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01 Dec 2004

ECT
Could you let me know your view on Shock Treatment, have suffered depression for 20 years now and have had enough of it ruling my life - had 12 goes of ECT and all it seemed to do was loose my memory?

Thanks
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Tonti,
First, check the Archives of this Forum for previous discussions of this issue. My view of the research here is that ECT ( Electro Convulsive Therapy ) DOES seem to be helpful in treating Depression and reducing it's symptoms. It does have an impact on memory, especially short-term memory ( i.e. what you had for breakfast yesterday, rather than where you went to school). And there is a small risk associated with any time one has a general anaesthetic for any reason. Some of us don't find the need to use it ; some psychiatrists seem to me to use it too often and too readily. The general exprt consensus seems to be that it should NOT be used for basic depressions before antidepresants and/or CBT ( Cognitive-Behavior Therapy ) have been used ; but that there are a number of situations where a depresion is not responding properly to medications, where it could be useful.
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