Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Topic: ECT treatment

  1. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    15 June 2014

    Hi,

     I had 12 rounds of ECT two years ago, and my memory from those days onwards has been horrendous.  I was just wondering if anyone has had any good or bad experiences with the treatment.

    [Mod note: we've pinned this thread to the top of the Treatments section, as we have regular inquiries from members about ECT. Other threads detailing members' experiences with ECT are linked to below:

    Tired of being depressed now - looking at ECT?

    ECT - my experience

    My wife has just had ECT - what is the recovery time?

    Updated: impending ECT treatment

  2. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4233 posts
    16 June 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    Hi there kitkatsoppy

    Firstly welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for providing your post.  Secondly I can't agree with you on your name - I have a little bit of a love affair with kit kats - so I can't say that they're soppy - my version would be rather:  kitkatdelicious  :)

    Anyway, that's enough of my rambling - sorry about that.

    That sure doesn't sound a very good experience for you with this kind of treatment.  I'm not quite sure whether any of the regular posters here have undergone ect treatment - however, only a month or so ago, we had a poster who provided a very positive experience from her ect treatment.

    If I could suggest that up the top of the page, just above the heading of:  "Make A Donation", there is a box with a search facility in there.  I ran a quick check a short while ago, and I think her post was the first one that came up under the search of  ect.

    And if not, you'll get quite a listing of previous messages about this topic.

    That's not to say that someone reading now, might well come on and chat about it - but hey, some good reading for you in the meantime.

    Kind regards

    Neil

     

  3. AGrace
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AGrace avatar
    1214 posts
    16 June 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    Hi Kitkatsoppy,

    I underwent ECT almost 4 months ago. I had 7 sessions and decided to stop after that because I found the memory loss contributed to my problems. I have about 6 months of memory missing from prior to the treatments. My Psychiatrist at the time said that I should slowly regain that memory, but it still hasn't come back. The saddest part is that I did so many things during that time and every now and then I see evidence of those things and I have to check in with my partner if they really happened.

    I see photos of our trip to Europe back in January and it's like I'm looking at another version of me because I have no memory of being there. I also received an ambulance bill a few weeks back and rang my partner to check if I went in an ambulance back in February, only to discover that I'd made an attempt on my life. It hurts not knowing because I have no idea how my partner felt at that time. 

    I'm yet to speak to anyone that hasn't had memory loss from ECT, however that's not to say that some people aren't affected. I certainly didn't get any positive results from the treatment but again they wouldn't be offering it if there was no evidence to support the results it can achieve in some people.

    Not sure if you're continuing with the treatment or if you have heard about a new treatment called TMS? It's less invasive so if you're toying with treatment options it might be something to raise with your Dr or Psychiatrist.

    Best of Luck!!

    AGrace

    1 person found this helpful
  4. annakonda071
    annakonda071 avatar
    1 posts
    11 July 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    July 11

    I underwent 15 rounds of ECT this year, the last one in May. I wish I had not gone through with it, but as an involuntary patient I likely had no choice.  For the first few weeks after the last one I felt almost high then I crashed and became depressed to the point I was hallucinating (never happened before). How I managed to stay out of hospital then I don't know but then I may have been admitted and not remembered.. I have a faint recollection of an ambulance bill I would have sent to my insurance company. If that's real or imagined I don't know. when I was discharged my mum was overseas and my daughter never home so I had to try and take care of things myself.

    That wasn't the worst side effect .. the memory loss was (or should I say is because although my memory has improved its still not as good as it should be). I forgot to feed my dog the first few days I was home (the dog now steals food when he never did before). I open my wardrobe and see clothes I don't recall buying, an MP3 player I don't recall buying and countess conversations I don't recall. these are ongoing and it irritates the people around me making me feel completely stupid and angry at myself.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    27 July 2014 in reply to annakonda071

    Hi annakonda071,

    After I got my ECT treatment, my memory of the four months that I was in the ward then is basically non-existent.  However, my memory has gotten better, but I would say that it is still bad, particularly with names.

     

    I just guess I have to keep going on with all the treatment that I am receiving at the moment.

  6. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    6 October 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    Hi all again,

     It has been just over 2 years that I got ECT treatment.  My short term memory is just about non-existent (i.e. if I tell someone something I usually have to ask the person if I told them something or not). 

    Also, I went to a board games night that is here in my city.  However, my brain function feels so slow that it takes a very long time to learn how to play a new board game. I honestly can't say if it has been the result of being on 6 different medications a day, or if it was because of the ECT treatment, but part of my long term memory is gone, as well as a lot of short term memory. 

