How Shocking That I Got Shocked! & The Amazing Dr. Nuland



I’m still shocked that I had the guts to request ECT, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock. It was nothing other than pure desperation that drove me to try something so frightening and controversial.

It was January of 2009.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years earlier, and I was teetering on the edge of sanity.  Then my father died.  If you’ve read my post Stigma – Part Two you know that my relationship with my father (who also had bipolar disorder) was a close one, and I loved him unreservedly.  His health had been failing for several years before he passed away, but each time it seemed that when he reached his end, he’d make a miraculous recovery.  No matter how many remarkable recoveries Dad made, I knew that it was inevitable that I’d lose him forever.  I had been dreading his death every day since he became frail in his seventies.

Dad never liked to talk about death, unlike me. I was fascinated with discussing death with anyone up for it, and I was especially interested the afterlife.  I considered Elizabeth Kubler Ross, a pioneer in near-death studies (On Death and Dying) and Dr. Raymond Moody (Life After Life which has sold over 12 million copies to date) to be among my favorite authors.  Dad, an avid reader, wouldn’t allow me to discuss either of those books in his presence.

When I got the phone call that my Dad died exactly the way he feared: alone in a mediocre assisted living center, I became catatonic.  My depression plummeted to depths it never reached before.

A decade before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I witnessed the death of another very close relative, my Granny. I fell into a deep depression after she died of lung cancer, but I was able to function more or less.  Not so with my father’s death.  After I received the news that he passed away, I asked to go to C.H.O.M.P., the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. C.H.O.M.P. had a locked-down mental health unit euphemistically called the “Garden Pavilion”.  When I was hospitalized there, my depression was so severe that I experienced suicidal ideations – I had no specific plan, but I felt utterly devoid of hope.

Prior to this hospitalization, I demonstrated that I was medication-resistant, meaning I tried a plethora of mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, and anti-depressants and none of those medications helped lift my depression.

At C.H.O.M.P. I was given the option which psychiatrists offer to their medication-resistant patients: electroconvulsive treatments in which seizures are electrically induced in patients who are given anesthesia and a muscle relaxant.

My first association with E.C.T., along with many in our society, was a photo of Jack Nicholson’s character receiving it in the Academy Award-winning film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”.  I never read Ken Kesey’s book or saw Milos Forman’s movie, but I had a very negative impression from viewing that disturbing image of Nicholson’s grimace while undergoing E.C.T.

After my grandmother died, I found a beautifully written book titled Undercurrents in which the author, psychologist Dr. Martha Manning, fell into a depression so deep that she opted for E.C.T.  The treatments helped her enormously. While she struggled after the procedures with fatigue and short-term memory loss, she made it clear that it was the right, lifesaving choice for her.

I was affected profoundly by Undercurrents and when I began my freelance writing career, I contacted Dr. Manning for an interview.  I included her quote in a Fit magazine article “Shades of Gray” which examined the connection between depression, women and exercise.  It was an honor to interview Dr. Manning. I kept our topics to exercise and depression only, for at that point I never imagined I would need, let alone demand, E.C.T.

When E.C.T. was presented to me as a viable way to recover, I vaguely remembered Dr. Manning’s book. Without any hesitation I told the psychiatrist on duty, “Do it.”  

I didn’t care about its risks; I didn’t care about anything. To say I felt desperate was a massive understatement.  I was told by my psychiatrist Dr. C. that I would have unilateral rather than bilateral E.C.T., which meant that the electrodes used to stimulate my brain would be placed on one side of my head instead of both sides (bilateral).  This was the conservative approach (which is usually good when dealing with a brain!) and meant fewer side effects, most notably less memory loss.

The E.C.T. treatments started promptly at the grisly hour of 6:00 a.m. in the Short Stay Unit allocated for all outpatient procedures.  I was rolled up to the floor above the Garden Pavilion in a padded gurney by B., a compassionate longtime hospital aide.  If I had to be taken up to E.C.T. by anyone, B. had the perfect kind of personality for the job.

After B. dropped me off in a small, curtained room, I was prepped by a friendly nurse who immediately saw how down I was and she did her best to set me at ease.  She started the I.V. line that would be used to inject me with general anesthesia.  I’ve never had a problem with needles or injections, so that didn’t faze me one bit.  

I was looking forward to oblivion very much, thank you.

