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Dragon's Heart

Dragon's Heart

Well, that didnt go as planned.
Dec 14, 2021
74
Here's the thing with ECT. They can't control it. They don't know how to control what it does or where it goes. They can only control the body's reaction to the treatment and that's it. In therapy groups I've been in people who've received this treatment didn't like it. None of them had good things to say about it. One woman couldn't remember her children. On the other side, if you feel that there are no other options available to you and the possible outcomes are acceptable to you, then maybe give it a go.
Also, beware of the marketing end of things. They may represent snake oil in a good light when, in fact, it is dark. Also known as gaslighting.
If you do this, please come back and tell us what your experiences have been.
 
willitpass

willitpass

Specialist
Mar 10, 2020
390
i was given ECT when i was 14. i had been inpatient for 2 months already and they had tried many meds and i had already been in therapy my whole life. they decided to give ECT a go and i had 12 sessions over the course of 4 weeks. i was inpatient the entire time. i would have to fast every day that i had it starting at midnight, but they would let me eat as soon as i was done so it wasn’t too bad. they give you anesthesia so you aren’t awake for it, and a muscle relaxer so you don’t physically seize very much. they have you hooked up to wires and everything to monitor your vitals and make sure everything is okay physically. i was very young so i had no memory loss or other symptoms, except i could drink water on ECT days because it had this very strange electric feeling, i don’t even know how to describe it. i don’t believe it helped very much but it didn’t hurt, it’s worth a shot
 
t-rex

t-rex

Member
Jan 8, 2022
54
@LastFlowers I am really sorry about what happened to you in the hospital. I know it used to be more common in the past for patients to be coerced/forced into ECT, but my understanding is that that is not so common today. Consent is a big thing with ECT practitioners today. I can't prove it isn't still done today, and I believe your story—that's horrible. In any case, I'm glad you were able to avoid having it forced on you. I agree that one should ALWAYS require consent from a patient before a procedure like this is undergone.

I don't think the comparisons to lobotomy are fair, nor are the claims of "brain damage". (One of the proposed mechanisms of ECT's effectiveness, which apparently has been proven, is that it actually stimulates the growth of neurons, i.e. neurogenesis.) You said yourself that lobotomy is far worse; I would agree. And I don't think ECT is some kind of behavioral control, vegetable-producing, mind-wiping torture. There are some bad stories, but there are far more positive ones, it seems to me. It gives people their lives back.

No doubt, it's a very personal choice whether or not to go through with ECT, given the risks. I think it comes down to whether 1) one's life feels objectively hopeless, and the will to ctb has taken deep roots in one's mind, or 2) whether one still has a glint of hope that things could get better with the right treatment. For now, I'm still falling into the second camp. I haven't lost all hope yet. I know there are a lot of folks in this forum who have, and my heart truly goes out to them. I am not a pro-lifer and can understand the bottomless desperation many of you feel. Being on this forum has made me realize that my life is not objectively hopeless. As @hotelbeneathground said, this treatment may be more worthwhile for those with endogenous/biologically-based depression, which is what I feel I have. For me, it's worth the risk of short-term memory loss for the chance to be able to wake up and actually want to live life. I still believe it's possible for me. I have to.
 
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homebound

homebound

aime-moi jusqu’à c’que ça fasse mal
Jan 19, 2020
28
‼️NO.
It is where they give you HUGE, HIGH VOLTAGE electric shocks that cause permanent brain damage.
Important distinction.
They aren't high voltage, they are small shocks to cause seizures. They don't cause permanent brain damage, they cause temporary short term memory loss.
I haven't done any research on this at all, but I wondered about this while reading the thread. Could the side-effect itself be the cure and you just feel better because you forget your problems?
Trust me, I haven't forgetten my problems :p I live in a toxic household, was abused growing up, etc. The memory loss I have experienced has only been things I've experienced in the past year, and even then I still remember big events, just not the small details.
 
