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12/24/2010 03:55 PM


Posts: 1
New Member

Hi. I'm not sure about being in an on-line support group, but I need to have contact with others who will understand.

I've been depressed off and on for over 20 years. This year has been a nightmare -- lots of med changes, hospitalizations, and even ECT. My doctor seems to be at a loss as to what to do as I am still really depressed. My family also seems to be tired of trying to help me.

Has anyone else had ECT? If so, what was your experience afterwards? It either didn't help me at all, or I am on medication that is making things worse.


02/06/2011 09:20 PM
Posts: 48


sorry it took so long to get a response. I just joined this group myself.This year has been an absolute nightmare for me too! I was hospitalized 3 times in 9 months ( 49 days) inpatient and even though I was only 17 at the time, chose to undergo ECT as well. I like you, didn't have any results from it and my doctors had all but given up on me! I had been on over 25 different meds. in 15 months with little to no results; antidepressants,mood stabilizers, anti psychotics,MAOI's,special food name it I was on it. I had a lot of physical symptoms that didn't match with depression though, like severe headaches, night sweats,stiff neck,TMJ,back pain, heart palpitations etc. The doctors just ignored them though.I finally got fed up and did my own research, found lyme disease which matched all my symptoms, got tested and was POSITIVE!Since you're not responding to the typical treatments for depression, have you looked into any alternative diagnosis'?


03/08/2011 12:51 AM
Posts: 19

I think this group is a good idea. I've been dealing with depression for as long as I can remember. Had therapists been using criteria way back when like they do now, I'd have had this as a kid, too. I think the last time I tried writing down all the different meds that I've tried, I was close to 30 different brands of anti-depressants. Since I'm not rich, I can't afford to go to a "decent" psychiatrist (sp?) so I'm stuck with community mental health places that usually pass out a few random meds to the masses and if they don't work, tough. They just concentrate on the ones who do respond to the latest pill out there. I've had two family doctors in the course of my adult life and both of them have been more help with this, and my other problems, than any of the "mental health" places that I've been. ECT is something that I have not tried. It's been suggested by therapists but the...I call them babysitters...they come by to check on me to see that I have food, if I have on and so forth...they have advised me off record not to do it. They said that the people that they've been around that have had it done are generally worse off than before. I've heard more horror stories than good stories come from it so I don't consider it an option for me. Anyway, my panic attacks seem to override my depression for some reason...probably because they seem so much more severe when they're going on but now that I've almost gotten them under control, the depression is resurfacing again. One last thing I might add...and this may make a lot of people hate me even for saying that I'm an athiest. I don't have any imaginary friends to help me out. I don't have anyone living up in the sky to talk to and I've found that a lot of therapists use religion to help people feel better. I tell them up front that it's not an option for me and still at the end, they try to push it on me, anyway. It really offends me. To me, it carries no more weight than saying Santa Claus will help you through this. Anyway, that's another treatment that hasn't and can't help me. I really hope this is a small group because depression without treatment sucks...and yes, I know from experience. Umm...that's probably overkill on my intro into this group. I do look up stuff on the internet...trying to find new meds or different ways to deal with things. Some of the docs take the info, some hate it, I'm sure. I feel like I'm doing their job half the time and all they do is write out the prescriptions and collect the fees. Oh, and I am a little more depressed than usual tonight/this morning, so I'm hoping that if anyone would like someone to talk to, I can be a bit more cheery the next time around...LOL Smile

09/03/2011 06:29 AM
Posts: 1

I'm new to this group too and have been too afraid to say anything. Treatment resistant depression is completely new to me, as I've been fighting depression for 30 years or so. Just now did someone mention it after struggle on top of struggle for relief did I realize that's what it is!!! doesn't make it easier for me to deal, just good to know the reason every single medicine hasn't worked for me. i'm on 6 now, with forever side effects. I am just learning to reach out and try to find other people with the same problem i do. maybe we can work it out together? anyway, thank you for listening. i hope to find some solutions if not just some support along the way. Thanks! Smile

09/03/2011 07:10 AM

Welcome to the group! I am sorry to hear about what you have gone through. I am also on about 6-7 meds and it's frustrating. The side effects are hard to live with. But recently I was diagnosed with a rare and mild form of Bipolar and so I was put on mood stabilizers and some other stuff in addition to my anti-depressants--what a difference! I still have my ups and downs but not like before--but it also took 25 years to get it right--I hope it lasts. Maybe mention that to your psychiatrist as an option?

11/24/2011 06:34 PM
Posts: 105

Informed -

I had ECT treatments in September/October of last week. I only had 7 treatments. They did work, but something happened in my life, which unfortunately I cannot remember that induced a depression when I don't think normally it would have.

From the other patients I have spoken with, some people experience anxiety as they approach their first treatment but are fine afterwards in subsequent treatments. They may need to come in for a "tune up" either months or years later depending upon the person.

For me, my doctor said he didn't believe I needed more than 7 treatments, but to call him if I had problems. I will say that my memory isn't as good as it was especially around that time. I'm still having memory problems but I think it may be due to the medications.

My pdoc at the time had given up on meds because nothing was working and she believed that ECT was the only option. I'd do research on the process and talk to the doctor (mine was very caring) and don't be pressured into the situation.

I am currently on the following medications (similar to before ECT) and am pretty stable.

EMSAM - 12 mg

klonapin - 5 mg

florinef - .01 mg (orthostatic hypotension)

synthroid - .88 ug (hypothyroidism)

lamictal - 200 mg

seroquel - 25 mg (for sleep)

lortab - chronic pain

zanaflex - muscle relaxant for chronic pain

for me, I haven't responded for long periods of time on SSRI's. It would work for a month maybe two and then stop. I've been on this combination or close to it for almost a year and then about a year before then.

I first had symptoms of bipolar disorder around 1997 when I was in college and I didn't know if I was going to graduation. I worked for a year then couldn't. I am on Social Security Disability after being in a long term facility which diagnosed me with Bipolar. They never figured out I or II. I tend to be depressed and on rare occasions mixed states. I have had 2 episodes of mania - where I spent way too much $$ and am still recovering from that. But haven't had that since 1998-9.

Its been a frustrating journey. I guess this year is the most psychologically stable I have been. I own my own business. I've been working for 6.5 years but don't make much money just help others which I love to do.

Hope this wasn't too long. When I'm writing, I can tend to write novels.

I'm still having side effects. My close friends and family are seeing them and I'm not on most of them. I don't want my clients or other people seeing me like I'm drugged.



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