Posted by lawgrindmeintoground on May 4, 2012, at 19:11:25
In reply to ECT: ultra-brief pulse cognitive side-effects, etc, posted by psychobot5000 on May 4, 2012, at 18:55:27
My mom went through ECT a couple of years ago. She was hospitalized (bipolar) because she was severely depressed and her neuropsych wanted to do a drastic switch of meds supervised. The meds didn't work, and a weekend stay turned into four weeks. So they went for a two week stretch of ECT 3x per week. She started getting better and was home a week after ECT stopped.
As for side effects, she was very constipated during the treatment time. She got confused and tired easily for a while. The saddest part is she had about four months of memory loss. She doesn't remember any of the hospitalization, a few months before and about a month afterwards. Of course, one may argue that it's better she forget. I haven't noticed any loss of cognitive function - other than normal midlife forgetfulness.
In summation, I wouldn't wish ECT on anyone, but that has more to do with the whole feeling of protectiveness towards my mom than anything else. I realize that it can be a viable therapeutic option that should not be ruled out if medication isn't working. I hope this helps.