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ECT for depression
May 18, 2012

Hello,

I was wondering if you or anyone you know has tried ECT for their depression. I have clinical depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I beg God to kill me every day because I cannot stand being here and waiting for it to happen anymore. I have tried every antidepressant and had to be pulled off due to side effects or for it just not working. I wish that I was like you and could embrace and find my purpose in life. I spend every minute just trying to hang on so I don't commit suicide. My family and friends do not understand. I don't think anyone who has not experienced clinical depression understands, but it does not help for people to tell you to just take your meds because they don't want to listen to you. Unfortunately, my personality is more " hide in the corner" type, not the overcoming type.

Thank you for you time.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thank you for writing. I'm sorry to hear how devastating your depression is and understand how painful it can be just to get through the day. Electroconvulsive therapy is utilized as a treatment of last resort. It has been refined over the years, although it still is considered extreme and can have significant side effects, including memory loss. The medical literature contains varied opinions about its effectiveness although, given your distress, it may be an option.

I assume you are under the care of a psychiatrist. Please be certain to speak with him/her about your ongoing concerns and assert yourself in exploring all treatment options available to you. As you know, suicidal thoughts increase and decrease in intensity. If you are obsessed with such thoughts you need to call for help and get yourself into a safe environment. Here is the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. There is always someone there to talk to. Support groups are also extremely effective because they put you in contact with other people who really do understand exactly how you feel.

Stay connected and don't lose hope,

-David



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