My Experience With ECT

My experience with ECT is probably not the usual one. I don’t remember if I had been diagnosed with Conversion Disorder yet or not. As with many other people I was at a point of desperation. I should have waited and planned an Outpatient ECT Program with my Psychiatrist. I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time and admitted myself to the hospital he worked at. They were set to do the ECT until a blip showed up on my EKG. They were worried about not having the emergency equipment on hand if something happened. The doctors agreed I needed it done and transported me to a nearby Hospital that did it. This is where things started to go downhill.

The Psychiatrist in charge did not believe in the use of Klonopin. They also didn’t carry the medication I was on because it was too new. No one knew that when you have Conversion Disorder with Bipolar Disorder that it can make things difficult when you wake up. The staff was unprepared.

Anesthesia and Conversion Disorder can sometimes be a bad combination too. When I woke up I wasn’t expecting to feel like a spike was being driven through my skull with a sledgehammer. My eyes were constantly leaking tears. I had regressed to the age of a 5 year old. I kept asking when my mommy was coming. She was deceased so that wasn’t happening. The staff played along and kept telling me she was on her way. I don’t know if this was helpful or not.

I didn’t know if you were supposed to slowly remember on your own. It took about 6 hours for the memory of my mother’s death to play back in my mind. It wasn’t pleasant. The doctor was not compassionate or sympathetic. They didn’t give me any of my meds or anything for the extreme pain in my head.

My ECT was bilateral. When I finally got home and a few days went by I noticed a huge difference in how I felt. I was happier, I did things on my own and left the house more. This lasted for about 6 to 8 months.

If there was a guarantee that I could have it done in the correct setting with the right doctors I would do it again.

Now my physical health is too bad to have it done, my medications are not working to their full extent. I have gone downhill so much in the last year. Everyday is a challenge. My family is so annoyed and sick of hearing about my illness. I try not to talk about it.

Today was extremely bad and I had no one. My sister finally calls me back. Her answer was for me to “get my shit together”.

It’s overwhelming. From now on I’m not discussing it with anyone in my family.

About darie73

I have lived with Bipolar Disorder since my early teens. I have lived with Social Anxiety Disorder for even longer. I self-medicated with alcohol for over 20 years, that's how long it took to get a diagnosis. I'm open and honest about my mental health so hopefully one day the system will change. View all posts by darie73

2 responses to “My Experience With ECT

  • gentlekindness

    That is very scary. It is frightening how incompetent these places can be. As far as the bedside manner of the doctor…I have been there and done that. I was actually scolded once by a nurse and a doctor for crying when I was in the hospital and in my own room alone, where I was not bothering anyone.
    They can be very icy and callous.
    I am sorry that this is how your experience went. I did not realize that ECT needed to be repeated after the first session. I will have to do some research about this. I do not know much about it.
    Thank you for sharing the post. I have 3 friends that are considering this option.
    Annie ❤


    • darie73

      Thank you. I would do it again because it DID make a difference. I would just make sure that I was in a different place and the staff knew how I react when waking up. I’ve been cleared by a Cardiologist so there isn’t anything wrong with my heart. The blip on the EKG was just a blip so that helps.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: