ECT and anxiety

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 5/8/2010 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been trying to read all the information I can find and still don't know what to think. My therapist wanted me to consider this (and also adding biofeedback at the same time possibly). Everything I can read says it is more for depression and I can't find any real statistics for anxiety. It seems like such a risk to take for anxiety if it doesn't help. I am desperate as after at least 15 to 20 meds later and 20+ years later I am now at a point I am not only housebound (except for mostly doctor's appointments), but cannot be left alone and mostly have to be with my husband at all times. We are having to hire a care provider to stay with me so he can go into the office a few days a week and then works from home the rest of the time - it is getting ridiculous! I have become a little suicidal, but that thought is not very serious as I know I have so much to live for - a great husband and three terrific kids, this is just not the life I want to live right now. I feel trapped in a body that is not my own.

I just wondered if anyone had any experience with this type of therapy. I know it is very controversial, but I am getting desperate. My husband thinks maybe we should try the biofeedback first and then if necessary try the ECT after that, but I am still researching and would have to talk to more doctors to make an informed decision.

Thanks for any input you guys can offer. I pray you are all doing well.


P.S. I am currently on Klonpin daily (a low dose) and Xanax as a PRN - but I have read some horror stories about withdrawal from that so I am nervous about staying on that as well. The Xanax I don't take too much since I went on the Klonopin, but I am scared that I am going to become addicted to the Klonopin or both. Right now I take Klonopin 0.125 six times a day (adds up to 0.75 a day) and Xanax 0.25 as needed - usually a few times a week. My doctor tells me this is very low, but I still am afraid.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 5/11/2010 12:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I wish I had a good answer for you. Whatever you decide as to ECT, be sure to get a second opinion from an unbiased psychiatrist, in other words, not one of your doctor's partners or such!
It sounds like your klonopin dosage isn't all that high as your doc says. Apparently he's aware of its addictive capacity and is doing a good job at not letting you get overly dependent on it, so try to take it and give your mind a rest on that score. I found the following information VERY interesting as it comes directly from users of klonopin themselves. Please take time to read their comments. You'll find that many are on higher doses than you are and some have used it for years without escalating to high doses.

I was on Xanax for many years and these days a lot of doctors won't even prescribe xanax for fear of its addictive qualities. However, I never ever became addicted and even gradually weaned myself off it altogether after my anxiety got in control. I know a lady that has been taking it for years and is not addicted. Just because you have to use a drug everyday shouldn't automatically qualify it as "addictive". Diabetics may have to use insulin everyday. Are they addicted? No. A person can sometimes build up a tolerance for a drug like xanax or klonopin. That's when it takes more and more to achieve the desired effect. But what is "addiction"? I got this off of a reputable site:
"All benzodiazepines are controlled substances, which means they have the potential to be abused and may cause addiction or dependence. Addiction, or "dependence," is when a person feels like he or she needs to continue to take a medicine, even when no medical need is present.

Klonopin addiction is more likely to occur if the medicine has been taken daily for a long period of time or in high doses. It is also more likely to occur in people with a history of alcohol or drug addiction. Because Klonopin is a controlled substance, there are special rules regarding the prescribing and dispensing of the medication. These rules are in place to help prevent Klonopin abuse and addiction."

I hope this helps! :)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/11/2010 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, this is Kitt. I don't have an answer for you re the ECT but will share with you that 2 weeks ago my own Psychiatrist brought this very topic up with me and I will admit that it scared me to death as I thought I must be really bad off that it was even mentioned.

I did read one article on the topic and then put it out of my mind as I agreed to go on a new medication at the time and I am focusing on believing that the new medication will work.

You are not alone so please do keep talking with us.

Gentle Hugs,


ECT patient
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/5/2017 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been doing ECT since October that I remember. The procedure takes away some memory. According to my husband and sister I just sat in a chair and cried with a stomach ache. My psy. referred me, and I had to go through lots of testing before the hospital would take me for the procedure. The procedure was great for depression. I do not feel horrible depression anymore, but am not cured. I have been depressed for at least thirty years. The procedure is bad for my self esteem. I hate going. I go as an outpatient. I don't feel it is helping with nervousness. Today I am extremely nervous. I would recommend considering it for depression, but I have doubts for anxiety or nervousness. I am in the midst of considering my options at this moment. I still can't get out of the house or do much housework. I feel so helpless and useless.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20083
   Posted 6/5/2017 9:36 PM (GMT -7)   
not for anxiety. it is for acute depression, mainly. it is a life saving tool for those deemed or are at risk. not eating, drinking, shut down and where conventional therapies have failed. i have had a course, for these reasons, and it saved my life. people worry about memory loss, yeah it true, comes back some, but read the inside of the leaflets on ya psych meds if ya want a real shock!!!
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