Hi jsm1974, I read your post and thought I'd sign up to the forum and reply.
I've had some experience with ECT over the last year, not sure how many sessions, maybe 40 or so?
I've had depression since I was a kid, without ever really knowing why. Recently found it it's probably due to undiagnosed autism and social anxiety, but that's another long discussion haha.
Anyway, I started ECT about this time last year, and I think it did help, it's hard to tell at times as I'm still nowhere near where I'd like to be and I tend to focus on the negatives and catastrophize (spelling?) everything. But when I try and think about things with a level head, I think have come a long way in the last year. My psychiatrist and mother think it has made a big improvement.
That said, I'm not doing it anymore. I think I got to the point where it did as much as it was going to do for me, and now it's the psychological issues I need to deal with in order to get where I want to be.
I did have some side effects, the anesthetic does leave you a bit out of it and some people seem to feel that more than others also you do normally have a headache after. (An ice pack helps alot) From my experience and from talking to my psychiatrist and other patients, the memory issues tend to depend on the placement of the electrodes, the more effective placements tend to also have more of an impact on memory. I found my short term memory became fairly poor and when I was having the more aggressive treatment, I had trouble remembering words, its hard to explain, but you would know that you knew the word for what you were trying to say, but you just couldnt make the connection to actually use it. Like I said, not easy to explain, but it was only temporary.
My memory from back when I was having it 3 times a week is still pretty foggy, but other than that I didnt have any lasting negative effects. Plus I also take medication which can have an impact on memory and cognitive function, so some of that could be a result of that.
Hope that helps in some way :)