At 6:10 a.m. in walked Dr. C. holding a big coffee mug, accompanied by an extremely handsome anesthesiologist.  (Even though I was in a depression-induced stupor, I was able to notice physical beauty.)  Dr. C. gently placed several electrodes on my scalp and temple….it was no big deal.  A small, clear gas mask was placed over my nose and I remember finally being able to relax.

I wasn’t scared at that point; I felt like I was being taken care of and because I genuinely liked the staff surrounding me that went a long way in diminishing my anxiety.  

The anesthesiologist said “Okay, Dyane. I want you to count backwards from 10”, which I started to do and when I reached “5”, boom!  I was fast-asleep.  I didn’t feel a thing. There was no pain.  Not during, and not afterwards.

When I woke up within the hour, I was a little groggy, but then I was completely coherent within about ten minutes. That surprised me. I was fed a hot breakfast I had selected beforehand, and I had the appetite to eat most of it. My short-term memory loss was minimal. While I was still heartbroken over the loss of my father, I definitely felt better than I had before I went under, and with each treatment I felt a little better.  After my week at the hospital I had additional treatments as an outpatient.

I firmly believe that E.C.T. saved my life. I was lucky – I’ve heard the horror stories of those who had bad reactions, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I would also recommend it to others who feel suicidal, who have been medication-resistant, and who need to function as quickly as possible, i.e. a mother with young children or the breadwinner of the family.  My health insurance covered most of the procedures’ cost, and I was able to arrange an extended payment plan for the remaining balance.

Since I had the treatments in 2009, I learned about another procedure used to treat major depression called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. Wikipedia defines TMS as a “noninvasive method to cause depolarization in the neurons of the brain. TMS uses electromagnetic induction to induce weak electric currents” and no anesthesia is required.  I read an entire book about a woman named Martha Rhodes’ experience with TMS healing her depression. Rhodes made a suicide attempt and was hospitalized at the cushy Silver Hill, where Catherine Zeta Jones was hospitalized. Rhodes tried many medications to no avail and decided to pursue TMS. Her book is called 3000 Pulses Later and while I liked it very much, I disagreed with its one-sided depiction of E.C.T.

One important distinction between TMS and E.C.T. (which have comparable success rates) is that with TMS one must commit to almost daily procedures for up to six weeks.  The good news  is that the patient can drive back and forth to treatment unlike with E.C.T., in which a ride must be arranged due to the anesthesia  However, TMS doesn’t usually start working until midway through the four-to-six-week series.  E.C.T. can cause the depression to remit much sooner than that timeframe,  like it did with me.

Depending on one’s situation, it would be most worthwhile to closely examine both E.C.T. and TMS pros and cons before undertaking either treatment.  E.C.T. is an enormous commitment and it requires a major leap of faith.  It’s expensive, even with health insurance.  (TMS can be very costly as well.) Moreover, there are risks when undergoing any kind of anesthesia, or when subjecting oneself to potential memory loss.  

I can unequivocally state that doing E.C.T. was the best decision I ever made. 

October 21, 2015 Update: When I was undergoing E.C.T. treatments, I wish I saw the remarkable, inspiring TED talk given by the bestselling author/surgeon Dr. Sherwin Nuland about his E.C.T. experience. The following clip is brief and it’s considered by the TED content masterminds to be one of the best TED talks. It’s definitely worth the time to watch Dr. Nuland if you’re even remotely considering electroconvulsive treatment. He’ll make you laugh, he’ll make you think, and he’ll give you hope if you’re considering it.

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press next year.

64 thoughts on “How Shocking That I Got Shocked! & The Amazing Dr. Nuland

  1. I narrowly avoided ECT. I was med-resistant, but at the last moment, just as was ready to take the plunge, Lamictal kicked in and stabilized me.

    • Hi there Janet! Thanks for reading; I’m so glad that you didn’t have to have ECT. It’s wonderful when a medication makes a positive difference, especially for med-resistant folks like us, and I’m *very* glad Lamictal worked for you! take care & thanks for your comment.

  2. Well thank you, Dyane, for giving me something other than the Jack Nicholson version of ECT (like you, that’s the first thing that comes up for me). It’s important to know the bad AND the good about options.

    • You’re very welcome! 🙂 Thanks for reading & commenting – I really apprecitate it.

      I live in a town that’s home to an extremely vocal, militant anti-ECT author, and I’ve seen her flyers for her anti-ECT/book promotion talks around the area. I’m sure she has her reasons, as do others. But I feel that there haven’t been enough success stories about ECT available and because it worked for me I’ve felt compelled to share how ECT affected me. I no longer think of Nicholson’s face after my round of treatments because I associate ECT with the stunning, GQ supermodel, surfer anesthesiologists contracted with the hospital, LOL!

