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Re: ECT: and Alan's experiences

Posted by alan on December 6, 1998, at 1:02:30

In reply to Re: ECT: and Alan's experiences, posted by Nancy on December 5, 1998, at 16:48:04

> > > What adjunctive therapies do other doctors use before resorting to a program of ECT? I can only think of 25-50mcgs/day Cytomel checking response in 7-14 days or 25-50mgs/day Naltrexone checking response after two weeks. Three weeks of 5mgs t.i.d. Pindolol was a failure.
> > > I'm hesitating at being lighted-up like a christmas tree. I'm the mad scientist, not the Frankenstein.
> > > Please, save me from the electric chair.
> > > Mind Over Madness,
> > > Nancy
> > >
> > Not a doc, just got shocked. I'll be brief because II,ve replied to so many such letters. My experience of ECT was that it is simply no big deal. I.d persoally mmuch prefer ECT to Meds: faster and virtually no side effects: a little wozy for a few minutes, but not unpleasant; lost a few memories of a few days surrounding the shocks,
> > memories I had no need for. To be honest, it was kind of fun, much of the excitement of surgery without the pain. Okay, they were not effective on me, but as you know they usually are.
> > I assume it is nothing like the electric chair.
> > Again, as you know, your brain is already full of electricity.
> Thanks, Alan. I was a little "creeped out" with the idea, momentarily. Your description has helped me. I've decided to let the doc do ECT on me. My doc, Dr. Robert Horne, is a mood disorder specialist, also. So, I'm not afraid of him lacking any ability in performing the procedures.
> Dr. Horne said we're going to do two ECT sessions a day a few times a week until we've completed 6-12 treatments. This has to clear up my illness, since nothing else work. I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't happen for me. What did you do, Alan?
> Has anything you've tried made you better??? I REALLY HOPE so! It's miserable to be so sick.
> Nancy

Thank youfor your ressponse. I got my shocks back in 73, and I think they are more reliable today; e.g., I've heard they wire you up to make sure you get a siezure noww. Spme years ago I saw an estimate that 40% of ECT treatments were not properly done. That must be much diferent now. (Moreover, back then a very large % of patients did not recieve adequate doses of ADs; I know I was one of them from subsequent experience.) Certainly the rate of progress in neuroscience and psychiatry holds much promise for a future I infer you will be able to enjoy. As you know, even if you respond to no treatment--and the probability of that has become small; tho the wait is hell--you will almost certainly spend most of your life in remission. As for me, I got better in 75-76 and had a recurrence in '82 which I just rode out. Then again in '85 when I responded 'in textbook fashion', to a dosage of desipramine that was considered very dangerous in 73. I was fine for 8 years and then switched to Prozac in an effort to become easy going and charming. To some degree, that worked; the Prozac did seem to 'smooth me out' and come me down. But. it pooped out about a year ago, well only partially for I didn't miss any work. Right now, I feel almost certain that I am responding finally to Effexor after the rounds of this and that.
This is one of those times I would like to say "I'll pray for you." but I don't mess with the occult. My fervant wishes for your earliest recovery.




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