Has anyone used ECT Therapy for depression?

Posted by yodren @yodren, Oct 9, 2021

Has anyone used ECT Therapy for depression /? thank you

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Yodren, I suffered from very severe depression years ago, and my family credits ECT with “bringing me back” after medications and hospitalization failed. I underwent the initial course of ECT treatments, and am now on maintenance care where I receive one ECT treatment every six weeks. I consider ECT to be part of my “toolbox” to manage my depression, and along with medication, mindfulness, CBT therapy, and family support, I am very functional and am centered and at peace.

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Is there a certain number of ECT treatments at the onset of the procedures. Thank you.

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@hopeful1953

Is there a certain number of ECT treatments at the onset of the procedures. Thank you.

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As I understand it, the number of ECT treatments during a course of care varies from 6 to 12 depending upon the individual case and the response to the treatments. In my case, I received ECT three times a week (M/W/F) for four weeks.

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New to this but what is ECT?

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@jbogren

New to this but what is ECT?

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Hi Shanon,

This is an excerpt from an article link from Mayo Clinic that I’ve posted below:

“Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.”
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/about/pac-20393894
Welcome to Connect. May I ask what brought you to the forum? Are you experiencing depression?

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@jbogren Hi there and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

Are you looking for alternate treatments for depression?

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@kathadilly

As I understand it, the number of ECT treatments during a course of care varies from 6 to 12 depending upon the individual case and the response to the treatments. In my case, I received ECT three times a week (M/W/F) for four weeks.

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The ECT was administered at MAYO. I would like to repeat the 5th. procedure at Mayo Clinic with my dr. It was an inpatient procedure at that time. How would I arrange that appointment? How would my inpatient doctor be contacted?
For success, what would be the length of time between #4 and #5.
The memory loss was only the immediate time following the ECT.
Recent Master of Economics knowledge was not lost.
I look forward to your response.
Thank you.

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Patsyp53, I delayed responding to your message with ECT questions, as I am not familiar with how Mayo schedules their ECT procedures. I’m sorry that I am unable to help guide you in how to proceed. Perhaps someone else in the group will be able to reply. You are right, that the memory issues following ECT are transient, and that they do not impact long term learning. The primary side effect that I allow for is a dull headache that lasts for about 6-8 hours after a treatment. (But I easily manage that discomfort with Tylenol and Aleve.) I hope to reassure others coping with severe depression that they need not be apprehensive about trying ECT if it is recommended for them. I know that it proved to be a blessing in my case.

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Have had ECT treatments as a last resort because meds were unresponsive in my case. There was some short term memory loss.

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Had my first ECT treatments in about 1989 and 1990. 12 treatments. Life changing experience. I got “myself” back after about 30 years. 6 mo. of temporary memory loss but some long term memories not to return. Do not be put off though. It is also a lifesaving treatment. Go for it!

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I once suggested to my psychiatrist that I have ECT, but she tried me on Seroquel which worked. Also, I once worked in a mental hospital and accompanied a patient to his ECT treatment. The treatment seemed easy for him and I was impressed with how much it helped.

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My father had ECT in 1975 to help him recover from deep depression. It worked, but in many ways he was never the same. His short term memory ability was degraded. His personality was slightly different. No doubt ECT techniques have been changed and hopefully improved since 1975, and I am certainly not a medical psychiatric professional, but – – – in my humble opinion, ECT should be a last resort. I'd love to hear some professional opinions on this.

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