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Old 05-19-2013, 01:46 AM
 
10 posts, read 38,774 times
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My father suffers from depression, but the last six months have been like hell. He is on several anti depression meds, lithium and Valium.
Noting is working, he is now thinking about electro convulsive therapy.
Do any of you have any experience with this therapy? In the last 20 years he has tried everthing, but now he is at wits end. He is severely depressed, racing thoughts, fears, anxiety, slumps like an 90 old man, insomnia and the rest. And then my poor mother trying to cope with it all.

I feel so bad. I have researched ECT, and I start to believe he should try it.
But the potential memory loss is scary, my dad always had such a sharp mind.
Can someone tell me more about it?

Thanks
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:43 AM
 
16,482 posts, read 21,912,929 times
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I knew a psychiatrist that told me that when he was in medical school he saw a number of people that got this and it helped them, but it is an extreme measure for sure. Has your father tried Saphris, it is a new drug. It will certainly help him with his insomnia if nothing else, he'll need to take it in the evening.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:56 AM
 
13,515 posts, read 15,198,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menuet View Post
My father suffers from depression, but the last six months have been like hell. He is on several anti depression meds, lithium and Valium.
Noting is working, he is now thinking about electro convulsive therapy....I feel so bad. I have researched ECT, and I start to believe he should try it.

But the potential memory loss is scary, my dad always had such a sharp mind.
Can someone tell me more about it?

Thanks
A woman I worked with for twenty years had a father with the same problem. Like your father no drugs or therapy had helped. He finally did ECT because he had reached the point where it seemed the alternatives were would he become a vegetable or a suicide.

This was a good number of years ago, so the fear and ignorance on the part of the public was enormous. However, everyone did their homework, and he decided this was his only option. The first few weeks after the treatment he had marked memory loss and a bit of confusion. Then the improvement in his mood set in and he became increasingly active, social and returned to enjoying a normal life with his family and friends.

About six years later the previous symptoms set in, and when it was clear that he was headed for the same place, he did it again. Same results.

I did not know the man, but his daughter was an intelligent and very balanced, sober individual in her judgements. So, I have no reason to believe that she in any way over-inflated his improvement.

Good luck to your father, and your family.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:43 AM
 
10 posts, read 38,774 times
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Thank you for some answers.
I just talked to him, and he seems to be a little better.
The problem is, that he and my mom are keeping their hopes up, just to be crushed the next day. Every time they think there is a tiny improvement, it is followed by a set back.
I feel so very guilty, living in a different continent, it will take a 6 hour flight to see him.
Nuff said.

Keep hoping I guess!
Menuet.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:36 PM
 
5,239 posts, read 7,042,189 times
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I wouldn't advise using ECT. There is a correlation with that treatment and long term memory loss. Also, there is research that shows a correlation between ECT and having a later hemorrhage in the same location as given the shock. As desperate as I've been and as one that is treatment resistant, I too thought of ECT, but I'd never do it now. Research Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Good luck to your father. I know how it can be living with the nightmare of daily severe depression.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:00 PM
 
Location: USA
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Many years ago, my husband developed major anxiety psychosis. He was given shock treatments and temporary memory loss did occur... his mind was so tortured, the shock treatments helped.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Considering what's at stake I think the risk of memory loss is worth it. I'd rather lose some meory than suffer from unrelenting depression.
A friend of mine had ECT after no other treatment worked. She was such a mess. She had even stopped washing and brushing her hair. She looked like the living dead when she went into the hospital. A few wees later she came out as a new person. It was like night and day. She says that ECT was the best thing she's ever done for herself and after seeing the difference I have to agree.
ECT does have serious side effects for some people so it's nothing to take lightly but when nothing else works and life just isn't worth living I think it can be a good option. It definitely does work for some.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:20 AM
 
15,154 posts, read 27,230,107 times
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ECT can be especially effective in older people. The way I see it, with medication, you're working on your brain chemistry,and with ECT, you're working on electrical connections. I know ECT has been depicted very harshly in (old)movies and books. I suggest you forget about Cuckoo's Nest, Sylvia Plath, A Beautiful Mind, and any other. I can't think of any movies that show someone getting ECT and losing their lethal depression. It doesn't make an exciting scene. I certainly would consider ECT if medications weren't working.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,141 posts, read 14,874,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menuet View Post
My father suffers from depression, but the last six months have been like hell. He is on several anti depression meds, lithium and Valium.
Noting is working, he is now thinking about electro convulsive therapy.
Do any of you have any experience with this therapy? In the last 20 years he has tried everthing, but now he is at wits end. He is severely depressed, racing thoughts, fears, anxiety, slumps like an 90 old man, insomnia and the rest. And then my poor mother trying to cope with it all.

I feel so bad. I have researched ECT, and I start to believe he should try it.
But the potential memory loss is scary, my dad always had such a sharp mind.
Can someone tell me more about it?

Thanks
A lady I know of, her friend had ECT done. He was a fireman and had seen horrible things. He was desperate, he almost committed suicide but his wife stopped him. While he isn't suicidal or depressed, he now no longer remembers meeting his wife, dating her, or getting married.

Was it worth it? I guess only he can answer that?

Reading your post my first armchair diagnosis, racing thoughts and depression is Bipolar. I know a couple of people with BP. Stephen Fry did a move about Bipolar, he is, and in the end there is a man that goes by the name Electro Boy who swears by ECT and how it saved his life.
Electroshock Therapy Treatment - ECT and how it works
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:48 AM
 
10 posts, read 38,774 times
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He is not bipolar, after 20 years of therapies and diagnosis, they came to that conclusion.
My grandmother however when she was pregnant with dad, had a very serious infection in her leg, because of bomb shrapnell. My dad also suffered from malnutrion due to the war, and other traumas.
There are no mental illnesses in the family, although, I am not doing that great either.
Right now, he will give up some memories, or maybe more, just to get the darkness out.
He is almost 73 years old, just wants to live the few years left with my mom, with some happiness.
My family doctor, said that they are predicting that depression is going to be the nr. one disease by 2020.
Well what do you think??

XXX
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