Brief Update: Jan 3rd

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Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/2/2017 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   
On Wednesday, I will begin the first of 12-15 ECT sessions. It's my last viable option, since none of the meds the VA have tried on me worked. They feel this is a good option with such a deeply rooted case of "Double Depression". Kind of scared to do it, but more scared of not doing it.

Since the only VA hospital in SC that can do ECT is over 200 miles away from me, they outsourced it to a major private hospital about 20 minutes from my house. I know it will cost a fortune, but the VA is covering all of it.

Has anyone here underwent ECT for severe depression? If so, would love for you to share your experience, and what kind of results you had/have.

Worse part for me is having to be there at 6 AM. I am not usually even asleep until after 430 in the morning. Since I won't be able to drive after and for 24 hours, my poor wife is going to have to drive for me, and then turn around and leave at 2 PM each day to go to work.

Treatments are set for Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.

Had a crappy Christmas, but that's another story in itself.

Good luck to every one else here, and hope you have a better New Year's

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40764
   Posted 1/3/2017 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Wishing you the best with the ECT. Keep us posted as to how things go.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 6552
   Posted 1/3/2017 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Have not had it, however I have met many people who have and know 3 personally.

The depression was improved, there is a short term memory loss as I am sure they told you. This get somewhat better as time goes on. Crosswords and soduko like puzzles help they say.

All I have met are still on anti depressant, but doing better.

I wish you the best out come.

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

Oranged
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 1/3/2017 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
From your post it appears You have courage and strength through all of your dismay ! It also seems that You have a very kind hearted wife. Blessings and hope to you !

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/3/2017 5:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies.

Thought about putting a 2 week delay on the treatments, but my main doctor just happened to call me as I was driving, and talked a long time to me, and convinced (begged) me to stay the course. Said I was too high risk and fragile, and that it would and could be a serious gamble if I delayed treatment. Especially since all other meds have failed to produce any results.

Wish I could heal on my own, but I have been in a severely depressed state for at least 9 years, perhaps as many as 15, so much, that depression is my normal reality, so I no longer know the difference. I wouldn't even know how to act glad or happy, been so long since I had those feelings
Not sure what became of my signature? Didn't realize it disappeared.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40764
   Posted 1/3/2017 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
It will all fall into place when you start treatment. You will be feeling better. You will be comfortable with it. It might be strange at first but you will remember how it was and it will be good again. I am glad you are staying on course. You deserve to feel good.

Hugs, Karen...

Keep us posted as to how things go...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7118
   Posted 1/3/2017 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hang in there, David. I am keeping my fingers crossed, have said my prayers, and am sending healing energy your way. Remember what Barb would say. Do the best you can, and keep us posted.

Lynn

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/4/2017 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Full of surprises. I decided at 2 AM, that I was putting a 1-2 week delay on starting the ECT treatments. I can't do it unless I feel 100% on-board before starting. There are still a few remaining issues that need to be resolved. Still concerned about both long term and short term memory loss issues that could take place.
Not sure what became of my signature? Didn't realize it disappeared.

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7118
   Posted 1/4/2017 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Probably good that you were brave enough to follow your instincts. From people who've had it, I've heard that the memory glitches are generally relatively minor. But there are no guarantees either way - a judgement call only you can really make, but listen carefully to your wife and Drs.

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 6552
   Posted 1/5/2017 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
The memory loss are minor from my interactions with people who have had it.

However, if you are not comfortable don't do it.

Have you tried mindfulness as a daily coping skill?

I use it every day, it is not a religious, or OM meditation. It is simply slowing down, being aware of actions, decisions and what is happening around you.

I suggest you take a look at the following web site www.mindful.org

I searched under 'deep depression' do find the video I had watched 2 years ago. This article was very enlightening to me. YES. it takes work. However, it becomes easier with each passing day, and before you know it, the skill is part of you. You are experiencing happier moment more often.

www.mindful.org/the-mindful-way-through-depression-video/

the search is in the top right corner of the site. Happy reading and exploring.

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/6/2017 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   
In my weekly PTSD session, with a most excellent therapist, she has been teaching me how to think properly, something I had never thought about in my 64 years. I have found there's a lot I don't know about thinking through problems.

Due to the severity and length of my PTSD and its origins, she said its going to take a lot longer than their normal 12 week program, in fact, it may go on for most of this new year, on top of the previous 3 months or so I have been involved.

However, until the other side can break through on my "double depression", its going to hamper some progress on the PTSD side.

I talked to the ECT nurse both yesterday and today, and in theory, going to start on Wednesday, January 18th, somewhere between 12 and 15 events. This will give me time to line up all my ducks, and feel comfortable about actually doing it.

I know inside, that I am sick and need help, and so far, meds aren't doing it. It's almost like my brain fights the effects the meds intend. I might as well be taking sugar pills.

And the VA fully understands I am at high risk for harm. It's still possible that I may have to go in-patient for a while. Don't really want to, but if it could save my life and give me a chance to get my head on straight, I am at least open to the possibility.

None of this is easy, and I know its not for anyone fighting severe depression. Part of my problem, is that I made the choice years ago to tough out all the medical disasters I was undergoing on my own, without help, without meds. Huge mistake looking back, as I see that I painted myself into a corner with no way out.

