Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To ECT or Not to ECT, That is the Question

Both of yesterday's doctor's appointments revolved around the possibility of using ECT as a treatment for the major depression I experience.  Electroconvulsive Therapy has been proven many times over to be 80% effective with depressive disorders.  It came up as an option for me because my body doesn't tolerate prescription medications.

My first reaction to the proposition of going through ECT treatments, was, "No way!".  I definitely had some preconceived notions about the procedure. I thought that it would be painful and I didn't know enough about it.  This brought up lots of fear.
So, in most cases where I sense fear, I research.  While online, I learned that ECT is the benchmark that many pharmaceutical companies base their medication effectiveness on.  My doctor confirmed these findings also.  There hasn't been one medication that has come close to being 80% effective in treating depression.

I, of course, had many conversations with my husband about this option and he was extremely concerned that it may send me into a fibro flare for who knows how long.  The electric shock does cause the muscles in the entire body to clench.  While we talked to the doctor, I mentioned Ray's concerns and also told Dr. S that I suspected that his worries stemmed from his passion for movies.  I was right.  He said that he kept thinking about one move, a long time ago, that had a character who went through some rudimentary electric shock treatment.  She assured him that today's treatments are very safe, professionally monitored and I'd be under anesthesia for less than 15 minutes.  Ray seemed to be much more at ease about the process after hearing more about the current practices.

As I continued to research, I also found some scientific studieshttp://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(06)00002-9/abstract
studies showing evidence that fibromyalgia pain can be greatly reduced with ECT treatments.  This was all good news!


As someone who will never give up on the possibilities of a better quality of life, I'm willing to try new (and sometimes scary) things to get better.  It is so exhausting to constantly be aware of my thoughts and turn them around to the positive.  I get tired of using my energy to keep that tugging sadness at bay, every day. Each day feels like I'm walking through thick mud, making sure my posture is upright (because tests show that lifts the mood), and when I least expect it, the slightest touch sends fireworks of pain through my body.  My strong belief that I can live a life with ease and grace carries me forward.  I realize, in this time of evolution, the chances of every minute of every day, being easy and graceful, are slim.  That won't stop me from pushing on the edges of the evolutionary timeline.

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following!



Disclaimer:  In no way am I a doctor or professional health care provider.  Any and all information that I share here is my experience.  Always consult your doctor with questions or do your complete research.  This blog is not medical advice and I am not advocating any medical treatments.  What works for me may not work for you, so talk to your doctor.