  3. I am so glad that you posted this. Thank you for sharing your story and the TED talk was great. I have read a lot of blogs where the writer has had ECT and every time I think of it as something very scary and desperate. Because of my preconceived notions on the subject, I never even bothered to research it. I just dismissed it immediately as something that I would never opt to do.

    Your description has turned my thinking completely around. It’s now something that I will look into if things start to go downhill. It gives me some hope that my med-resistent ass could be helped. I’m existing pretty well right now, but I’m about to do a major med change and I’m quite worried. Your post has given me another option to look into and I thank you so much for that.

    • Leslie, your comment really moved me and I even sent it to my Mom with the subject header “this is why I blog!” I can’t tell you how glad I am that this post was even a tiny bit of help to you. I think some of the other folks who commented here felt the same as you in that they never researched it; it sounded so scary etc. I understand that mindset because I had it too.
      I’m glad you’re doing well now and I hope with all my heart it stays that way, but yes, it’s good to know there are options you can try if you must.mI hope that your new medication goes VERY well and I’ll catch up over at your blog because I want to know how you’re doing!!! (((hugs)))

  4. My mom had it in the 1950’s.I have read good reviews of current practice, but the early bias is hard to overcome. Glad it worked for you, Dyane. ❤️

    • Hello dear Van! Yes, I can imagine that the early bias of ECT is a big roadblock. Your poor mom – must have been incredibly difficult….I’m so sorry. Now according to what I’ve read the whole procedure etc. is very different. I hope that new technologies with less side effects (and cheaper!!!) emerge soon. I’ve heard about something to do with the vagus nerve stimulation and I’d like to know more about that out of curiosity. And of course a CURE would be most ideal, wouldn’t it????Anyway, wishing you well as always! Lots of love from your friend down by the river! 😉

      • I also saw Cuckoo’s Nest as a teen, and the ECT was disturbing, but not as scary to me as the lobotomy. I’ve also done a lot of research into the facility that held my paternal grandfather for 2 decades. A state -run psych. institution for the indigent. He lost his farm and his mind during the 1930 depression and died there. A horrifying legacy of maltreatment. Thank God, we have come a long way from all that. Wish you all the best, dear friend. You will surely have helped so many that never respond to you, the video was very encouraging.💕

  5. Thanks for writing this. Like you ECT saved my life and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Since ECT I have had no psychosis, whereas before I heard voices regularly and no medication ever worked. Unfortunately I suffered severe memory loss and can’t remember a great deal, so it was really interesting reading this post and piecing together disjointed memories. Beautifully written as always 🙂

    • Your comment made me so happy! I was trying to revise this post last night around two fighting tweens, a barking dog and a grumpy husband who had to deal with a client from hell earlier in the day. So I knew the post had typos, syntax boo boo’s etc! But I figured it was more important to get it out there instead of shoot for the Pulitzer! 😉 Still, your kind compliment made me smile & feel jolly – thank you, thank you! And it’s truly wonderful that ECT saved your life too – how incredible that post-ECT your voices went away (although I know that was a little, little bittersweet from reading your remarkable post) The severe memory loss SUCKS – there’s no other word I can use except awful expletives. I’ll spare you that! Anyway, thanks again for your support & encouragement. I hope you’re doing well and I’d LOVE to read an update post from you about the latest goings on in your life when you have time, hint hint. Like you have lots of free time, right? XOXOXOOXOX

      • Thanks Dyane! I am glad my comment made you happy 🙂 yes…after a bit of a hiatus I am back in the blogosphere, have written an update and will be writing much more regularly.

        I hope 2016 treats you wonderfully.

  6. Several thoughts:

    My psychiatrist offers TMS at his office, but until now, I’d never heard anyone else reference it. Thanks for the brief comparison of that with ECT. I’ve never had either done.

    The name for the community hospital made me laugh: CHOMP! I picture the hospital chomping down on its patients; as the mental health facility was the “garden pavilion”, I imagine that’s the hospital’s salad course. Maybe I need some caffeine this morning. . . . 🙂

    I’m glad that you had a positive experience with ECT. Too often, people hear those words and shudder, which hardly helps the person with severe depression. Thanks for sharing so openly.

