My Experience with Electroconvulsive Therapy: Before, During, and After

My Experience with Electroconvulsive Therapy: Before, During, and After

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock therapy, is a treatment option for severe depression. In this article, I will share my personal experience with ECT and discuss the different stages of the treatment process.

Before ECT

When I was in a very bad place, feeling incredibly suicidal, ECT was suggested as a potential treatment option. At first, I was reluctant and thought of it as a barbaric procedure. However, as my condition worsened, I realized that I needed to try something different in order to get better.

During ECT

Before each treatment, I was prepared by the medical staff. An IV was inserted, and I was anesthetized to ensure a painless experience. The procedure itself was surprisingly fast, and I woke up in the recovery room shortly after. However, I experienced jaw pain and was temporarily locked to the gurney for safety reasons.

After ECT

After completing a series of nine treatments, I noticed some cognitive distortions, which are common side effects of ECT. I had trouble recognizing familiar places and objects, which was quite terrifying. Although these cognitive deficits often improve over time, I decided to stop the treatment due to the severity of these side effects.

My Reflections

Looking back, I have mixed feelings about my ECT experience. While it didn't work for me, I believe that it can be a life-changing treatment option for some individuals. It's important to have open and honest discussions with your doctor, ask all the necessary questions, and weigh the potential benefits against the possible side effects before making a decision.


ECT is a controversial but potentially effective treatment for severe depression. Each person's experience with ECT can vary greatly, and it's crucial to make an informed decision based on individual circumstances. If you're considering ECT, don't hesitate to seek professional guidance and support.

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