Posted by Mr.Scott on August 14, 2005, at 14:02:25
In reply to Re: To Mr Scott, posted by denise1966 on August 14, 2005, at 7:45:13
Maybe I got lucky, but I responded after 6 treatments maybe 7. The first one was bilateral however and I almost would not go back due to the confusion it caused me..so they switched me over to right unilateral but eventually I switched over to a better hospital that has a whole unit for the procedure. I now go in once a month for maintenance. I would not worry about the anesthesia, and I'm not sure why the nurse is saying that. I use 250-300mg of Thiopental, along with whatever dose of succinylcholine. One time I noticed they added 5mg of versed. I goto work by 10am after having a treatment.
The hard part is getting the procedure done when you're depressed, because you are so scared and you see it as such a horrible thing, and it means all kinds of things like your a loser and a true nutjob. Nonsense! If you feel bad, and there's no good reason except bipolar disorder or TR Unipolar depression, and ECT helps, do it up! It aint no big thing. Ask Lou Reed..
Where I get it done, its very different from what the stigma is. First off I have ZERO memory loss. In fact I'm more on the ball right away! Second, The long-term effects from ssri's, benzos, and all the other crap they gave me are FAR more likely to cause brain damage than the tiny amount of electricity used in RUL ECT today (according to my doctor who I actually trust). I know SSRI's caused me brain damage. They worked for a long time, but then they started to cause side effects indicative of neurologic damage akin to what some experience from antipsychotic drugs.
Because I am on a maintenance schedule I go in there and joke around both before and after with the doctors and nurses. People make such a big to do out of ECT. It's no big thing! Just scarry.
What's been most dramatic and gratifying for me has actually been to watch other people who came in while they were in the throws of HELL! I mean these people were in such bad shape they had to be watched constantly because they were so suicidal and impulsive. One lady who met that description the previous month whom I saw last week was smiling and talking to the nurses and reading People magazine while waiting. Initially she couldn't stop crying and needed someone to constantly hold her hand. She was in SERIOUS emotional pain and drowning in her fear and emptiness. Not anymore! And not because she has been brain damaged into la la land, but because she has gotten better and is now receiving maintenace.
My advice is to stay the course as help is on the way. Unless you really feel something is wrong follow through on this! Don't let fear guide you away from a possible solution before you have given it a thorough shot (same philosophy with meds). You have to do the deal before you know if it works. Try not to jump around from one modality to the next. Patience, and a little faith that everything will be okay is going to be your ticket out of depression! Everything will be okay no matter what. Believe that, and it will come true!
You may only need 6 treatments and then feel totally undepressed for a year! Thats worth it. I hear a new form of deep brain stimulation that does not require anesthesia is on the way. My guess is you'll feel much better like 80% of the people who get it done (some say the % is actually 90).
Keep talking about it, and you'll be okay.