Experiences with Geriatric ECT

Posted by ice @ice, Sep 15, 2019

I have major chronic depression (first episode at age 14). I'm 65. My last episode was 2 months ago. The depression appears seems to have become medication resistant. Has anyone had experiences with ECT?

Liked by Leonard

Hello @ice and welcome to Mayo Connect.

We have some members who have posted about ECT. I'd like to tag @georgette12 and @mrser52.

Here is some Mayo Clinic information on ECT, just click on the link and you will get some more information which might be helpful to you.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/about/pac-20393894.
Here is a link to a conversation about Bipolar Disorder and ECT treatment. Once again, just click on the link and you can read what others have said.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/bipolar-and-ect-treatments/
Here are some other discussions about depression,
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/depression-and-anxiety-at-an-older-age/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/importance-of-focusing-on-positive-with-depression-anxiety/
Has your doctor recommended ECT or are you just looking for more information? Outside of medication, what other therapies have you tried? (I'm thinking of things like Cognitive Behavior Therapy.)

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I have received treatment for over 20 years. Variety of meds and therapies: the list is long. Have read Mayo's information. A former student of mine had severe chronic depression and said that ECT gave her considerable relief. I have been reading the medical literature and am wondering what others' experience has been.

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@ice

I have received treatment for over 20 years. Variety of meds and therapies: the list is long. Have read Mayo's information. A former student of mine had severe chronic depression and said that ECT gave her considerable relief. I have been reading the medical literature and am wondering what others' experience has been.

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Hi, @ice – I believe members on Mayo Clinic Connect have had a variety of experiences with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I'd like to invite @mrser52 @mandrake70 @mamacita @healthytoday @jakedduck1 @brightwings into this conversation for any input they may have related to ECT for a patient who is 65 and seems to have treatment-resistant depression.

Are you feeling more or less comfortable about this therapy with the reading you've done and input you've gotten from others thus far?

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Bright Wings here.
I had ect treatments when I was around 25. A series of them. 1976 or 1977.
They effectively erased my memories for many years.
The down side, I was unable to take care of myself or my infant daughter for about 6 months. I had to go live with my girlfriend.
I worked for 34 years to take back my life after a tragic childhood. I did too.
I finished my healing by attending Native American Ceremony’s where the Sacred Plant Medicine called peyote was used. These are legal ceremonies. I am now an Elder in the tribe.
The Sacred Plant Medicine gave me my life back as it should have been.
I am Grateful.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @ice – I believe members on Mayo Clinic Connect have had a variety of experiences with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I'd like to invite @mrser52 @mandrake70 @mamacita @healthytoday @jakedduck1 @brightwings into this conversation for any input they may have related to ECT for a patient who is 65 and seems to have treatment-resistant depression.

Are you feeling more or less comfortable about this therapy with the reading you've done and input you've gotten from others thus far?

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Thank you. So far the verdict is out. Not at all sure about ECT.

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I really believe that ECT is like any treatment we decide to try. We can't possibly predict the result because each person is unique. One antidepressant or whatever will work on one person very well but not on another. It's always good to hear what others have experienced but I have personally found that I have to try different methods myself and not expect the results others might have had. I have been swayed by others experiences and forgot that I'm a completely different person, physically, mentally, spiritually and every other way.

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I am sure techniques for ECT have changed since the 70s. You need an updated report.

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@ice
Someone very close to me had Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and said it was horrible beyond words but she was treated 60 years ago.
I wouldn’t have it done even today because of the danger of Amnesia, specifically Retrograde Amnesia. This type of Amnesia effects memories at the time of trauma and before, in this case ECT treatment. Memories may be lost for a very short term, weeks, months and can be years or even be a permanent loss.
I had Retrograde Amnesia although not from ECT but I lost every memory I ever had, I was 15 at the time. Not one of those memories ever returned. My Amnesias were caused from Induced comas but I’ve had Retrograde Amnesia numerous times and no memories ever returned. I don’t know how often this happens but it is possible.
There are other methods I would try first, one being
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS.) I would only do ECT as a very last resort.
I wish you the best of luck,
Jake

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@brightwings

I am sure techniques for ECT have changed since the 70s. You need an updated report.

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Oh that's true . ECT treatments have changed
My treatments were done in 2015. I did not experience side effects

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@georgette12

Oh that's true . ECT treatments have changed
My treatments were done in 2015. I did not experience side effects

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@georgette
Did the ECT treatment cure you?
Jake

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I had ECT a few years ago and I often wonder if they are part of the cause for my memory issues. I don't know about other people but ECT didn't help my depression at all. I ended up going for ketamine treatments and that helped more than anything else has.

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Oh yes, I relate to memory issues.

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@ice

I have received treatment for over 20 years. Variety of meds and therapies: the list is long. Have read Mayo's information. A former student of mine had severe chronic depression and said that ECT gave her considerable relief. I have been reading the medical literature and am wondering what others' experience has been.

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ice, Kim I replied to you but there was a problem. If you have a chance could you please let me know if your received my response.

Liked by Leonard

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@kimspr3

ice, Kim I replied to you but there was a problem. If you have a chance could you please let me know if your received my response.

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Did not receive.

Liked by Leonard

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