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.