Posted by jerrympls on May 10, 2005, at 19:29:44
In reply to ECT failure?, posted by Bob on May 8, 2005, at 13:33:35
> Has anyone here either known someone, or they themselves undergone a full course of ECT (at least 6 or more treatments), and then, in the end, gotten little or no response? Or maybe even a negative response?
I had 8 courses of bilateral ECT treatments back in 1994. Unforuntately, it did not work for me and actually made things worse. My memory was toast - forgot friends' names, movies I had seen jusst a couple weeks earlier - I even had trouble reading music (and I have studied music since I was 4 years old - I'm now 33). My conceptualization skills were fried. I had to rebuild my memory - my wit, sense of humor. Weird thing is is that I can remember everything about the treatments - I can still remmeber that the anesthesiologist was a tall african-american man, I can remember them inserting the bite guard, the sting of the needles, waking up and having a nurse with grey hair in her 40's put a warm blanket around me. I can remember being wheeled back up to my room on the psych ward. My mother was there for each treatment and she sat next to my bed reading a romance novel while I rested. When I got home, I did notice an unusual increase in mood - like a buzz - not manic or anything - but I remember telling a friend that I thought the ECT worked and that my depression was gone. That wore off quickly.
A couple weeks later I started back at college. I remember sitting in orchestra rehearsal staring at the music as if I were reading a foreign language. I felt uncoordinated - and as I said - I had been playing cello since I was 4 years old.
Soon after I noticed more profound memory effects. Friends came up to me and started talking about things we had done the summer before - and I couldn't remember what they were talking about - nor could I remember their names. I felt really embarrassed. From then on I had terrible times trying to commit things to memory - including music, information that I read for classes, etc. It took years to "rebuild" and "reroute" how I worked my memory.
That was 1994 and now in 2005 I still have problems with memory - but it's better. For example, I'll forget that I talked with a friend over the phone 5 days ago - but if my friend reminds me or tells me what we talked about - then I'm able to call it up in my head and I "remember." Short-term memory is ok - but damaged.
I hear now that unilateral placement of the electrode reduces memory problems.
I wish I had better news for you....but for what it's worth, I have known people who have been helped tremendously through ECT.