Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Trouble With Spikol: The ECT story

3 comments:

Bruce Rout said...

totally awesome vid! Gutsy, gutsy lady. They banned ECT and lobotomies about 20 years ago in Alberta. ECT is only to be used in extreme emergencies, which doesn't sound like your case at all. They should never have done that to you. You're a very brave woman. have you written about it?

bellevie said...

I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience with a procedure that was supposed to bring you relief and healing. I know that, in general, this is an anti-psychiatry and anti-treatment blog, but I feel I must counter your experience with my own, about 10 years ago.

I was suicidally depressed and had 6 CT treatments, 3 inpatient and 3 outpatient. My experience was the polar opposite of yours. No adult diaper and no body aches afterwards, although I did take a big nap to sleep off a slight headache, and, knowing I react to general anesthesia with nausea, I had them give me an anti-emetic in the reversal from anesthesia.

When I awoke from my nap I had a feeling of complete normality, as if I had been released from a prison. I remember saying to my doctor that night, "I feel like me again; let me out of here." I do have some patchy memory loss from the period around the ECT, but awoke fully functional and with total recognition of my surroundings, once the drugs had worn off. No searching for my Self, no disorientation.

Again, I'm very sorry for your terrible experience, and I don't in any way seek to minimize or cast into doubt your trauma, both past and present. I did feel, however, the need to point out that for some people, ECT is a life saver. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, as a treatment of last resort, of course.

Jayme said...

I understand that ECT works in some cases, even though the scientists have no idea how or why it works. Neverthless, you are not alone in your personal story of ECT. I had a friend who was desperate to try anything to lift her depression, and when everything else failed, she decided to look into ECT. She researched both the pros and the cons, and in the end, decided the risk was worth the possible benefits. After going through weeks of ECT, she wasn't any better, and her memory got bad. But I supported her decision 100% because she made an informed decision. This is not the case for many people, and this is the reason ECT should be banned. If the medical establishment cannot be responsible with such a controversial treatment as ECT, they don't need it at their disposal. It just leaves too much room for abuse, and that is what happens more often than not.