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Old 10-06-2015, 08:26 PM
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I had outpatient surgery today and was put under general anesthesia. I came out of the surgery like a singing butterfly. Everything just flowed, every moment, every second. All interactions with people were positive (i run into a-holes ALL the time and you now what they say about that). A while back I read a journal article about how going under the laughing gas at the dentist pulled people out of depression almost instantaneously. It interested me so much to remember because that has happened to me every time I was given gas at the dentist for something. And obviously you'd just assume that feeling afterwards is because you just got something good done? In all my cases these things were for the positive, and non-life threatening which is why i'm a little bit skeptical to ask myself if this is the case for other people? Has this happened to anyone before?

I'm being a bit of a psychology-queen to say that it has similar properties/results that ECT has (i've never had that before, but have read quite a bit on it).
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:07 PM
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I guess you first might want to figure out is this is a remission of your depression or a brief temporary euphoric feeling.

First, you'd have to look at which chemicals you were given as anesthesia. It's possible one of more of them could have brief euphoria as a side effect. Also look at interactions between anything you're currently taking and the anesthesia, i.e. could brief euphoria be a temporary result of a drug-drug interaction?

Apart from temporary euphoria, I agree that it's worth exploring whether you had some electrochemical "shock" that could have interrupted any chronic depression you're been experiencing.

Even though ECT gets a bad rap in the media, I've had clients who used ECT voluntarily as a last result, and it helped when nothing else would. In the "old days" there was another kind of "shock therapy" involving putting people into insulin shock. Both forms of "shock therapy" ended up getting overused and sometimes used punitively, and they went out of fashion. ECT has come back, though on a very limited scale. I have not heard of insulin shock being used currently.

Anecdotally, back when I assisted a psychiatrist running a large medication clinic, we once had a client who had chronic treatment-resistant depression who had been mildly electrocuted accidentally, and he ended up having a break in his depression as he was recovering physically. His psychiatrist and I wondered if this could have been "inadvertent ECT." I had another client who had surgery and ended up in a coma afterward, and after she came out of it, she had some cognitive issues she had to recover from, but her depression also seemed to have lifted. The psychiatrist I worked with had told me at the time that back when insulin shock therapy was used, it was the coma it caused, not the insulin itself, that was considered to be therapeutic. Now, both of these individuals still needed to remain in treatment, and eventually their depressive symptoms did return; but after those incidents, their medications and therapy seemed to be more effective when in the past it seemed nothing was helping. I have no idea of the electrocution or the coma had been responsible for the change, if they were both just a coincidence, or if they were a result of wishful thinking or related to having faced death and survived. But something definitely changed...

So yes, it is very interesting (and fortunate for you!) that you've had some relief of depression as a "side effect" of this anesthesia.

You might want to research the kind of anesthesia you had and run it by your MD who treats your depression. Please let us know what you learn.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:02 PM
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Hi Tracy, I wanted to thank you for your reply and didn't get a chance to when I first read it. It's definitely an interesting phenomenon.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:10 AM
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Was the anesthetic used ketamine by any chance? That would do it. It is great for major depression too.

Ketamine: The Future of Depression Treatment?
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:10 PM
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I don't think it was. I have read studies about Ketamine therapy for depression, and it makes sense. I've been tapering off my antidepressant (citalopram) since the surgery, down to 10 mg a day now. I'm in a bit of a funk though because the surgery was unsuccessful and it literally going to send me to the poor house because apparently where it was performed doesnt have a contract with my insurance provider. Ugh. Never should have gotten the surgery to begin with. Sucks to be in like the 1% the surgery doesn't work for, and especially sucky considering it would have been a major quality of life improvement for me. I guess it wasn't meant to be.
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