    Then again, I guess that I am still alive, and theres a lot of people worse off than me.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. AGrace
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AGrace avatar
    1214 posts
    8 October 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    Hi There,

    Have you spoken with your Psychiatrist about your concerns with your memory? It could be either or, the medication or the ECT, but it would benefit them to know, and I'd be interested to get their perspective. My Psychiatrist was completely against the idea that the ECT would have impacted my memory - so eventually I switched Dr's.

    AGrace

  8. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    14 October 2014 in reply to AGrace

    Hi - I saw my psychiatrist, and they said that nothing else was working - so they did ECT on me.  I found out that it was my family plus the psychs decision to get the ECT done.  i dont remember getting permission to do it - maybe I got talked into it but i dont know.

     My memory is still patchy everywhere..i "guess" im better now. apparently.

  9. AGrace
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AGrace avatar
    1214 posts
    20 October 2014 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    Hi K,

    Have you thought about getting a second opinion? I've found with Psychiatrists they tend to have one area that they specialise in. For instance the Psych who did the ECT specialised in this, and that's why he was all for me getting it done. I now see a Psychiatrist who is more into talking therapy. I feel so much more comfortable with her, and I've come a long way since being under her care.

    If you don't feel comfortable with your current Psych then I would suggest getting a referral to someone else. You can even get your current Psych to refer you on.

    It's such a shame about the memory. I've found that with some things if someone tells me about something that's happened that I didn't previously remember then the memory comes back to me, even if just vaguely. There's still a lot missing, but I've come to accept that it may never come back and I'm better off focusing on making new memories rather than what memories I've lost.

    AGrace

     

     

  10. LeeG
    LeeG avatar
    2 posts
    12 January 2015

    hi guys,

    i am wondering if anybody has had positive experience with ECT. My new psychiatrist has recommended a bout of it over 4-8 weeks or 10-12 hits. I am being torn about it. The reason he wants to do it is because i have had 5 admissions n countless med changes during the past 13 mths. I would really love 2 hear from any1.

    thanks,

    lee

    1 person found this helpful
  11. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    31 January 2015 in reply to AGrace
    AGrace said:

    Hi K,

    Have you thought about getting a second opinion? I've found with Psychiatrists they tend to have one area that they specialise in. For instance the Psych who did the ECT specialised in this, and that's why he was all for me getting it done. I now see a Psychiatrist who is more into talking therapy. I feel so much more comfortable with her, and I've come a long way since being under her care.

    If you don't feel comfortable with your current Psych then I would suggest getting a referral to someone else. You can even get your current Psych to refer you on.

    It's such a shame about the memory. I've found that with some things if someone tells me about something that's happened that I didn't previously remember then the memory comes back to me, even if just vaguely. There's still a lot missing, but I've come to accept that it may never come back and I'm better off focusing on making new memories rather than what memories I've lost.

    AGrace

     

     

     

    Its now getting close to 3 years since I've had the treatment.  I found out that I was so paranoid and so sick that nothing else was working ( or rather keeping me stable).

     

    I have come to accept that the ECT did do some positive stuff, and maybe its why my memory isnt the best.  I think if i remembered everything about my ward visits, that it would just make me sick again wit PTSD or something like that.

     

    at least i am still functioning pretty good - and i am improving all the time :)

    1 person found this helpful
  12. LeeG
    LeeG avatar
    2 posts
    2 February 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    what were the positives that came out of your ECT treatments? i have an appt with my psychiatrist on the 18th. the memory loss scares me a bit but some1 on another forum said it took away part of their bad memories. 4 me this would mean the abuse from parental figures. the only truly good memories i have from my childhood was being at sport n spending time with my grandparents esp my pop who was in a sense a father figure. he's the only man i truly trusted n miss him more than any1 including my mum. the other positives were when i was playing sport. if ECT can rid me of the bad memories i'm totally in.

    i look forward to your reply,

    Lee

    1 person found this helpful
  13. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    3 February 2015 in reply to LeeG
    Hi - its only really short term memory that gets affected - good luck i guess
  14. bluesea
    bluesea avatar
    9 posts
    30 April 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy
    hi kitkatsoppy how are you doing now? I used to have a cat some years ago who I named kitkat and he`d eat vegemite on toast when I did! anyway I just wondered how old you were and how long you`ve battled depression, if you don`t mind me asking, as I`ve battled for over 30yrs and ETC is the only treatment that I haven`t tried     
  15. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    12 May 2015 in reply to bluesea

    Hiya bluesea - im turning 33 this year, and i have had depression etc etc since i was 20 years old.  i found that ECT treatment blanks your brain for alot of months, even years...then again, nothing else was working at the time, so i just had to have the treatment - oh well :(

     you cant rely on one treatment to fix anything...i would describe having ECT as somebody shortening your thinking and resetting it like a power point lol

     anyway, if nothing else is working i guess i would give it a shot. otherwise i would probably still be in the psych ward

