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ECT - I'm thinking of trying electro-convulsive therapy


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#1 rob

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:57 AM

Any thoughts?

#2 Dragonfly

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 12:26 PM

Any thoughts?


I had ECT for severe depression in 2003 and it actually triggered a bad DP/DR episode. They wanted to give me 8-10 treatments, but I only made it through 6 before the dissociation got too bad. Are you thinking about having ECT as a remedy for the dissociation or are you experiencing depression?

~Dragonfly

#3 never_giving_up

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:05 PM

I would not recommend it. Blasting your brain with electricity isn't a solution to psychological/emotional problems.

You have DP/DR for a reason. Your unconscious believes that it's a necessary measure to protect you from unprocessed emotional trauma/pain.

Doing ECT totally reinforces the wrong beliefs in yourself, like the idea that your mind should be fought, instead of reasoned with.

I can only imagine that you have reached a point where you believe that it is no longer possible to reason with yourself. Am I correct in assuming that? If so, I would urge you to reconsider. In the past I remember thinking that I wanted ECT. It seemed like a good idea at the time because I felt so hopeless about my situation.

Really though, it is possible to get better without the aid of medication, and treatments like this. It takes time, and a hell of a lot of patience, but I believe the self-therapy (and/or therapy with a trusted counsellor/therapist) route is the best for genuine lasting change.

I've written quite a lot of stuff on my blog in regard to self-therapy if you're interested (check my sig below).

All the best :)

#4 kate_edwin

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

ECT is officially dIscouraged for use with people with dissociative disorders, *ever*. By several different professional organizations.

There is zero research that shows a benefit, there *is* literature showing bad results.

Of you're looking to try something different, maybe look into TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation. It's similar to MRI technology. There is a vey recent study showing promise for dp specifically. (MSG me if you want the info)

#5 forestx5

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:13 PM

"They" say it's been tried and found not effective for dissociative disorders. It is probably the most effective treatment for depression and bi-polar, according to what "they" say. The reason it is not used has less to do with the risk/benefits associated, and more to do with big pharm promotion and lobbying, IMHO. They usually don't consider it unless you are actively suicidal, or in a near vegatative state.
At that point, what have you got to lose?

#6 Dragonfly

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:58 PM

"They" say it's been tried and found not effective for dissociative disorders. It is probably the most effective treatment for depression and bi-polar, according to what "they" say. The reason it is not used has less to do with the risk/benefits associated, and more to do with big pharm promotion and lobbying, IMHO. They usually don't consider it unless you are actively suicidal, or in a near vegatative state.
At that point, what have you got to lose?


It really is quite an effective treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. That's why I was asking Rob what he was considering using it for. For someone with severe or treatment-refractory depression or mania, it may be worth risking a DP/DR episode. I would not condone its use as a treatment for dissociation however. And when depression gets to the point of needing ECT, there is no reasoning with your brain. It is a biological illness and cannot be overcome by sheer willpower alone.

But if I had to have ECT again, and there was nothing else I could try, I would.

#7 kate_edwin

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:09 PM

Ect is *only* Indicated for treatment resistant depression and bipolar. The risks to somene wih a dssociative disorder are not ones tot take lightly. The risk is not simply a dissociative "episode" as a mild to moderate side effect. Even if you had bipolar, if you also had a dissociative disorder, ect would still be contra-indicated

#8 rob

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:59 AM

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to answer my question.

The reason for my question was that I have just re-read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath which, despite the change of names for the central character is clearly a more or less "dry" account of Plath's struggle with mental illness as a young woman. Although her illness is not labelled in any way, the few references she makes to her symptoms are highly suggestive of DP - whether as a stand-alone condition or as an adjunct to say some other neurotic or psychotic condition is never discussed. Her personality type and childhood also seem to correspond with that of many DP sufferers (perfectionist + lack of parental warmth.)

The point is that, having been given a course of ECT, she felt that she had recovered/gotten better. However, I respect entirely what Dragonfly said about ECT triggering an episode of DP/DR, and the general sentiment that ECT is not good for DP - so I probably won't try it.

Also, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would be difficult to arrange for an ECT course if you actually wanted one!


With regard to other points raised:-

I'm actually not sure what role depression plays in this curious condition. Did acute depression set me on a course in life which almost inevitably wound up with me dissociating? I don't know.

Does having DP/DR make me depressed/ more depressed than I otherwise might have been? I think so.

What does "dissociation" mean and is DP even a dissociative disorder - does anyone know?

Should we be trying to dislodge the material mechanism of DP or addressing the psychological causes for its deployment or both?

#9 kate_edwin

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:28 PM

yes dp is a dissociative disorder.

#10 PhoenixDown

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 06:33 AM

exhaust some other options first. but yeah, as a last ditch. Turn up the electro crank.

#11 kate_edwin

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:06 PM

Everything everything. Meds, non psych meds, meditation, mindfulness, accupuncture, mindfulness, DBT, different types of therapy, group therapy, an in or out patient program for dissociation, diet, exercise, etc tc etc etc. Really the experts say not to co sided ect as an option with dissociation, even if you've tried everything

#12 Pablo

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:19 PM

I thought it was banned for being too barbaric. You need love and compassion to heal not extreme violence towards the most sensitive part of your body.

If you really want to try an extreme therapy and are willing to do anything then go to Peru to take Ayahuasca.




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