It Came as a Shock to Me. A Boy’s View of ECT | by Scott Younkin | Dec, 2021

A Boy’s View of ECT

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Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Once you are asleep, the doctor delivers the electrical current by pressing a button on the ECT machine. This would trigger a seizure that usually lasts less for than 60 seconds or so. The doctor will be able to see this in your free foot as well as on the monitor of the electroencephalogram (EEG) machine.

When you wake up you may be confused and have short-term memory loss. You may be a little stiff and have a sore throat. Good news you have more treatments to look forward to:

ECT requires a series of treatments, often initiated two to three times a week for a few weeks and then the frequency is tapered down. As the treatment course progresses, short-term memory loss for things recently learned is not uncommon.

The treatment of major depression is generally over many years and usually includes medication and group therapy. The psychiatrist will tailor the frequency of ECT treatments to the response and the presence or absence of distressing side effects.

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