The best information in health care is from patients who have been there. Those who underwent treatment, suffer from a certain illness. It’s the kind of hands on experience physicians can’t deliver. On this blog I have collected some examples of these “hands on experiences”. Some recent posts were written about ECT by them with hands on experience.
It irritates me, (and does not help me explain potential treatments to concerned family members), when the media, either by negative portrayal or by leaving positive and informative information about ECT out of stories about depression treatments, subtly dismisses or devalues an effective and proven helpful treatment for resistant/refractory depression.
Besides here opinion on ECT she also writes about treatment resistant depression. Rightfully she points to the fact that despite all the treatment options sometimes depression is not a treatable disease. Read her post on this topic here….
Both of these books are not long (about 100 pages) but more detailed than much of the information I gathered on the web. These books are definitely more clinical in nature, but they are easy to understand and I think these details help you be more calm when you go through treatment.
Almost a year later and I’m still wondering if E.C.T. was right for my particular case. Given the information we had at the time, I have to believe it was worth a shot.
Mental health Update discusses a recent article: Rayner, Lauren … [et al] – The patient perspective of the consent process and side effects of electroconvulsive therapy Journal of Mental Health October 2009, 18(5), 379-388. It’s a survey of 389 people who had had ECT focusing on the consent process and side effects of the treatment. Interesting read.
I know that by the time we’re considering ECT, we are barely able to make it through the day, but I think it’s better to ask and know upfront what turns your life could take post-ECT rather than be surprised by something that’s already been documented that it might happen.
If you experience any physical discomfort after ECT, such as a really bad headache or a sore throat/jaw pain, you should let your doctor know. S/he may be able to adjust your mouth guard or give you something for the pain.
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The most recent hands on experience with ECT and it’s side-effects. There is an excellent lecture by a doctor who has had electroconvulsive therapy: Sherwin Nuland, the surgeon and author, talks about the development of electroshock therapy as a cure for severe, life-threatening depression. Midway through, his story turns personal. It’s a moving and deeply felt talk about relief, redemption, second chances
A superb location (the Grand Marina), in a beautiful town (Barcelona) full of sunshine (31°). A perfect setting for the 3rd Annual Meeting of EFFECT. Highly interested and highly interesting clinicians from all over the world attended the meeting to share experience and gain knowledge.
If you want some information on video from patients while they are actually undergoing this treatment or want to see an excellent lecture about ECT please have a look at: 9 Videos on ECT.
In newspapers when comparing newspaper reports on ECT and electric defibrillation with a content analysis the articles with mentioning ECT differ from articles with a mention of defribillation.
Even in high standard newspapers the style of language becomes special when they deal with ECT.The articles are strongly biased and lack informations. In contrast to Defibrillation ECT is not generally accepted.Referring to ECT horror pictures of past psychiatry are cited.The language used is biased and discriminative. Referring to Defibrillation technical details are described and the language is neutral.The social representation of ECT is completely negative.
The content analysis was performed on articles in German Newspapers. They traced only few special articles on the subject in the 1994 and 1995 CD.Rom versions of the „Der Spiegel“,The „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“, the „Neue Zürcher Zeitung“ and the „Berliner Tageszeitung“,although the word „Elektroschock“ was employed 118 times. The word electroshock was mostly used in articles not about ECT. The term was mostly used because of it’s negative connotation in all kinds of subjects.
Why is this important?
The portrayal of ECT is deplorable and with little resemblance to modern practice. It encourages stigmatization and discourages patients from its use. Proponents of ECT will need to rely on tools other than movie or newspaper portrayal to convince those with mental illness about the merits of this treatment.
The next issue in this series about mass media and mental illness will be posted next Tuesday August 19th.
Hoffman-Richter, U., Alder, B.A., , . (1998). Die Elektrokrampftherapie
und die Defibrillation
in der Zeitung. Nervenartz, 69, 622-628.
I don’t think I’ve taken a blog to discuss ECT and it’s uses in modern society, but let me just say it is used in the psychiatric community when depression is resistant to the plethora of anti-depressants that are handed out today. It’s an ever continuing cycle and when the meds run out or no longer work, ECT is introduced into the client’s regimen. At some point, I will write more of an expose on ECT, but for now I just want to stick to my experience.