Moving Forward

So I’ve recently decided that I would do ECT treatment. For those of you who don’t know, it stands for Electro-Convulsive Therapy. Which basically means that they cause you to have seizures in order to “restart” the natural serotonin and dopamine production in your brain. It’s main use isn’t really for depression, but it can be used for treatment resistant depression. I’ve tried, and still go to, therapy. I’ve tried dozens of medications, which never really seem to work for more than a month or two. I’ve tried hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization treatments. None of them really ever seemed to stick, which leads me to the belief that I am treatment resistant. It’s not an easy thing to try something new when nothing else seems to work, but I’m kinda running out of options here. I don’t want to feel the way I do any longer, and I want to really live my life. I think that the best way to do that is ECT.

Now, when you hear that electricity is used, you probably think of the old method that was used last century where they stick electrodes to your head and just zap you. Luckily for me, that has been out of practice for decades now, and this treatment is not only safe, but also wildly effective for people like me. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard anyways. The last time I was hospitalized, I met a woman who was there for ECT, and she claimed that it changed her whole life, but she was in for her second round. Like most other treatments for resistant depression, everything seems to wear off after a while, even ECT. However, unlike medications and therapy that have such a short life span, ECT can last years or even decades before another treatment is necessary. This actually gives me hope that I might be able to live a normal life (normalish anyways). Of course I’m scared, who wouldn’t be, I’m going to be having controlled seizures! Yet, I’ve expended most other options at this point, and I don’t really know what else to do. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I just want this to end. In my mind, there are only two ways my depression ends, either I die, or I find a successful treatment. For now, I’m going to go with option #2, and just hope like hell that it works. I’ll be writing about my progress and experience with ECT on my blog The Smiles We Bear

Yours,

Wolfgang

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30 Replies to “Moving Forward”

      1. Ah, okay, just curious because my depression is treatment resistant, too, and my psych just suggested TMS to me. I’m apprehensive about all the treatments but it seems like a decent option.

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      2. Yeah it seems great from what I read, all the results of ECT with half the side effects, if you get the chance to do it, I say go for it

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      3. We are checking with my insurance. It is very pricey, if my insurance doesn’t cover it and I work in community mental health, so I don’t make much money.

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      4. Yeah, I’m in the same boat, but luckily my insurance does cover 80%, and I’m doing it outpatient which is cheaper

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      5. American healthcare is kind of crap. We are lucky to have insurance. Mine covers 80% of what they do cover, but it is hit or miss on what that might be.

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    1. This is what I was going to mention. Make sure you write down what you need to know from the previous 2 weeks with lots of pictures! Do what’s right for you!

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    2. Yeah, that’s the biggest, and scariest side effect that I’ve read about. However, I have hope that I’ll lead a somewhat normal life afterwards

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      1. That is the goal. I know that one person lived normal for a few years and then sought the treatment again. As far as I know it is not a cureall but a few years of normal life might be worth it.

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      2. I feel like that’s just what I need at this point in my life, because depression, as you probably know, is very tiring on the mind and body, and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired haha

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      1. My daughter has had it and it has helped her. It is a fairly new nontraditional form of psychotherapy. Googlesearch will give you more reading Alan.

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  1. Brave and courageous-that’s how I describe anyone who chooses ECT to help save their life. I am sorry that you are suffering and truly hope that this path brings you good health.

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