UpandDownPrincess

UpandDownPrincess

Mage
Dec 31, 2019
580
At my last job before I stopped working, one of the women had extremely treatment-resistant depression and ECT was what worked for her. Nothing else.

She had been a soldier previously and did not like to speak about that time, so she might also have had some PTSD.

She would receive her treatments as an inpatient and was gone for several weeks to allow treatment time and recovery.

I can say that it did seem to help her quite a bit and it was her choice to revisit the procedure, o she clearly saw some benefit.
 
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M

messy

New Member
Jan 23, 2022
4
I'm considering whether to try ECT or Ketamine so this thread has been helpful/interesting. Thanks, OP and everyone.
 
t-rex

t-rex

Member
Jan 8, 2022
54
I'm considering whether to try ECT or Ketamine so this thread has been helpful/interesting. Thanks, OP and everyone.
Glad it was helpful. I would try ketamine first, as it has fewer side effects.
 
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N

noaccount

Wizard
Oct 26, 2019
654
@homebound - It is simply not true that all memory loss from electroconvulsive shock is "temporary." This is easily debunked by a quick review of publicly-available research so I'm not going to bother to link to it, anyone with an internet connection has easy access to it.

Now, many things can cause brain damage - alcohol, football, many others - and people still choose to do them, sometimes feel their quality of life is improved by doing them. But a vital part of informed consent is BEING INFORMED and it is important that people know about permanent brain changes and memory loss as quite common ECT results.

t-rex - just to be aware, here are some examples of recent and ongoing forced ECT in the U.S.:

A legal battle Charles Helmer of Minnesota had to fight because he was being forced into ECT:
ALERT: PROTECT CHARLES HELMER FROM ONGOING, FORCED ELECTRO-SHOCK IN MN - Mad In America


Ray Sandford forced to undergo ECT which took a community of disability rights activists a very long time to stop
mindfreedom.org

[H3] Ray Gateway: Campaign Ended Forced Outpatient Electroshock of Ray Sandford — MFIPortal
mindfreedom.org
mindfreedom.org

[H3] Reflecting Back on a Campaign to Stop Forced, Outpatient Electroshock [/H3]
Remember, on April 15, 2015 Ray will celebrate year number six without forced ECT.
davidwoaks.com
davidwoaks.com


Court forced Connecticut man into electric shock:

[H3] Involuntary shock therapy court-ordered for Connecticut man | New England Psychologist [/H3]
This past spring, a probate court ordered a 26-year-old man in Connecticut to undergo electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and involuntary medication at Yale New Haven Hospital. The man, identified only as John Doe, secured the Connecticut Legal Rights Project (CLRP) for his defense in [More]
www.nepsy.com
www.nepsy.com

Connecticut hospitals still allowed to use ECT without consent:
[H3] Psychiatric Hospitals Can Still Force Patients to Accept Shock Treatment. One Connecticut Patient Has Been Shocked 500 Times in Five Years. [/H3]

Simone D. sues New York State for forcing her to undergo ECT:
https://digitalcommons.nyls.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1459&context=nyls_law_review

Glen K. forcibly shocked in New York state hospital
mindfreedom.org

[H3] VICTORY: Forced Electroshock of Glen K. in a New York Psychiatric Institution Halted! — MFIPortal [/H3]
mindfreedom.org
mindfreedom.org


University of Flordia hospital assault patient and force into ECT, long legal battle before this stops happening to him regularly:
[H3] Advocates demand change following forced shock therapy case at Shands - The Independent Florida Alligator [/H3]

[H3] Shield Alert Update: The forced shocking of Brian Henley has been suspended! Hold off writing letters for now! - MindFreedom International (MFI) [/H3]

Adults under guardianship or ruled incompetent forced into ECT in Michigan:
https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/articles/involuntary-and-illegal-electroshock-in-michigan

Archived version of NPR report on Illinois doctors petitioning court to force octogenerian into ECT:
Octogenarian May Be Forced to Undergo Shock Treatment

California state government policy paper on when the state will sentence people to non-consensual ECT:
https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Documents/DHCS_Handbook_English.pdf