I started getting ECT back in March 2012, and had some bad experiences when I first started out. They give you a muscle relaxer which paralyzes you and anesthesia which puts you to sleep. Twice I woke up too early when the muscle relaxer was still in effect. I couldn’t move and couldn’t control my breathing so I felt like I couldn’t breathe. This happened in April 2012 until they titrated my meds appropriately. Recently I’ve become scared to death to get the treatments because I’m afraid it will happen again or that I will wake up sooner then that and feel the seizure. This fear has become paralyzing. I feel a cold sensation run through my body every time I think of ECT. The treatments have helped tremendously and I feel I am in remission. 2010 through 2012 was hell and I don’t want to go back there but these treatments scare me so much. I don’t know what to do. My therapist suggested holding my prayer beads during the treatments and that helps but not enough. I don’t know what to do.
I’m sure whoever does your ECT treatment has had experience with frightened patients before. Do you think it would help if you explained your fears to the person who does it.? They MIGHT have some suggestions to make you feel more at ease.
Thanks for your response. They’re aware of how I feel. I’ve been very vocal about it. When I’m about to drift off to sleep the nurse always tells me they will take good care of me. The whole team always takes excellent care of me I don’t know why this fear still exists. I’ve heard of exposure therapy for fears where if you go through it enough you will conquer your fear but that hasn’t seemed to help me. I have all the support in the world…my mom drives me up to the hospital to have the treatments and my treatment team is so supportive. I’m even afraid to lose weight for fear that they will have to adjust my dose of anesthesia.
Your very brave to keep going back. I was put through ECT when I was younger and I did poorly on it. That feeling of coming out of the anesthesia and not being able to move is the worst. It was not a good treatment for me. I didn’t even finish the series of treatments due to how badly I reacted to them.
I don’t want to let your feelings down but the most thing that annoys me about mental therapy is the ECT it frightens me really, I can’t even watch it on a video, it’s brutal…maybe you shouldn’t follow your heart on this one, let your fears a side and do a study about it on the internet before going further so you can make the correct choice about your treatment…this is an old therapy and if it really was working properly then they didn’t had to make further treatment research and new treatment but, it failed and the side effects are worse than the problem it is made to treat…do your logical choice by knowing all options and making the right choice for your treatment.
I just read this on the Wikipedia about the son of Einstein; (Eduard was a good student and had musical talent. He started to study medicine to become a psychiatrist, but by the age of twenty he was afflicted with schizophrenia and institutionalized two years later for the first of several times. It is speculated that he was overdosed with drugs and harmed by the many “cures” that were used at the time. According to his brother Hans Albert Einstein, the thing that ruined him was the electric shock treatments.)
I have found several links that talks about this treatment as well and the dangers of it:
I think you can have a better judgment if you can do a research about it, know all the aspects, and then do the best choice for yourself, whether to continue or not…I hope I’m not causing you more stress, best wishes.