    • Hmmm – that’s interesting your psychiatrist offers TMS! I hope that you won’t ever need it nor ECT for that matter, though!!! Great minds think alike because “CHOMP” has made me laugh too – I think of it in reference to great white sharks, however, that are known to swim relatively near CHOMP in the Monterey Bay! So when I heard “CHOMP” I pictured the famous shot of JAWS chomping on its victim. Yikes!!! I like your image as well; it’s less freaky, that’s for sure. Thanks for reading and, as always, for an insightful comment. On a TOTALLY unrelated note, did I already comment at your blog about the new television production of “Anne of Green Gables” with Martin Sheen as Matthew? If I have, forgive me. And I saw a preview of it and all I can say is: “Pass”.

      • Bummer about the new production. 😦

        My doctor has recommended TMS for me in the past, but at the time, I lived forty minutes from his office and I couldn’t drive back and forth all the time for treatment. Now that I live closer to his office, of course, I’m doing better! Ironic.

  7. Hi, Dyane! Glad I was able to finally get back to your blog, just in time for this post. I was first hospitalized in 2006 and in an utterly hopeless state, severely depressed and anxious at the same time. All I wanted was relief, whether from death or a magic pill or something. Can we say desperate? The docs at Carrier Institute, where I was, suggested ECT and despite my family’s reservations, I jumped at the chance. When I wasn’t feeling enough results, I agreed to go bilateral- something my family definitely did not want- and eventually, I made my way out of the darkness. But I lost memories, not just surrounding that immediate time frame, but of things that had happened in the past several years, including some big trips I took with my husband. I also forgot the names of people I knew- I recognized faces, but not names. At the time, I said ECT saved my life. Nine years later, I’m not as sure of that- I wonder if I’d accepted how I was feeling and waited it out, if time would have been an equal healer. ECT certainly didn’t erase my depression- I still had a long road ahead of me- but it helped me function again. When I was pregnant and starting to feel anxious, I talked to my shrink about med options, and he said he’d choose ECT for a pregnant patient over meds- that the risk from anesthesia to the fetus is much less than the risk from oral meds. That shocked me (no pun intended). I told him I wouldn’t want to have ECT again, b/c of the memory loss I’d experienced. And I still don’t know if I would ever choose it again. Hopefully, I won’t be in that deep darkness where the choice comes up ever again.

    • Dear Mariah, I hope you never, ever have to suffer in the deep darkness again! I’m incredibly sorry you had those horrible side effects and I don’t blame you at all for having misgivings about electing to have ECT. Have you read about TMS or know anyone? As I wrote in the post, Martha Rhodes’ book is a great introduction to TMS as well as a good memoir, and she has a website. She’s an active advocate of TMS and is willing to be contacted about it….I should have included that in the post. The site, which is very comprehensive, has FAQ’s, resources, etc. It’s at:

      Also, I’ve read somewhere about vagus nerve stimulation for depression, but that’s all I know about it. Here’s a good intro. link:

      But I want a cure!!!!!!! In *our* lifetime! The way I see it, if we can fly people to the moon, we can find a cure for bipolar or at least we can find better medications and other treatments. I also love holistic helath but all the things I tried never lifted the severe bipolar depression.

      Sorry to go on and on – I always love hearing from you. Thanks so much, and I hope someday I get to hear you sing in person!!! Xo

  8. Thank you for sharing your positive, hope-filled story of ECT. Helps to dispel negative beliefs. Clearly it saved your life. Love Nuland’s TED Talk – especially this: “There is Recovery. There is Redemption. There is Resurrection.”

    • You’re very welcome, my friend. BLahpolar actually inspired me to revise and re-post this as she’s seriously considering the procedure. Nuland offers other talks on YouTube; I saw his 12-minjute one about hope & plan to watch his hour-long discussion about death which is not supposed to be a bummer; quite the opposite I’ve read. I appreciate the late doctor’s “three R’s” and use of the Phoenix imagery. I wish he was still alive to talk about other subjects as well; I found his knowledge base and sense of humor incredible and relevant.

    • You inspired me to revise it and add Dr. Nuland’s TED video. I want to watch his “How to Die” talk soon. I’ve been hearing from some of my virtual friends on the East coast that they are very down w/bp depression – it’s in the air, so I thought this was a good time to re-post this piece. You’ve helped some people by getting me jazzed about me sharing this electrifying experience, you ‘lil jester. (((hugz))) & looking forward to your post du jour as always. If blogs were antidepressants, yours would be in my cabinet. (Huh?) Whatevs. That’s a “good thing” to quote Martha “Jailbait” Steward. Love you!

