Looking into ECT and ElectroMagnetic Stimulation
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Looking into ECT and ElectroMagnetic Stimulation

This is a discussion on Looking into ECT and ElectroMagnetic Stimulation within the Alternative Treatment forums, part of the Treatment category; Hi, all, I've been getting treatment for depression for 17 years, but in August, I went to the hospital to ...

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Old 09-18-15, 05:30 PM   #1
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Hi, all,

I've been getting treatment for depression for 17 years, but in August, I went to the hospital to treat severe depression and an eating disorder. The doctors changed my meds, and in a few days it was as if I had never been depressed at all. I was stunned. I described the effect in this Facebook post:

I've been getting treatment for clinical depression for 17 years, but a few days ago, the doctor changed my medication. In the last few days, I have been able to respond to the possibility of good things happening in the future rather than struggling not to see it "catastrophically"-Ie, when I'm severely depressed, my perception of the future goes like this: "Horrible things are going to happen; and there's nothing that you can do to stop them from happening"-"That's not true..., you're [Depression] just teling me that." "Yes, it is; because..." "Well, fine; but you telling me that doesn't make it true; things*still* might get better, so I'm going to do some breathing exercises, walk to the Y, eat omega 3s, and go to DBT therapy."
I've also been able to :
Smile at others
Be affectionate towards others and thus receive affection
Engage in "happy" stimming at points throughout the day as opposed to some anxiety-related behaviors
Think and write cogently
Express my wants and needs
Make lists
Get up and get a glass of water, brush my hair, etc; instead of lying in bed and thinking about how much I would like to do those things.
Describe my depression symptoms with metaphors
Hear criticism without being triggered
Stick up for myself effectively, get an apology,and accept the apology
Improve my eating habits
Organize my writing projects into folders
Make headway on those projects
Finish a draft of a project
Actually know *why* I am crying
Study my drivers manual and take practice tests online
Answer emails
Breath without feeling a squeezing sensation in my diaphram
Write down several goals
Make my bed
Focus
Retrieve words
Construct sentences
Feel like I could actually fill out a job application, a PHD application, or submit academic projects to journals (which I've been meaning to do.)
I don't *think* that I am manic, but my doctor and I will watch out for that. Please pray that all of this continues."

Sadly, the initial effect of the medication has worn off, but that episode has helped me realize how severely depressed I have been; so I would like to seek other treatments. In particular, however, I covet the cognitive and executive functioning improvement that initially occurred with the new meds-as the above list indicates, the depression has caused a kind of pseudodementia that has prevented me from getting work done and communicating well. For instance, here's Facebook status that I wrote:


Asking for something while severely depressed: "Mom...can...you please...get that...*thingy* [pointing] over there...you know, the round *thing* that..goes in the...square...*thingy* [pointing]..over...there?"


Asking for something when not severely depressed: "Mom, could you hand me that plate; so that I can put it in the dishwasher? Thanks!"

That experience showed me how severely depressed I have been, and Since I'm noticing the same symptoms again, I'm looking into ECT and ElectroMagnetic Stimulation. The frustrating thing is that I've heard contradictory things about the former-ie, that it improves depression and concentration/cognitive function, or that it scews those things up. Has anyone had any experience with these treatments, and how did they impact cognitive functioning?
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Old 11-06-15, 03:52 PM   #2
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I've had ect. I was diagnosed as schizoaffective. Yes it did help my concentration but not so much my mood. It's safe and not as scary as it comes across you know electricity to the brain it sounds barbaric. I will say though that I had bad fever dreams for six months. I think it alone isn't enough and you will have to find a medication that works. Some people get ect every year as like a *top up* I would say you have nothing to lose and go ahead . best of luck and get well soon! Xxx
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Old 12-05-15, 10:47 PM   #3
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Hi i just wish your meds had continued to work for you . That would have been good. But i wanted to warn you about ect my mum had this when she had her nervous breakdown and it did seem to help her mood but it made her memory terrable way after the 3 months they say you will lose when you have it.She doed shortly after that of cancer a year later but that wasnt related to the ect its just i think the memory problems i believe would have been for life but i never got to see if that was so.
It seemed to change something fundemental in her personality as well that i found disturbing like she lost a spark that she had before the treatment. Even with her mental breakdown she had a sharpness to her mind that she lost after treatment and it wasnt just cognitive it was in every part of her the change. But she herself wasnt aware of this she said. But she was still very ill mentaly after the treatment just that she wasnt as bothered by it i would sayas she had been before the treatment so less anxiety. And she stopped some of the repetative behavoirs she was doing. But it was always this thing about her memory and this loss of personality and ive since then heard of it in other people who have the treatment its more disturbing to the family of the person than to them it seems but i personaly wouldnt like it. Its basicaly like stunning the brain for awhile and wiping you out. I dont want to scare you out of doing it if it would help you but i always feel ive got to put this on here if i come across a post about ect.
I hope you find something else to help you or if you do go ahead and try it you are helped by it and nothing unwanted happens i hope you find something anyway.
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Old 01-04-16, 08:34 PM   #4
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There is this new research about ketamine infusions perhaps helping. There are doctors in the US who do this however not many and insurance does not cover it since Western medicine takes so long to catch up. And....it is expensive....it is useful for treatment resistant depression. In the grand scheme of things it is not expensive considering what one or myself has already spent on trying other methods (i.e., time, side effects, anxiety when nothing works).

Have you ever considered this?

I do know what it is like to suffer for so long. I see you have been suffering long. I have always been afraid of ECT because it seems like it works very well or it reacts worse to the person. To me those are 50 50 odds that I did not want to take.

How are things going today?
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Old 04-12-16, 04:02 PM   #5
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Things are still really rough. I'm in the hospital again. I'd give anything if the meds would just work. I was going to try ECT but am currently holding off b/c of fears related to the cognitive effects.
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Old 04-12-16, 04:43 PM   #6
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watch Sherwin Nuland = https://www.ted.com/talks/sherwin_nu...py?language=en
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