I am a 46 yr old woman who has been extremely resistent to medication. I have been on meds for 26 years. Three years ago I became extremely depressed and tried to hurt myself. I was hospitalized in a well known New York hospital. I was feeling pretty "numb" and "dead". The doctors taking care of me agreed that ECT might be helpful. I was a my lowest low - so I had 6 treatments (3 x week) - for 2 weeks. As it sort of seemed archaic and barbaric to me - the doctors explained that to this day, they still do not know exactly how ECT works.
I was given full anesthesia and don't remember any of the treatments. I experienced some stiffness in my body and had a problem (which occasionally flares up) with the muscles contracting in my right jaw. Outside of that - I had some memory loss, mostly in the few months after the treatment and it seems to have gradually come back with just a few blank spots.
Was is helpful? I guess I have to say yes - it did bring me around. I was alone at the time and with the exception of my doctors and a group therapy I didn't have much of a support group. ECT is not something people like to talk about and they are usually afraid to hear about it. There is still a great deal of contoversy about the treatments. Nowadays, everthing is very closely monitored during the treatments. It is not like Jack N in cookoo's nest.
I would talk about with your doctors, you family and people whom are close to you that you can trust. ECT affects everyone differently. It is helpful to have people around you during the treatment time as you may be a bit "out of sorts".
Only you can really make the decision. I can say it did help me, but I am still very depressed and still on medication. Whatever you decide, I hope for the very best for you.