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Old 11-06-2019, 10:57 AM   #1
mariela10
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Default Need ECT info

I was taken off 150 Effexor over a year ago and since then have tried every antidepressant, mood stabilizer, antieleptic and everything else under the sun but I had adverse reactions to all of them. Even tried going back on Effexor but it didn't work. My doctor and I are at an impasse. I went for a second opinion and this doctor would not treat me - said I had treatment resistant depression and suggested undergoing ECT treatments. I immediately and adamantly refused because it sounds so scary and I guess I have visions of scenes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!! Would appreciate any feedback regarding ECT. I'm trying like hell to do this on my own without any more antidepressants, as I take Seroquel and Trazodone at night and my doctor advised that they do have antidepressant properties. My quality of life sucks right now but I'm scared to death of the alternative treatment. Your opinions would really help me out a lot and mean the world to me. So glad I found this forum.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need ECT info

I have not (yet) had ECT. I'm thinking this might be the year that changes, however. Honestly, I've heard far more people say that ECT has helped them, rather than those who have not been helped by it.
Check out the thread about ECT on the Bipolar board under Bipolar Treatments.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need ECT info

@mariela10 Let me begin by saying I wish I had opted to undergo ECT long before I did.

Addressing your imagined procedure, it is nothing like Jack Nicholson's portrayal of it. Even the show Homeland which presented a much toned down version of it got it wrong by implying the patient goes through a seizure.

You are given a muscle relaxant along with the general anesthesia. This means that while the seizure is happening in your brain, your body is nice and relaxed as you sleep through it all. You might wake up with a headache. Some people report having them upon waking and even into the following day. In my experience headaches are both mild and rare, and I've been getting ECT since 2015.


A brief post-ECT vignette: Last time I had ECT (3 weeks ago) I came home from the hospital and changed the tyres on my bike. After re-inflating them I went out to test them on the road, riding back and forth on our street. Granted, it's a 2 hour drive home from the hospital so the anesthesia had more time to dissipate than it would for someone going to a local hospital or clinic. ...and I'm not always so spry when I get home. I do want to emphasize it is nothing like you see in Cuckoo's Nest.

This has really been only a glimpse of ECT. Feel free to ask any further questions that come to mind whether here publicly, or via private message.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need ECT info

I have been having ECT every 2 weeks since 2015 and it has helped immensely. I have very strong suicidal thoughts and the ECT puts a pause in the loop tape that plays in my head. I firmly believe that I would be dead without it.

I get the treatments between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning and am discharged about 45 mins after it is done. I go to work right after the treatments. I am lucky that I do not have any side affects. I did have a headache after the first treatment but am given toroidal (a pain reliever) now before the treatment. It works great.

Before the treatment they start an IV and hook you up to a EKG machine. For the treatment they put 3 electrodes on the middle of your forehead, behind your ear and on the top of your shoulder. Then the Dr gives you a muscle relaxer, oxygen and medication to put you into a short sleep. You do not feel anything. The treatment is given and you wake up shortly afterwards. The whole procedure takes about 10-15 minutes tops. Once awake they offer you something to drink & eat (you have to fast before the treatment:-(.)

All in all it is a pretty fast process with good to great responses. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. Good luck and I hope it works for you.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need ECT info

Have you considered Clozaril? It is a big commitment, but some people with tough depression say they have gotten better. Just a thought.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need ECT info

Hi mariela, I don't know why they moved this thread. Maybe only to get more responses from people with unipolar depression?

A thread about ECT is present in the Bipolar forum's "Bipolar Treatments" sub-forum at ECT Experiences and it belongs there.

ECT is a form of bipolar treatment. You were not wrong in originally posting it in that sub forum.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need ECT info

I have major depression and take clozaril and do ECT. ECT is the goto treatment for treatment resistant depression.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need ECT info

I got 15 rounds of ect and it didnít help me but everyone is different! Itís not as bad as it sounds. I had bilateral with caffeine and toroidal given before the tx. I was asleep and then awake again before I realized we were about to begin.
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