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Question
Posted by: XXX | 2010/11/28

Electroconvulsive therapy

Hi Doctor

I just have a question on Electroconvulsive therapy. I''ve been depressed for 10 years and been gettin panic attacks every morning and feel of horrible anxiety for the entire day for about 7 years. I''ve never been on medication for it until 4 months ago when my body gave up physically and mentally and I had a nervous breakdown at work. i just couldn''t hide it anymore and my body was shutting down on me so my option was either suicide or a psychiatrist that could put me on some meds asap. He started me off with 20mg of Paxil and a 1mg of Alzam..I went up to 40mg and 2mg of alzam and no slight results of imrovement...Then he put me on 40mg Talomil (spelling) and 0.5mg Xanor..went up to 60mg with Talomil and again..no improvement..Now I was moved onto 60mg Cymgen, 3mg Xanor and 25mg of Trepiline... still nothing...im not sure what I''m suppose to be feeling as some form of happiness is a foreign thing to me and i dream and think of suicide everyday....my question is how many more times will i have to switch from one type of medication to the other? Wouldn''t Electroconvulsive therapy be more effective and less costly in the long run..excluding the fact that one becomes dependent on antidepressants and tranquilisers... Would ECT be more helpfull or is the reason for medication only for doctors to make money from the visits and pharmacies making money from purchasing the medication...I''m hangin by a thread and I don''t know how long I can last with the meds not being effective so far and if i''m going to survive to the moment when the proper medication will finally work.. Thank you in advance for your reply

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Anxiety, panic attacks and depression often occur together. In a complex situation like this, I do hope you are being treated by a Psychiatrist and not only a GP, as more experience and expertise in this field will be needed to manage this well.
Paxil is an antidepressant which can also be helpful in Anxiety and Panic - but out of the many ADs to choose from, only around 70 % of people are best suited by and respond best to, any one of them. So it may be necessary to try 2 or more, to find the one that works best with your unique brain chemistry.
The continuing suicidal ideas are of course unpleasant and a risk that can't be ignored.
Tranquilizers can indeed produce deprendency if taken for months, but though one needs to come of ADs gradually rather than suddenly, they fortunately don't really produce the sort of dependency that becomes a problem in its own right.
The AD meds do help many people, and prescribing them is not more profitable for the doctor that giving ECT ( which would probably add more to his income ).
ECT also does not ideally suit everyone, but is something many expert shrinks would consider in a situation such as you describe, and often can show a distinct improvement within a week or two. It might indeed be worth considering, but only after a proper discussion of these concerns with your psychiatrist. Some people find few side-effects with it, but a significant proportion of those who have it find some interference, temporarily, with short-term memory.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: XXX | 2010/11/28

Thank you so much for your help. I am seeing a psychiatrist. Will probably give it few tries and if that fails I will discuss the ECT option with him. Thank you again

Reply to XXX
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/11/28

Anxiety, panic attacks and depression often occur together. In a complex situation like this, I do hope you are being treated by a Psychiatrist and not only a GP, as more experience and expertise in this field will be needed to manage this well.
Paxil is an antidepressant which can also be helpful in Anxiety and Panic - but out of the many ADs to choose from, only around 70 % of people are best suited by and respond best to, any one of them. So it may be necessary to try 2 or more, to find the one that works best with your unique brain chemistry.
The continuing suicidal ideas are of course unpleasant and a risk that can't be ignored.
Tranquilizers can indeed produce deprendency if taken for months, but though one needs to come of ADs gradually rather than suddenly, they fortunately don't really produce the sort of dependency that becomes a problem in its own right.
The AD meds do help many people, and prescribing them is not more profitable for the doctor that giving ECT ( which would probably add more to his income ).
ECT also does not ideally suit everyone, but is something many expert shrinks would consider in a situation such as you describe, and often can show a distinct improvement within a week or two. It might indeed be worth considering, but only after a proper discussion of these concerns with your psychiatrist. Some people find few side-effects with it, but a significant proportion of those who have it find some interference, temporarily, with short-term memory.

Reply to cybershrink

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