  16. eyebrella
    eyebrella avatar
    1 posts
    17 May 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy
    Hi kitkatsoppy,  I am 60 and have had chronic depression since I was 26. Tried every med known to man and then had ect in 2008. While I was having treatment I was told I was happy and my depression seemed to have lifted but as soon as treatment stopped, my depression returned. Whilst I have memories of my time in hospital I have lost memories of many events and times going back years. Sometimes Im not sure if my Grandma has died as I cant remember it happening and other such things. The whole treatment was for me a waste of time but the memory loss has not affected my life really so no harm done I guess. Finally successfully treated my  34 year long battle with depression by going to a new psychiatrist last year who finally found meds that work for me. Dont stay with the same doctor for years as I did if you are not controlling your depression. Second or third opinions are a good idea.
  17. maeve
    maeve avatar
    4 posts
    17 May 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy
    My son had ECT a few years ago, about 9 rounds.  He had no memory loss, unfortunately it was unsuccessful.  There was a program on SBS insight a little over a year ago on ECT treatment that you can get online.
  18. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    2 June 2015 in reply to maeve

    hi maeve - i just found the ect program on sbs's website.  i am going to watch it soon.

     i am mostly stable at the moment, but its easy for me to stay going downhill if i am stressed out.

    These days, i get stressed sometimes at night time. ..i guess i am going good otherwise.

  19. Gothgirl87
    Gothgirl87 avatar
    9 posts
    13 June 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy
    I didn't know ECT was still a treatment option! I've never met someone who's had it done.
  20. kitkatsoppy
    kitkatsoppy avatar
    24 posts
    15 June 2015 in reply to Gothgirl87

    Hi Gothgirl87,

     Yep yep yep - ECT is still out there in the wards - all it did really was reset my brain - it felt like my brain was a hard drive that got corrupted and wiped clean.

     I watched the documentary on ECT, but I wasn't really suprised by anything on the show.

     I am not going to attempt the deep brain stimulation part either.  ECT has also been around for probably 50 years or so (don't quote me on that).

     You would think that they would have a different treatment that works. oh well. :(

  21. trev57
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    trev57 avatar
    1 posts
    28 June 2015

    Hi all,Im 58 yrs old,suffered a "nervous breakdown" about 9 yrs ago which left me with MD and Anx.After several attempts of "s",and a few times in Phyc Hosp.i was convinced by Phy Nurses and Drs to try ECT,Meds were'nt doing anything for me.they told me there was no risk of long term memory loss,maybe some immediately surrounding the actual treatment.and it would help me significantly with the depression.

    So I tried and ended up having 20+ treatments of ECT.

    Result significant memory loss,both surrounding treatment and ongoing daily memory problems in day to day stuff.

    How do i know this,if I dont remember stuff?

    ,cause my partner is always pointing out stuff we have done,which i dont have any memory for or doing,......i get in car go down to shop thinking of the things i need to get,by the time i get there(15 mins),i've forgotten them....things like that,then i dont remember my mothers death or funeral(furtunately mt sister recorded it and have dvd of it).forget how to get to somewhere,that again my partner tells me ive been to many,many times,and have to ask her the directions.

    Thats the memory,as for helping with the depression.No help for me,in fact due to the memory loss,made,make me more depressed.

    Anyhow,thats my experience,but not for me to say whether you should or shouldnt try it....I have heard some who say its been a life saviour,other as with me not so

    trev

    beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.

  22. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    2808 posts
    29 June 2015 in reply to trev57

    Hi trev57, thank you for your post and for sharing your journey with us. From what you have you shared with us, it sounds like getting the right help for depression and anxiety has been a rollercoaster for you. We understand that you have been very proactive in getting help to recover and unfortunately ECT has impacted your life dramatically by affecting your day to day memory.

    You must feel very alone in this and we feel you would benefit from getting additional support like seeing a psychologist or even thinking about joining a support group for people who have lost there memory such as those run by Alzheimers Australia. Although we understand that you are not suffering from Alzheimers we feel that you have lost your memory and it can be helpful to connect with others who are also find it hard.

    The National Dementia Helpline number is 1800 100 500. They also run support groups for carers and it may be helpful to attend some programs with your wife.

    Another option is to talk to your psychologist about any groups they can suggest which are for people who have lost their memories due to ECT.

    If you are feeling suicidal it is important that you take immediate steps to keep yourself safe. If you are at risk of harming yourself it is important you get help immediately. You can do this by:

    -Speaking to your doctor if he or she is available right now
    -Calling the Mental Health Team at your nearest hospital

    If, however, you feel unable to keep yourself from acting on your thoughts about suicide this is an emergency and you need to call 000 (triple zero).

