ECT and memory loss

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linden
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/13/2006 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on the recovery after a 9 years living with (BP) mental illness.  Most of those years were spent in and out of psych hospitals, during which time over a 5 year period I had over 75 bi-lateral ECT treatments. My depression was so untreatable, pdocs thought this was to be the saving grace to my illness.  I don't think they really worked, to be quite honest.  This, I believe, ECT has caused major long-term memory loss in me.  Unable to remember so many events in my life is frustrating, and have to depend on family/friends to help recall.
 
I have just experienced that pdocs don't want to touch on this topic of ECT=memory loss.  My own pdoc insists there is only short-term loss, but I feel like asking him - how do you know if you've never had one?
 
I just wish I knew then what I know now.  I would never have agreed to any.  When you are as sick as I was, living with black depression, any relief was welcomed with open arms.  They are successful for some people who come away unscarred, but was just wondering are there others out there?
 
Fortunately for me, I am working full-time now, but it's been a hell of hard work.  Tenacity prevails.  Memory loss does get in the way sometimes though.
 
Deb :)
 
 

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 10/14/2006 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Deb,

It's so hard when you're that low that you'll try anything and, though ECT can be very effective for some, your treatments this way are continued even when they don't seem to be helping much and even have effects on oyu like memory loss. I'm so sorry you've had to go though this. (((Deb)))

I know that Gaz is having ECT at the moment, and I hope that he will be about to comment on this -- and that others out there come forward to give more feedback. I think this is an important question.

I think you're doing brilliantly getting back to work and coping with such *wonderful* tenacity. -- Hats off to you!!

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 10/30/2006 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Deb,
 
I realize that you posted this a few weeks ago, but I wanted to respond and let you know you are not alone.
 
I had ECT in 2004 (I think).  There is so much in my life that I can't recall that it drives me to tears some time.  Special memories that I should have, my children's first step, work history, hospitalizations, I even dated someone for a period of time and have no recollection.
 
I had 9 sessions and for two years it did seem to help, but alas, bp has reared it's ugly head with a vengence (sp?) determined to take me under this time around.
 
Try journaling and keeping a calendar, (as previously mentioned, I believe) try to write in it daily.  I do this and it helps me to feel more grounded. 
 
Rosa

seechell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 10/30/2006 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
K, I'm asking the uninformed, naive question. What is ECT?
Take Care,
               Chelle
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
  DX: ankylosing spondylitis, periferal neuropathy, chronic migraines/headaches, depression/panic attacks, bi-polar, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, orthostatic hypotension, sleep apnea
  RX: synthroid, estradiol, cymbalta, xanax, geodon, lamictal, inderal la, torfanil pm, celebrex, sonata, aspirin, relpax, phenergan, esgic plus
  Surgeries: hysterectomy 1997, tonsillectomy 2001, deviated septum 2005, cataracts (both eyes) 2006
 
 


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 10/31/2006 3:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chelle,

ECT is Electro-Convulsive Therapy. It's a form of treatment that's really only used when patients with mental health problems are very med-resistant. It used to have a very bad press, but in general things are much better managed now, and it can have great results. However, as recent posts show, there are also side effects and sometimes these can be quite unpredictable. Essentially, this kind of treatment requires extra-close management and monitoring by the pdoc.

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum

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