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Re: Toby and Others...curious about ect

Posted by David K. on July 5, 1999, at 17:03:24

In reply to Re: Toby and Others...curious about ect, posted by Ruth on July 5, 1999, at 16:27:24

Hi, Ruth,
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It's
greatly appreciated.

> David- I've had ECT twice (about a year apart). I'm not sure what the reason is for general anasthesia, though I think it is to reduce the likelihood of injury during the seizure. The net effect is that one minute you are talking to the doctor and the anasthesialogist as they put in an IV and the next you quickly lose contact and fall asleep. The next thing is waking up a bit disoriented and the nurse saying it's over, you've had your treatment.
> My experience with memory loss is that I remember little of the time during the treatments and of the time leading up to the treatments. For other memory I've called it swiss cheese, i.e. there are some things that I can remember and others that I have no recollection of. That applies to memories years before the treatment, although the years closer to the treatment seem to be most effected. I also find that absorbing new information is harder for me. I believe all of this to be a result of the ECT. My doctor feels that with the exception of the time around the treatments themselves the rest is residual of the depression and that it should resolve.
> Post if you have more questions.- Ruth

> > Why is general anesthesia given? Is it to allay the patient's fears of the operation? Or is there some medical reason for it? I can understand why muscle relaxants are used, but why general anesthesia?

There is no way I will do ECT on an inpatient
basis. There are too many practical and personal
considerations to allow that. I am concerned about
the anesthesia. If I do ECT, I wonder if it is
possible to do it without anesthesia? I'm not
talking about the muscle relaxant; just no anesthesia.
I understand quite clearly why muscle relaxants are
would be necessary. Any thoughts on this?

> >
> > Exactly what are we talking about in regards to short-term memory?
> >

Do these memory losses concern you? And where they
of significant events in your life or the
diminishment of work skills? There are a number of
memories I wouldn't mind loosing--namely my
marriage/divorce to a multiple personality. With
the exception of my daughter being born, there is
about a five year chunk of memories that I wish
would go away.

> > When I was young, my then-wife was diagnosed with multiple personalities and given ECT. Quick, boys and girls, what is the indicated treament for mulitple personalities. It sure ain't ECT. I knew that then as a young dumb kid, and I know that know when my psychologist, who has treated a couple of multiples, said so. Needless to say, my opinions of the mental health field were less then trusting for years afterward. It has taken me all of that time to even come to the decision that I need help for my depression. I've been on several meds, all with varying degrees of effectiveness and side effects. I've also been to a psychologist (which I found somewhat helpful). Why? It isn't because I've become more trusting of mental health care; its because I'm so god awful tired of feeling like this. There are days when the fear and loathing I've had for ECT and psychiatrists is drawfed by the mental pain I feel from depression. This has led me to consider ECT.

What were you diagnosed with?

Overall, was your experience with ECT a positive

Was it effective in reducing your symptoms?

What type of electrod placement did you
have-bilateral or unilateral?

Do you feel you gave true informed consent before

How long ago did you receive the treatments?

How many sessions did you have during each treatment?

Would you do it again?

> > What is the difference between atypical and melancholic depression?




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