For those here that don't know me or my story, since 2000, I have had cancer 4 times, including 3 bouts of the ultra rare porocarcinoma, and metastatic prostate cancer - which I am still dealing with. I had both surgery and radiation for the prostate cancer - and both treatments failed fast. With the other cancers, I had multiple operations and major radiation.

All told, during that time, I have had 15 operations or procedures, major radiation 2x, spent 1 1/2 years on catheters, and ended up with an Urostomy. And that's the short version.

No wonder I have had a mental and emotional breakdown of sorts. Mix in a long childhood of severe abuse, being a Viet-Nam vet, etc. My life has been one long path of issues and problems.

Don't get me wrong, I know many of you have probably suffered far more than myself, but due to my history, I can honestly empathize with you. And yeah, been dealing with severe chronic pain for nearly 7 years, and chronic fatigue for nearly 17 years.

Have not been able to work since the end of 2008, right when I was at the peak of my career. Haven't gotten over that part either. I had worked so hard for so many years, and had it snatched away from me because of my poor health.

Anyway, will quit boring, just wanted to give a little background to my new friends here in this particular forum

I read and appreciate all your comments and thoughts
Not sure what became of my signature? Didn't realize it disappeared.

Oranged
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 1/6/2017 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! That is a lot for one person to endure. Wow.
I can't imagine but it sounds like your trying something new for your future. Think that's all we can do !

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7118
   Posted 1/6/2017 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
So glad you are finally seeking out and accepting help, Purgatory. I know how much you have been thru and how hard you have tried to make it on your own - there is NO SHAME in needing help.

I probably need to accept more help myself - just nothing ever seemed to work in the past, so I quit trying to do more than maintain on my own. I certainly understand not getting help from meds and how disheartening that is.

Peace.

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/9/2017 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
So from the lack of a direct response, no one here has ever undergone ECT for severe depression? Was really hoping to read one or more, first hand experiences. I don't like surprises, was looking for any tips or advice.

Also on 300 mg. of Lithium, the past 2 months. Doesn't do much for me, but has taken some of the edge off of me, makes me feel less uptight and aggressive and angry. Hasn't helped my sleep, my night mares, nor any of my current delusional thinking. If anything, the calming effect has made it easier for me to think about the things I shouldn't be thinking about. Know that might not make sense to some.

Anyone else suffer from constant nightmares? For over a year now, anytime I am sleeping, I am having horrific night mares. Makes me afraid to be asleep at all, but so fatigued most of the time, you just have to be able to sleep..

Past two nights have been really bad. I always dream in color, sound, intense detail, intense emotions - it's as real to me in my dreams, as living my real life, so I never get any real escape or relief day or night. Truly a form of purgatory for me.
Not sure what became of my signature? Didn't realize it disappeared.

Oranged
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 1/9/2017 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
When I wanna see what someone has said on a particular topic I type it into the little search box up top, I did it for ECT and it looks like a few people have written about in past posts, hope that helps?

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18844
   Posted 1/10/2017 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
i have, lyn wrote me. it aint that bad, it is more in the preparation. so, the sore head thing and confusion for a few treatments, but it gets easier. after my last i took the bus home!!! i mean, i was at the same stage your at, and now i am much better. i volunteer, do some mental health uni gigs and work when needed with the mental health dept on projects. it gets ya going, so that treatment can begin. don't expect miracles, took me 9 months to turn the corner. make sure ya got a good team around ya, as you will be a bit head expletived for a bit. take care.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25223
   Posted 1/11/2017 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you turtle. for the info, and that you are a happy turtle.

I have no fear of the ect procedure itself, I have been through so much worse and invasive treatments over the years.

Concerned how much memory loss I may encounter. At 64, already having natural memory loss issues as it is.

What did you mean the "sore head"?

We have to be at the hospital at 6 AM on treatment days (M-W-F), which will be hard, as I am rarely asleep until at least 4 AM. Plus my wife still has to work her 3-11 PM nurse shift each day, and I won't be allowed to drive myself.

Not expecting miracles, just hope that it will be enough to break the vicious circle of severe long term depression that I am living for years now. I couldn't imagine a life of not feeling depressed, sad, or hopeless. It would be all new to me.
Not sure what became of my signature? Didn't realize it disappeared.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18844
   Posted 1/11/2017 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
you might get a sore head after the treatment. it passes, the memory loss does come back, so don't be worried about it. some disorientation is common. so, best stay put.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 6552
   Posted 1/12/2017 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Well purgatory I can tell you that I have constant nightmares.

My complex ptsd from 15 years of abuse from 4 family members over 15yrs. I suppressed the abused for 28yrs. I have been in therapy for 5 yrs now.

I am starting EMDR, rapid eye moment therapy, but I use the tappers with my eyes closed.

Nightmares are a way that our subconscious helps process the stuff that needs to be cleaned out so we can heal. I and on Minipress to help control them, however, I still have 1 or 2 a week.

The are burned in my brain, I write them down in detail, then later sometimes the next day, I read it again and make notes about what makes sense to me. Such as, why is a house burning, why is a dog sitting by me. See my point?

You have been through a major haul of trauma. ECT may be the answer for you. Everyone has their own path and their own courage. Just make sure that what ever your decide, that you can always be space between your emotions and your actions.

Contract with your self for safety.

Peace and strength
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;
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