My Electroconvulsive Therapy

1077neuron1Some do no not believe in miracles. But I assure you I am a walking miracle. If it hadn’t been for electroconvulsive therapy there’s a possibility I wouldn’t have a wife or stepdaughter right now. A possibility I would be alone.
As much as the thought of electricity being sent through your brain many times might cause most people to become a bit unease, that’s not the case for me. With the agreement of my primary psychiatrist, for months I purposely sought a second psychiatrist that performed electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). After many weeks I found one. Maybe my body had become immune to the cocktail of medications I take twice a day because the tweaking had no positive affect.
In July and August 20112 I had a total of ECT 12 treatments. The first five were while I was in an inpatient hospital. Normal procedure for safety. After leaving I received two weekly maintenance treatments for total of 12.
I never had any anxiety over the ECT. No, as a matter of fact I anticipated them. I was antsy waiting for the day of my first treatment. I was in need of a miracle.
My moods and behavior were as unpredictable as a two year olds. And the depression was getting the best of me. I was slipping away leaving behind a former shell of myself.
If you want to have a happy, healthy, and stable relationship, you have to treat bipolar disorder first.
Most people assume that bipolar is only about mania and depression. And to a large extent that’s true, but a holistic view understands that the disorder also includes a variety of symptoms in addition to mania and depression that also affect one’s thinking and behavior.
How I feel right now is nothing short of miraculous. I have spent most of my complete life battling bipolar. Much of it suicidal depression. In the past ten years I have had very little relief from my bipolar. Well, to be more accurate it had gotten worse in the last ten years. If anything it had escalated. I felt like I spent the years just trying to survive each day.
I wasn’t suicidal when I entered the hospital. But I knew that if I didn’t get in there I would be sooner or later. I had been before and it’s not a place I want to go back.
My emotions were mixed. Depressed yet hopeful. I was putting hope in this ECT. I knew the risk. The possible memory loss. I knew there was no guarantee. I knew it wasn’t a cure. But I also knew that everything I had been doing wasn’t working and I couldn’t live like that anymore.
I received twelve treatments total. Today, and since then I feel like I want to live. I feel excited to be alive, happy to be breathing. I feel blessed to be alive. I feel like I have been given a second chance.
Today, five months later, I am still stable. The longest I have ever been. I feel calmer and more quiet. As hopeful, the ECT has worked so far. My head is clear. So many things to take care of. Finally I feel I can do them. I need to find a job.
I’ve been writing again which I needed to do for myself.
There is a part of me that doesn’t know what to think about this new quiet mind. At first I thought the lithium I take made it quiet. But it doesn’t compare to the results of ECT. I don’t think it’s abnormal. Just close to normal and that I’m not used to. Something I will have to get used to.
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