      • I promise that if I wasn’t off my tits hypo or manic right now I’d write a good comment. I had one prepared and it just fucked right the fuck off, to paraphrase Mister N.

      • I gladly and willingly accept any and all of your comments. I’m sitting here half-awake. I’m easy to please….as long as you don’t start rhapsodizing about the $cientologists and how you’ve finally decided to join them! That would truly scare me.

      • Lol! Me too, I’d be scared. I’ve got to confess something to you Fry.




        I like John Travolta – there I said it yes I went there. Are we still friends?

      • When I first read this, I FREAKED OUT and thought you were going to tell me you requested the free “THE WAY TO HAPPINESS” DVD kit from the website!!!!

        BUT then I read on and you know what?
        I’ll admit I have very complex,mixed feelings for John. I should write a post about it, I should.

        And speaking of posts, I have a SPARKLING idea for you. Please, please think it over.


        What about 1x week you offer us, your devotees, the chance to “Ask Blahpolar” whatever we want!
        Please please please?????
        It can be short and sweet. You don’t have to work TOO hard, um…maybe?

        Please say yes!

      • I wish! Hee hee…I mean it. I keep trying to help a good friend out & get her on fucking “Ellen” to promote bipolar awareness & her upcoming book about depression (you know who I’m talking’ about!) but apparently I’m an untouchable when it comes to Ellen and her minions. I’d love to help my friend out because she has been there for me big-time. If I still lived in L.A. I would figure it out but it’s hard to do it being 450 miles away…..

      • You are SOOOOO dang hilarious! I laughed out loud when I read this one; positively CACKLED!

        I read Portia’s autobiography when it was released, and I was jealous; she’s a good writer. Unless she had a good ghostwriter. But I also really enjoyed her acting in Ally McBeal – I thought it was first-rate. Beautiful and talented bee-yotch! And rich too! I’m sure she has problems though. I think Ellen is sexy although she probably has had a lot of “work” done and that’s creepy; Portia probably has too…If I had to be with one or the other….hmmmmm. It’s hard to choose. I’d have to ménage à trois it.

    • If I could help you at all with this momentous decision, it would make me so super-stoked. I’d stutter in gleeful happiness for weeks. You deserve a break – it has been too much for too long, ya know?

  9. What an interesting and informative post. I have considered ECT but wished I could select the memories I would lose! My mother introduced me to the idea of TMS, but thankfully, my bipolar has been mostly manageable with meds. I’m so glad it worked for you!

    • Hi sweet supermommyoftwins!

      Wouldn’t that be nice, to select what memories would be lost??? I love that idea!

      Thank God your bipolar has been stable (whenever I use that word I think of horses….I can’t help it. Neigh!) TMS does sound intriguing and 2 local, progressive psychiatrists have opened a clinic where I live, but I’m hoping I never need to explore that avenue! take care & thanks for stopping by – I’ll be over there @ your blog tonight or tomorrow!!

  10. I only had a vague notion of what ECT involved, so thank you for this informative post. It hasn’t ever been suggested for my wife but at least now I have a baseline understanding if it ever becomes a viable option.

    On a positive note, I am glad that you responded so well to the treatment!

    • You’re very welcome, Vic! I could’ve written more details, but it was long enough as it was, eh? 😉

      Before I actually had it done, the concept seemed like embarking on a Mt. Everest ascent. Now, if I had to have it done tomorrow, it would be a piece of cake except for the 45 minute commute. To be surrounded by truly caring people and feel better afterwards was priceless. I know others who had the total opposite experience; a few of them commented here about it, and my heart goes out to them.

      You also might want to check out an overview of one of the newer treatments for depression: vagus nerve stimulation and see the links I posted elsewhere in response to a couple other comments about vagus & TMS – they’e there for you if you ever want to check them out! And thanks for your positive wishes & great attitude (especially now because I know it’s a particularly challenging time) – as always, they make me happy. 🙂

  11. I have a dear friend of mine who recently finished her 15+ outpatient treatments. It worked a miracle for her. She is definitely back to the sweet, happy spirit she was before her depression. She swears by it. I am so grateful it saved her life as well as yours. Even though it doesn’t work for everyone, I’m glad for an alternative for med resistant friends.
    We have a clinic here that has the TMS thingy (lost the word)…interesting piece of equipment.

  12. Wow. I mean I don’t know really anything about ECT, or even TMS, but reading your experience about being rolled up in a padded gurney to the small curtained room had me nervous. Then I watched the TED talk you posted and it makes sense and seems less threatening now. I’m so glad it works for you and you can shine light on some of the common misconceptions. Hollywood sure over dramatizes things, don’t they?

