For the reasons mentioned above, I do not think it makes sense for my practitioner to suggest ECT to clients who haven't shown any signs of longterm benefit and who aren't likely to work with a single chemical to treat their depression.

However, those studies, including those designed to test the claim that women are cured, found that the overall incidence of relapse was only slightly higher than that typically observed in women with a history of depression. In fact, the study found that the relapse rate among women in therapy was just 0.6 percent, making it unlikely that stopping therapy would cure or even reduce relapse in women at risk . In addition, studies that examined long-term outcomes did show similar risks as those seen in women in therapy. In particular, long-term outcomes were worse for women compared to women who only started taking ECT early in the treatment. This difference has been suggested to be because ECT, unlike, say, psychotherapy, is considered a “chemical” medication that acts quickly and permanently. However, some people argued that ECT patients were using it at a much different rate than normal people (meaning that it could be assumed that ECT was a “chemical” medication, but the fact that it was not always the case, would suggest that this is not true) or that ECT took a long time to work during which time women may be at risk for relapse. Further, studies focused only on patients already in therapy – the patients diagnosed of course. They found no statistical difference in the rate of recurrence in the short- term from women in therapy (the so-called recurrence trial). Moreover, not all women who try ECT suffer any immediate recurrence in their depression after stopping therapy, a finding that means that the relapse rate among women who were initially diagnosed of depression are likely not an indication of clinical efficacy after stopping on their own. This fact is not a problem for people who are considering using ECT on a case-by case basis because they may simply need to be reminded of how it works and do not have time to wait for the results of the recurrence trial. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health recommends that people who are already in therapy should get a second opinion from a qualified medical doctor for treatment in the case that a first opinion did not suggest that ECT is right for them. This is what happened with Kristy Clark, a woman who had previously undergone a first ECT trial in Canada and was so convinced that her depression was gone that she took her second Ectomy, despite the long-term risks. After her ECT attempt failed, her doctor said “she will respond at trial but it might take 2 years, 3, 4 years and it might not necessarily work, but it might.”

One patient who tried ECT:

As the patient who gave up ECT, her doctor expressed the view of many doctors: “With ECT, they are taking medicine based on a drug, not a therapy. So if you can prevent [Ectopy] it makes a great difference and if you can’t do that then you can’t do it. You can’t, you can’t, you need to go with the science of the drug and the therapy.” I don’t believe this philosophy applies to my doctor because not every doctor with the time for data-driven treatment is the same. Even in cases where physicians might agree that there is sufficient evidence for ECT therapy to allow a patient to be helped with ECT, most are reluctant to recommend it because they worry about adverse effects. It isn’t a medical decision because the patient is choosing to proceed. When I was at my second treatment, although I was relieved and happy to not be depressed anymore, I actually felt that if something were to occur to me that would cause me to relapse, I would be in an impossible situation. That’s really true if I choose to seek help and choose a therapist who will find a drug to work for me. It’s even possible that with a second relapse that the drugs themselves may trigger a relapse. For the reasons mentioned above, I do not think it makes sense for my practitioner to suggest ECT to clients who haven’t shown any signs of long-term benefit and who aren’t likely to work with a single “chemical” to treat their depression. With ECT, however, the treatments that I used did not cause me to relapse, not even when there were other potential risk factors. There are several reasons for this including that I never used an ECT-like drug before and I was extremely careful about my choices. Secondly, the ECT-related depression in many patients is likely not an indication with which ECT works but rather a side effect that the actual brain chemistry of the drugs is not designed to treat. We can use ECT not to treat depression but to treat side effects:

Treatment with this kind of drug can also be dangerous or even fatal. This is a common concern amongst the ECT community: “It is impossible to know what side effects are common with E

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