Eventually I was prescribed an 10 session course of ECT, or electro convulsive therapy, as my medication was not working. Now ECT has a really bad reputation within the community. In reality it is not that bad.
ECT is basically where they put you under a general anaesthetic, then put an electrical current through your brain, inducing a seizure. This seizure can “kick start” the brain.
My doctor told me that I was on far too much medication (yep – please refer to “Cocktail Hour”), and wanted to try ECT as an alternative. I was dubious at first, but decided to give it a go. Here is the experence of ECT.
FIrst you are taken to a “theatre” type room. The doctors chat to you, and you lie down on the bed while they try and find a suitable vein. For me this is a mammoth task, and my hands and elbows were black and blue during the course of treatment.
You feel a cool liquid being pumped into your veins and suddenly, try as you might, you find yourself drift away and become unconscious. Then suddenly you are waking up. You might have a headache. You are definetely confused and the staff, or your loved ones, have to tell you what has happened.
There is sticky stuff on your temples, your veins are green and blue. You stagger out of the room and your loved ones fill you in on what has happened. You are terribly confused, and you may have terrible short term memory deficits. After a few sessions I forgot important things, such as my Nannas death. But I also forgot the trauma that had occurred in “the Dungeon”. I started to feel better, more positive. I started to wonder WHY I Had become so depressed.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding ECT, even my family were anxious about me having it. But for me it made a real positive diference to my life. Without ECT I’m not sure of the level of life I would currently have. I’m not sure that I would be experiencing the quality of life that I am now. However, I do experence some major short term memory loss which I am working on.
ECT is a cost. ECT is definately a last resort. But I don’t doubt that ECT saved me.