I have had over 130 ECT treatments over a period of 15 years, my last treatment was about 8 weeks ago. I currently have have the treatments on a maintenance schedule of about 1 every 8-9 weeks. I am not wild about having the treatments but because they do definitely work for me, I continue to go in on this maintenance schedule that works well for me.When I am having an acute episode of depression I usually receive ECT on a 3 times a week basis untill I am stable. Then the period of time between treatments is gradually increased until I reach my maintenance schedule of 8-9 weeks between treatments. This allows me to have to take less medication than I would have to without the treatments and certainly does provide me with increased stability.
I agree totally with an earlier writer who said that memory loss from his depression was far worse than memory loss from the ECT. Immediately after the treatment I may have some clouding and memory blurring for about 24 hours. Others say they don't notice it but I can feel that I am not as sharp as I want to be. When that clears up, things generally go pretty smoothly. This pattern of confusion/memory problems is typical for maintenance ECT. When I was having treatment phase ECT, i.e. 3 times/week for 2-3 weeks the confusion and memory problems seemed more cumulative and disabling. However, I was hospitalized during these phases and the depression itself was far worse then too so it was hard to sort out what was causing what during these times.
So bottom line: I don't particularly like ECT. But I do go for ECT because it works for me. And I prefer it to the greater amounts of medication I would have to take to control my depression if I did not go for the ECT. And after 130 treatments I guess I should know what I am talking about, at least for myself. Good luck to you!View Thread
The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.
Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.