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Question
Posted by: zippy | 2007/08/02

ect

I have been suffering from severe depression for months now, I have been in hospital twice, been on an assortment of medication, but the depression and anxiety seem to get worse instead of improving. I have dreadful thoughts of suicide all the time, I have no close family or friends in JHB, and seem isolated. My husband is very supportive, but he cannot comprehend the depth of my depression. My Phsyciatrist has recommended ECT to us, and we have an appointment to see him this afternoon, but have read so many different articles on the matter. Is there any person who has had this treatment, and who can tell me what it has done for them. I am at a desperate stage now, as I am sick and tired of feeling this way.

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Our expert says:
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Well, some of the articles you come across are written by people with a major bee in their bonnet, who are determined to scare you off ECT. Last weekend, I was at a major psychiatric conference with a world-class speaker, reviewing piles of research about various treatments. While ECT would not be our first choice for treating Depression before trying medication, it was agreed that it is generally safe, and in situations like yours is effective and can have a quicker and earlier effect than other methods of treatment. And a recent major survey found that, contrary to what some people might expect, the actual life expectancy of people who had ECT was HIGHER than ordinary people who did not have it ! I think you should probably go ahead and try this treatment, and I hope you will be feeling much better than this, before long. Be sure that you and your husband ask the psychiatrist all the questions you may have in mind right now

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