) told me ECT was now done by inducing a diabetic coma. She did not feel I was anywhere close to qualifying for such controversial methods. I checked with two other psychia. I had briefly and they also were against it; even though I have dysthymia and the last year has been one of living hell where I thought I would never see a glimmer of a reason to keep on keeping on.

    The place we severe clinical depressives go, should be a punishment for capital murder as it truly is worse than I could imagine Dante's Inferno to be.

    SSRI's give me dystonia. I'm back on celexa...only one that does not interfere w/other meds. Has helped the crying spells but I have a small amount of dystonia!

    I would love to see a breakthrough; or a live-in maid! Love CactusLil'
  10. Kim

    Kim New Member

    If someone you know is getting Valium IVs for ECT they need to run in the other direction. Valium is an anticonvulsant and will render the ECT ineffective and maybe even prevent the seizure. Most hospitals use short-acting generals that don't have anticonvulsant properties.


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