    • Thanks so much for your comment – I apologize that I didn’t reply earlier than now. I like to get back to my friends here within a day and I’ve been so lame lately. I promise to improve!

      I know the ECT procedure I described sounded freaky (sorry to get you nervous!) but the people were so cool that it made all the difference! Hollywood – ah, Hollywood. I know that ECT did really used to be administered in a barbaric way, so Hollywood wasn’t altogether wrong way back when. But now it would be great if some hit movie showed ECT in a much better, more accurate light!

      hope you’re feeling better – I hope to catch up with your blog ASAP!
      take care, Jess!

      • OMG, Jess – you totally made my day. The only big thing about me is my big gluteal region…I was working out on my elliptical machine when I read your kind comment (I read my Kindle) and I chuckled. You are so sweet. I’m far from being a popular blogger. I could be wrong but I think that the WordPress numbers are inaccurate, . Just because I have 800 followers (you being lucky 800 – 8 is my lucky #, I’m not kidding!) doesn’t mean anything. It just means 800 people followed me but then as far as I know WordPress doesn’t delete followers from that total when they unfollow, if that makes sense. (If anyone else knows about this, please comment!)

        Anyway, post however you feel like! It’s your special spot and please, I encourage you to let yourself take full advantage of your blog to vent, to share, to do TMI – whatever you want.

        sending you big

    • That’s an excellent point! 🙂
      Thanks so much for checking out this post.

      I hope that something new comes along treatment-wise that’s a lot less intimidating, risky, costly, etc. for those of us with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. I keep hearing about ketamine, but I don’t know the details. I’ve also read blips about something called vagus nerve stimulation. There are probably other things going on in research that I’m oblivious about, but if I hear about them I promise to blog about it. I live near Stanford and I check out their bipolar-related studies on Craigslist, so you never know….. 😉

      take care and I wish you a great night!

  13. Wow! That really was brave! I know the feeling of looking forward to oblivion! Thanks for writing this, really good to hear that you tried it and it was Ok!

  14. Hey there Truth.

    First off, I am sorry about the nightmare harm you received from ECT. I just emailed you some thoughts – please let me know if you don’t get it.


  15. This is a great and informative post. People often shudder at the thought of ECT, and obviously it CAN be a life saver. I will never forget taking my mom to the ER after days of insomnia and mania. The doctor was discussing psychiatric hospitals in the area, and my mom started screaming “DO NOT LET ANYONE SHOCK MY BRAIN!!!!!” Yeah…fun times. My grandfather (her father) had it in the 1940s and there is still so much shame and misunderstanding about everything that happened in my family. He was the least depressed person I’ve ever known. I didn’t learn of his “breakdown” until after his death. Anytime his mental illness is discussed (super rare) everyone brings up his memory loss. I can’t help but ask — But what IF he hadn’t had it? What might the alternative have been? Thankfully, my mom’s depression/mania/bipolar — is very responsive to medication. ECT is obviously worth researching and I’m so glad it was available when you needed it.

  16. Thanks for sharing this. I know that I’ve had those desperate times when I gladly would have accepted ECT were it offered to me. In the depths of a depression, I’ve even wished it were available to me — just wanting anything to feel better, to feel normal again.

    • Thank you so much for reading & for your honest & insightful comment – I hope you are having a good (100% depression-free) day!

    • Wow! Thank you so much! I don’t accept blogging awards anymore unless I get $10,000 or more 😉 ***kidding*** (boy, do I sound ungrateful or what???? I apologize for not putting up an “Award-free blog” widget or give an explanation) but whenever it happens I feel very, very honored. Thanks again! XoXo

  17. Pingback: Would You Cure Your Bipolar Disorder If You Could? | Riding In God's Sidecar

  18. I really great post and congrats on not just your decision to have ECT but to then write about it. We are in the same boat as you. My wife has had a lot of ECT and doesn’t regret it at all. There’s some memory loss to deal with but it’s better than living in a psychotic state for the rest of her life. We have worked hard together to find a way to help with the memory issues and have had some good success. For those interested we have written about our experience here (feel free to delete if you don’t want links – i understand)

    • Thank you so much, Ian – I’m so glad you found this post & I’m thrilled that your wife had a good response to ECT. I will happily leave your link up and I look forward to checking it out more closely soon. Take care and be well, Dyane 🙂

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