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Author Topic: Medications and ECT  (Read 342 times)

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Offline Ladyhansen

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Medications and ECT
« on: February 28, 2013, 11:46:10 PM »
Hello everyone,
    In a few days I am going to be an inpatient on a psych ward. I've relapsed badly and that's where I need to be. I've spent years trying most of the antidepressants under the sun. None have worked for me. The last hospital I went to (a different one from where I'm going) was suggesting ECT if the lithium I was trying didn't work. It apparently hasn't worked. Now that I'm going to a new place that doesn't provide ECT I am probably going to be trying antidepressants again. I know there are new ones in recent years. I'm hesitant because of the side effects. Are there any suggestions on any with little side effects? The last one left me horrified, Effexor, due to nausea and vomiting for two weeks o_0
Also, any experiences with ECT? If I'm still like this after 3 weeks I'm going to ask for it as an outpatient. I just want as much information as I can get.
Thanks for reading. It took a lot to sit down and write. But I know it does for everyone on here.
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Offline howifeel

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 12:01:23 PM »
I am currently attending a NAMI group where a participant with treatment refractory depression was the issue. Multiple AD and CBT. She scheduled to have ECT. When I heard it, I was horrified. I did not dispute it, because her quality of life couldn't get much worse. After about 12 ECT treatments, she is much much better. No difference in her appearance or mental functioning. She looks and sounds great. She says that they reduce the ECT as she improves. My opinion is totally changed. Had no idea how beneficial it was. Time will tell, but so far she is doing better than she ever has. I have taken about 15+ different AD, and Effexor was horrible. I am on Wellbutrin SR 200mg at AM. Went to that from Wellbutrin XL 300mg at AM because that dose was too activating. Regarding ECT, I support it. I stand corrected. Thought it was barbaric, but I guess they have a very calculated way of doing it these days.

Wishing you well! Thanks for sharing!
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I do things to feel better, I don't wait to feel better to do things.

Offline Ladyhansen

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 07:10:06 PM »
Thank you so much for your input. I guess that is the main issue, where is the line between suffering and trying something potentially problematic. It was quite popular in the hospital I was at and everyone appeared to come out alright. The only thing making me hesitate is all of the horror stories online. Although one person brought up the fact that the Internet won't be flooded with the success stories because they have all moved on with their lives without any need to share their experiences. I've decided that if I don't find a good AD or mix of antipsychotic/mood stabilizer I will ask until I get it.

Does Wellbutrin have any of the discontinuation side effects? I tried it as a teenager but that was so many years ago ive forgotten what it's about.

I can't live this way. If it were just me I'd be gone by now. But my son needs a mother, no matter how messed up she is. Unfortunately it doesn't stop me from obsessing over a way out. And with that frame of mind it's off to the hospital I go.

Thanks again. It gives me hope.
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Offline howifeel

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 07:46:32 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that you are suffering so badly. No one can understand the intensity of suffering that problems with a mood disorder can bring. I want to encourage you to continue with looking for ways to deal with your BPD. I am not sure about Australia, but in my town, groups are good. My psychiatrist said that she has never seen so much improvement in me since over the past year. I had been suffering from MDD for quite a while. Groups made the difference in my case. (They are not for everyone). I found that when I shared in a group and got into relapse prevention, viewing my depression as an illness that requires daily attention like my diabetes, I started to feel a little better as time went on. Getting better is not a sudden event, but much like a clock with an hour and minute hand. You can't actually see it move, but when you look back at it from time to time, you see that the hands are in fact moving. That is how recovery happens. Undetectable, until eventually you notice, "Hey, that used to really bother me, and now I seem to get through it easier!"

I believe that Wellbutrin XL had a bit of a w/d symptom for me, but I ran out of my script for Wellbutrin SR for four days, and felt fine. Got back on it asap as I have tried the med free thing, and it always takes me a couple of months to stabilize after making such a dumb decision. I also take Ativan, as I am absolutely sure that Anxiety precedes a major bout of depression. I was taking .5mg-1mg daily for about three years, stopped abruptly, and had no withdrawal symptoms. I feel that shutting down the anxiety in whatever way necessary (as long as I don't progressively increase my Ativan dose to achieve the same effect consistently) keeps me from having a lengthy depressive episode. Another symptom of depression is the "It will never get better, it will only get worse" or "I am ruining other people with my depression" or "other people my age are doing so much better" (I could go on) are typical statements that are not supportable with any real evidence. I choose to decline on accepting such thoughts, no matter how much my depressed mind chooses to believe them. (I like the song where the guy says "La, la, la, whatever!") I do increase Ativan for episodic Anxiety increases. I now have not taken Ativan for a few months, as my anxiety is on the down swing. I feel a direct connection between anxiety and depression. That is for me, nevertheless. Diet and exercise are always suggested, but my depression is quite beyond that. Hold off on the plans to harm yourself. You are plenty young. Seek for progressive improvement, rather than an immediate fix. This stuff takes time. Stay in the game, no breaks, and keep trying different stuff. The movie "The Bridge" (don't watch it) one individual who survived his jump said that immediately after clearing the railing, he changed his mind and wanted to live. A friend of mine who died by hanging on 6/18/2008 showed evidence of struggle to keep from dying after he hanged himself. He was a good friend of mine, but was stuck on the idea. He obviously changed his mind, as well. Since we have never died, we do not know if it is genuinely a release. However, these individuals who struggled to survive after starting the act make clear that it may not be the best idea after all.

