In a previous post I mentioned having another suicide attempt while in treatment. Unfortunately, it’s true. I wasn’t responding to medications. Therapy was a joke at the second place I was sent. Somehow the pain multiplied in that environment, and I hit rock bottom. I sank further into depression and reached a pit I had fallen into many times before. I kept thinking, “I’m broken, and I have nothing to live for anymore.”
I stopped eating and slept all the time. There were periods of time where I sat and stared at nothing, because I was dissociated. I walked slowly, my hair was a mess, and I had given up on showering or brushing my teeth, because I didn’t see the point. The depression got so bad that I began hallucinating. Then miraculously one day my mood shifted drastically for the better.
After my fourth course of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) I looked up at the nurse upon waking up from the anesthesia. He sent me into a fit of giggles by gasping, saying, “My god, she’s smiling!” I hadn’t smiled or laughed genuinely in quite some time, so it was a big deal. My whole demeanor had changed in a few minutes from the deep depression I was in prior to getting put to sleep for the procedure.
So what is ECT? How does it work? Watch the video below to learn more:
From my perspective, ECT was a godsend. I became a human again. The procedure itself was not painful. In fact the thing that hurt most was getting the needle inserted while the nurse set everything up for the anesthesiologist. Otherwise, the procedure felt like taking a very good nap. Waking up from the anesthesia took longer than the ECT did. After the procedure, I took naps and experienced a little jaw pain. I’m not afraid of ECT at all anymore, despite how it’s been shown in the media. It saved my life.
All in all, I had seven rounds of ECT, but need to continue once the Coronavirus outbreak is contained. The only real side effect I have from it are eye twitches and forgetfulness. Prior to ECT, my memory was very reliable. Heck, I’ve been called creepy for recalling the smallest details of things even years later. My memory is why I love to learn. However, the months of December, January, and February are very fuzzy. I don’t remember trying to harm myself or anything I said to anyone in that timeframe. I also forget things almost instantly. It’s a little frustrating to not be able to hold onto information like before. Now I forget that I’ve written down reminders and to do lists. It’s going to get better with time, plus I’m eating leafy greens and taking fish oil vitamins to help.
I still have depression, so let’s not say that I’m cured. It’s more like I have the energy and all the resources from the treatment center to actively manage my depression. I feel better in a way that I haven’t felt in my entire life. Sometimes the things that scare us are the things that make us stronger.