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Re: ECT and Alan's experiences

Posted by alan on December 8, 1998, at 2:37:55

In reply to Re: ECT and Alan's experiences, posted by Nancy on December 6, 1998, at 11:55:07

> > >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 works. 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.
> **Wow. You may have been cheated at a fair chance for recovery. Dr. Horne said that today's ECT is 95% effective for full recovery!!! He must have access to some REALLY NEW info. What I've read is of effectiveness between 80% and 90%.
> >(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.
> **Holy Cats! Alan, you are an inspiration. You are one of the few people with this illness who KNOWS what it's like to fight to the bitter end. Unlike those people who SAY they've had depression. Those that insist that if you don't WANT to lose your ability to work you simply CHOOSE not to lose your ability to work. As if CHOICE has anything to do with it. These people probably would have been "cured" by eating ice chips. But, what you've written about yourself shows that you have been terribly ill with a serious chemical imbalance. Alan, I think there are not many out there who understand how bad it can be. I REALLY HOPE that the Effexor is going to do it for you and NEVER "poop out".
> > 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.
> > alan
> **I'd mess with anything if it were a proven way to put this illness into remission. I wish you all the best and that all the best that you've missed out on over the years will, finally, be within your grasp.
> Mind Over Madness,
> Nancy

I think we tend to overestimate the degree of similarity in subjective 'feel' and degree of impairment between episodes of MAD in different people and even in the same person at different times. Thus we tend to think that if someone does not share our description of what 'it' is, that person can never have had it. This is not great for efective communication. MAD is rather a grab bag of miseries that merely share a fit with the coarse criteria of the latest DSM. But, of course, it can be grossly disabling in some cases and imperceptible to others in other cases. As more is learned, diagnoses more finely differentiated, and a better nomenclature developed (e.g., say, 'hyponoradrenergic' or 'Hsuing's disease') I think much of the stigma may be relieved. We also have got tto get rid of 'the mind' which inevitably suggests a ghost in the machine not subject to natural law, only to the uncaused cause of free will which mysteriously makes vice and virtue pop into the world. What am I talking about? It is geting late. The main thing is not to argue with people who can't understand these simple truths as I have revealed them.
Nancy, thank you for your kind words, but my only distinction has been to get sick. I hope you are getting zapped into normalcy.




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