Stick with it! You will get better! Others aren't affected as much as your mind may imagine. They can deal with it.
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I do things to feel better, I don't wait to feel better to do things.

Offline Ladyhansen

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 11:51:26 PM »
I keep re reading what you said, there is a lot of positivity there. I think what is making it extra difficult to recover is the amount of time that has passed. I've never been depressed for this long at this level. And there is a lot of pressure to get better to be there for my son who is just getting older as the days go on. I won't get this time back and I want to be better and enjoy him. It's just hard to think if it takes me another year to come around or something. Or more. Thankfully I have a supportive husband who says I can take all the time I need. Well until he has to go to work and I have to be full time mommy. I'm not functioning as a mom but these are things I'm hoping I can address in therapy.

I've heard of Ativan and some others for anxiety but my doctors haven't prescribed anything, they claim it can be addictive. I probably could be a better advocate for myself though and explain how bad things get. Everything sounds good and clear in my head until I sit down and start ummmming.

Before my son I was looking into a bipolar group in the city (1 hour away) and I would consider it now but I need to get my issues sorted out first. My social anxiety and anxiety around motherhood keep me in the house. Thanks for bringing up the idea, I'll go ahead and make that a goal!

A friend of mine committed ***** last week in a violent manner. It came as a total shock to everyone. The timing... Well it has kept me from taking any action. And made me want to come out of this. I'm seeing it now as two options. Either I go or I keep fighting for who knows how long. I'm not expecting a quick fix, but it would sure help to know if I'm on the right path or not.

Thanks for your words and I will continue to log on from the hospital. I have a feeling I will be bored at times!
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Offline howifeel

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 01:40:45 PM »
Sounds good that you are going to the hospital. The addictive thing with ativan that the doctors are saying comes from a current trend in medicine (stuff they are hearing at their required continuing education classes). There is no research to back that belief (That all benzo or most benzo use leads to dependence). Usually, if you can see a psychiatrist, you can indicate that you would still like to try them for a month to see what happens. They will usually go along if they are a psychiatrist and not a GP.

I hear you on the matter of being there for the children. Although that is a virtue, I have learned that my illness takes priority, as ending my life would have a much greater impact than anything. We are not like other people. We are ill, mentally. My son who is a teenager (14) was shown a video and presentation in his health class about depression. He shared that they were not very well informed. He stated that he was grateful to have been raised with a dad who had depression, as he felt much more as a professional than the one presenting in the class. He was able to identify the errors in the information presented. My illness has not ruined my children. Rather, it has been a springboard, because I am frank about my condition, and the need for it to be number one priority. I noticed, much like if a child gets a cut and I respond with a shocked face, they panic and cry. If I respond "Oh my. You have a cut. Lets get you a band aid" they don't necessarily panic. With my depression I say, "Dad is depressed which is a sickness. He has to go to the hospital (or a group etc). I probably won't be playing with you much." They respond "Oh, okay. Hope you get better." I have had times where the family would say that they wish I was a different person, but as time passes, they actually gain a deeper respect for life than their peers. I would say travel for an hour to go to a group is worth it. Take risks, and try not to accommodate social anxiety. I would suggest, getting some anti anxiety meds and go if you can. I don't want to add pressure, nevertheless. Just trying to keep it real. Mental illness has cycles of progression and regression. You are on the right track. Stick with it. It's okay to be overwhelmed. That's the illness, too. Try to be very very patient. You will be provided for when you lack the strength, always. It is not all up to you. Your husband means what he says. See if he wants to get educated on your condition. That is the best for supportive family like him. Classes, groups, etc. whatever helps him know that others like him are experiencing the same thing.

800,000 people a year end their life worldwide. It can feel out of control, but many more stay alive, as well. We do recover. I know it feels impossible, but your mind is not a good predictor of the future as long as you are symptomatic. I am sorry about your friend. Life seems hopeless at times, but use your experience to help others. Either here or locally. It is worth it. Don't worry about being a good mom. Although there are some out there who can look good as moms, any length of time in their home would reveal that all of us are not well in some respect.

Be easy on yourself! Hope the hospital helps!
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I do things to feel better, I don't wait to feel better to do things.

Offline Atlas

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Re: Medications and ECT
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 09:45:29 PM »
I had 11 rounds of ECT. Sad to say it only helped a little bit. The biggest issue as I'm sure u read is memory loss & I do have chunks of time that are missing. I personally wouldn't do it again knowing I might lose a memory of my children. I can say it wasn't a huge chunk of time. The day of treatment after it's over I spent the day in bed just being so tired. Common side effect. Next day much better.
After my treatments I saw another dr who looked very closely ***** my thyroid. It always came back "low normal", but for women who have depression a tweak of the thyroid can make all the difference. There is a book about how thyroid levels relate to depression but can't remember the name of it. It's another area to look into. Also your vitamin B levels can b checked. If they're low that can really make u feel run down.
I wish u the best in ur treatment. I have to say when I had ECT I was ***** rock bottom. I hope it jump starts u into the right direction.
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