    We encourage you to continue using these forums as a way to connect with others and to share your experiences.

    It is important that you take steps to keep yourself safe. We encourage you to call the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636. We can help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with counselling support, information and referrals. We also have web chat service available from 3pm-midnight 7 days a week, you can access this from our website here.

  23. transendence
    transendence avatar
    1 posts
    14 July 2015 in reply to eyebrella

    Please share the name of your new med.

    Thank you

  24. cobham
    cobham avatar
    1 posts
    23 July 2015 in reply to kitkatsoppy

    I  had six treatments of ECT for an agitated bi-polar depression. I found it WORKED.  The worst part was the general procedure you go through. Very nerve racking. Akin to being executed six times. The worst aspect of it however as far as I'm concerned was the TOTAL LACK of any "debriefing" My memory is ok.

    Cheers.

    3 people found this helpful
  25. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1758 posts
    23 July 2015 in reply to transendence
    Hi transendence, sorry but we can't share medication names here on the forums, it's one of our community rules.
  26. Rudiga
    Rudiga avatar
    1 posts
    16 October 2015

    Hi

    i had my first ect treatment today. Before having the treatment I found this forum and read through the posts. There really isn't much positive about the treatment here and it scared me. My treatment went well, no memory loss and minimal muscle soreness. I did wake up very upset but that passed quickly. Just want to post my experience to add a little more positive news here.

    6 people found this helpful
  27. Hopewaits
    Hopewaits avatar
    1 posts
    19 October 2015 in reply to Rudiga
    Hi Rudiga, I am going for my first ECT treatment tomorrow. I have been trying to find some positive experiences to ease my mind. Im terrified but also hoping that it works for me. I've tried numerous medications, some giving relief for periods but the depression always reared its ugly head again. The last medications side effects were just too much, and discontinuation symptoms were so bad that I asked for ECT treatment.  I have read lot of negative as well. I just have to know that there will be some relief ... Something has to help. Life is becoming too difficult the way it is. Ian fortunate to have a handful of supportive people in my life but also see the strain that I cause them. I especially feel for my children who watch me struggle on a daily basis. I haven't been able to work since March, my job is really very stressful but when I am well I am successful at it.  I will posts again after my treatment and hope that we can support each other through this. I hope that you find the peace and relief that you are looking for with this treatment. 
    1 person found this helpful
  28. Katie2015
    Katie2015 avatar
    2 posts
    28 October 2015 in reply to AGrace
    TMS has been wonderful for me. 
  29. goblues
    goblues avatar
    11 posts
    2 May 2016 in reply to Katie2015
    That's awesome! Can you please elaborate
  30. Lolaandelvis
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Lolaandelvis avatar
    1 posts
    6 May 2016
    I am currently an inpatient undergoing ECT. I starting seeing a psychiatrist about 8 months ago. I had about 5 years of different stressors that I hadn't dealt with, breast cancer, my daughters diagnosis of bipolar, my father with Alzheimer's and terminal lung cancer and then my mother being diagnosed with bowel cancer and needing chemo, something she couldn't obtain in rural NSW. I first relocated with the help of my sister to bring them to live with me in QLD and then found them some independent living attached to a nursing home for my fathers ongoing care, but my mother's chemo saw her struck down twice with infections which required her to be hospitalised and then we needed to be able to care for my father who can't live independently. It just all got too much and even though I had been seeing a psychiatrist for almost 8 months, I just wasn't getting the results I needed to keep going. My husband was in London on business and I needed to ask him to return and kindly my daughter came from Sydney to be with me till he arrived home. At that point I couldn't drive a car, attend my regular exercise classes, in fact when my husband would drive me to my doctors appointment I would need to close my eyes the entire way as the stimulation of the traffic on the freeway was just too much for me to cope with. When my Dr suggested ECT I felt it was just about my last hope. mood stabilising medication together with anti anxiety medication and medication to help sleep patterns return to normal were just not helping, I was treading water so to speak but going under every now and that made it so hard to feel as if I was making progress. My first treatment was 2 days ago. I was very relaxed and in some ways looking forward to getting back on the road to recovery. The only drawback was a swollen and sore jaw on the right hand side of my face which the staff gave me some pain relief for. I was very tired and slept most of the day, but yesterday which was a non treatment day I took a long walk and treated myself to a lovely lunch. Today was treatment 2 and apart from being a bit emotionally sad and tired I can't say I've had any side effects. The staff here are just delightful, caring practitioners and the other patients are a mix of young teens to the elderly. As with any treatment there's no 100% guarantee but ECT does have great rates of recovery with medication resistant depression which is what I have been diagnosed with. I'll keep you posted on results
    5 people found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up