Memories Of ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Early this morning I had general anesthesia for a procedure. I found myself terrified and crying when the anesthesiologist introduced herself to me. Memories of going through multiple treatments of ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), came flooding back to me. ECT is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe, major depression or bipolar disorder depression that has not responded to other treatments. It involves a brief electrical stimulation to the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.
I was in a major, bipolar depression for longer than six months. Medication management and talk therapy were not helping to alleviate the mood. It was a very dark portion of my life. And I felt this treatment was a last resort. I went for ECT treatments a couple of times a week for a few months. It was an awful experience, and I eventually came out of the depression. I have experienced significant memory loss, alongside trouble making new memories from the procedures. I would never utilize this treatment again in my recovery journey.
I was so scared this morning and it brought me back to that frightening place six years ago when I received ECT. The nurse this morning was very kind. She held my hand while the anesthesia was administered and I squeezed her hand with all my strength as the tears flowed until I drifted away. It has been a day to remind myself that I have come a long way in six years. To take care of myself emotionally, be kind to myself, and remind me that right now, right here, I am safe.
Take good care,
"You may shoot me with your words. You may cut me with your eyes. You may kill me with our hatefulness. But still, like air, I'll rise." -- Maya Angelou