Ok, let's try this again (and this time, I'm going to copy it before posting it in case it gets eaten again).
So, yes, I have had ECT, for quite a while.
It was a really big, scary decision. I fought it and fought it for a long time. I researched it as much as I could. I found that the information on the internet wasn't sufficient, and then one day when I was in a bookstore, I came across the book Shock by Kitty Dukakis (Michael Dukakis' wife) and I read it thoroughly. As far as I know, it's the only book of its kind -- a personal account of what it's like to go through ECT. That book was probably the biggest reason that I finally said yes to having ECT -- I was in much the same situation that she was in -- chronically suicidal, in and out of hospitals, a frequent flyer in the ER, so familiar with the ambulance crew that I knew them by name, going through all the medications in the book, everything. ECT was literally the last resort. There was no other choice. It was either that or I was looking at a long-term hospitalization.
Instead, in 2008 I had 8 months worth of ECT every two weeks, and then in 2010, I had 5 months worth, also every two weeks. Both times I stopped because the doctor and I mutually decided that it had become ineffective for me and it would be useless to continue a treatment that was so invasive.
And it is invasive -- inducing a grand mal seizure under full anesthesia every two weeks. It did work for a while... and for a while, I felt like I could breathe. I felt almost human again. I felt like I could walk around without this great weight on my shoulders for the first time in my life. I was remarkable. I actually sent a thank you note to the psychiatrist who suggested it and put it into motion for me. But slowly, it lost its magic and then things went back to the way they were.
Did it help? Yes. For a while. Has is permanently changed things? Yes. I am no longer chronically suicidal. It's now the exception rather than the rule for me to think of suicide. It's now a red flag for me so I am like other people in that regard.
My memory is shot. I used to have a semi-photographic memory and now I have trouble remembering things. It bothers me. I knew this was a side effect to the treatments and had accepted it, but it still irks me. It's both short-term and long-term memory. There are things that are completely deleted and it's gotten to the point where I just lie and say I remember things when I really don't because I'm tired of saying I don't remember. I have heard this is the case with most people who've had ECT and I doubt we will ever get our memories back.
I won't come out and say "yes, do it" or "no, don't." It's a very personal decision and one only you can make for yourself. I made the decision out of desperation. I think that's what I lot of people do. I would, however, recommend being as educated as you can be about it if it is something you are considering before you accept or reject. I'd also recommend reading that book. It helped me a great deal. I'd also talk to your psychiatrist about it. (Pdocs tend to be spare on words so it would be hard to make them talk, but it's something you need to get out of them!)
I hope you are able to make the decision best for you. Hugs.View Thread
We must be the change we wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Ghandi
Thank you, guys, from Savannah and me! We very much appreciate this!
Savvy will be sharing her tuna with her friends! She also very much enjoys her laser pointer toy and for some reason loves to play with/on/in plastic bags (while supervised). She can share these games as well!
I get the police called for me too. If I'm not around and things are also slightly out of place (because, knowing me, predictable, dependable, OBSESSIVE R) I get the crime scene unit to inspect things as well. One time I was at the hospital and happened to have flea powder on the floor -- I had filthy neighbors and the fleas had migrated through the carpet -- and the crime scene unit took samples of the flea powder to investigate what it was... they suspected it was drugs because it was white powder strewn all over the blue carpet.
That's also great fun.
I have no boundaries.
I suppose I should just get it through my thick skull that people are not dependable. I supposedly have a DLS worker -- daily living support, an in-home supportive worker -- who has not shown up for her shifts for a week now. Big surprise. I have tried to make friends at IOP (intensive outpatient program) that I've been at but over the years I've learned that there are friends and there are hospital friends... and the vast majority of the friends I've made in the program are falling into the "hospital friends" category... meaning that they're all well and good while you're in the program and you may be quite close and exchange phone numbers and whatnot. Then you're discharged and you go your own ways. Friday was Savannah's birthday and I used it as an excuse to host a "party" and asked some people to come over and get together. Would you believe only one person showed up? It was a blunt way to learn an unpleasant lesson. Not to mention there is a lot of garbage going on in other places on this website... I'm frightened and I miss Caprice. I am angry that WebMD got rid of moderators. She would have done a LOT of good.
And still, when someone needs something in my "real" life, who do they turn to? Me. There's always me, good ol' dependable me, always there, always willing to lend a hand, or do a favor, or give a ride or whatever.