420 Entries found for ect

Bipolar Psych Med Side Effect: Akathisia, Restlessness

→ July 27, 2016 - 28 Comments

Bipolar Psych Med Side Effect: Akathisia, Restlessness

Akathisia is a psychiatric medication side effect that revolves around psychological and psychical restlessness which causes distress. People with bipolar disorder report more akathisia with psych med treatment than do those with schizophrenia. And I am now reporting the horrible restlessness, agitation and distress of akathisia is happening to me.

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Suffering from Bipolar Medication Side Effects? – What to Do

→ May 15, 2016 - 13 Comments

Suffering from Bipolar Medication Side Effects? – What to Do

I have experienced so many bipolar medication side effects that I can’t remember them all. They have ranged from the common that many people experience like weight gain and dry mouth to the more unusual such as falling out hair and me falling over. When I started taking bipolar medication and started experiencing side effects, I tended to just grit my teeth, bear it and suffer. And I see this all the time in people. People constantly contact me and ask what to do about bipolar medication side effects because they are currently suffering.

I don’t believe in needless suffering. I believe there are things you can do about many, if not most, of the bipolar medication side effects.

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Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

→ April 24, 2016 - 35 Comments

Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

It’s difficult to find real patient experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) online. Well, it’s easy to find patient experiences and people’s perspectives on ECT but what tends to happen is that those that scream about ECT the loudest are the only ones people hear. I suspect this is thanks to the extreme animosity held on at least one side of the debate.

I aim to change this with real data from real people who have experienced ECT. What I want is data that will prove or disprove the assumptions that people make about ECT. I really hope you’ll support me in this effort.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Patient Experiences and Perspectives

→ April 21, 2016 - Comments off

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Patient Experiences and Perspectives

Thank you for your interest in the patient perceptions of, and experiences with, electroconvulsive therapy survey. The goal of this survey is to collect the thoughts of patients who have had electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This survey is not looking for particularly negative or particularly positive experiences with ECT, but, rather, both or anything in between. If you have strong feelings about ECT and have not actually had the treatment, you may complete the survey also.

To take the ECT survey, please click this link.

Who Is Running This ECT Survey?

My name is Natasha Tracy and this ECT survey was my idea. I am running this survey with Dr. Prakash Masand, the psychiatrist behind the site Global Medical Education which aims to educate others, particularly doctors, about medical issues such as those surrounding mental illness.

For my part, I have bipolar disorder and have had ECT for bipolar depression. This has made me passionate about the subject as I see the extreme debate that goes on about this treatment online.

Why Is This ECT Survey Being Run?

Patient perceptions of ECT and their experiences with ECT are very important because I feel that this real information from real patients is not clearly known and understood; rather, people make global assumptions about how people experience this treatment. I feel this needs to change. I feel that patients need a voice when it comes to discussing this treatment and that their voice should be accurate and not be represented simply by those who holler the loudest.

What Is Being Done with the Data Being Collected?

As some of you may know, I had my first paper, also published with Dr. Masand, published in a peer reviewed journal in 2014. You can find this paper, Results From an Online Survey of Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Unmet Needs in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, here.

I hope to use this ECT survey data for a new paper, to be written with Dr. Masand. We will be submitting this paper for publication in a peer reviewed journal.

What Is the Ultimate Goal of the Survey?

I would like to use this ECT survey data to elucidate those who are interested in ECT (such as psychiatrists) and for those who are considering getting the treatment. Before I got treatment, I found it very difficult to find reliable information on how patients experienced the ECT and I hope this survey will solve that problem, at least to some degree.

Frequently Asked Questions about this ECT Survey

  1. Are my answers anonymous?

Absolutely. No information is being collected about responders. You will be asked for your gender and age only for statistical purposes.

  1. What will I be asked about?

You’ll be asked about your experiences with ECT, the side effects you may have experienced and your feelings about the treatment as a whole.

  1. Do I have to have had the treatment to take the survey?

No. While I am, specifically, looking for patient perspectives, those who have not had the treatment but have strong opinions may also respond to the survey.

  1. Do you have any conflicts of interest?

There is no funding from any outside source for this project. I do not receive funding from anything to do with ECT on any other front either. Dr. Masand also reports having no conflicts of interest in this matter.

I really hope you’ll take a few minutes and complete this ECT survey, here.

If you have any further questions about this survey or you have a press request, please contact me here.

Sign-Up for the ECT Survey Email Updates

We will be sending out occasional updates about what is happening with the survey, the survey data and the resulting paper. Sign up for these email updates here:

Banner image by SalFalko.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

→ April 11, 2016 - 21 Comments

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an option for depression treatment and may be an alternative, for some, to electroconvulsive therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (when used as a treatment for depression known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS) is actually similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in that it’s also a neuromodulation technique. It does differ, though, as rTMS is much less invasive and has a very favorable side effect profile, particularly when compared to ECT. There are reasons that people aren’t flocking to rTMS as a depression treatment, though.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

→ May 19, 2015 - 30 Comments

Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

The pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are actually quite numerous but in this post I will try to, unbiasedly, lay out the basic pros and cons for anyone considering ECT as a treatment. I am likely uniquely qualified to do this as I am very educated about ECT (Yes, I still have that book in the works. Did I mention I’m really busy?) and I’ve also had ECT. This does not mean it’s right for everyone, however. Do consider the pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy carefully before you make your own mind up with the help of a doctor.

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Bipolar – It’s Never Going to Be What You Expect It to Be

→ January 4, 2015 - 19 Comments

Bipolar – It’s Never Going to Be What You Expect It to Be

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about a life with bipolar it’s this: it’s never going to be what you expect it should be.

I was watching a television show about gluten-free baked goods and on it, a gluten-free chef said of gluten-free bread, [when compared to bread with gluten,] “it’s never going to be what you think it’s going to be, so one of the things you should do is to try to adjust your expectations.”

Now, I don’t know anything about gluten-free bread, but I do know about a life with bipolar and I have to say, in my experience, it’s never going to be what you expect it should be and you should probably learn to adjust your expectations so it doesn’t taste quite so bad when you bite into it.

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Bipolar and Emotional Disconnection

→ March 17, 2014 - 113 Comments

Bipolar and Emotional Disconnection

I once had a very nice girl tell me that I was hard to get to know. I was surprised at this. I feel like I’m an open and honest person and if you want to know something about me, you can just ask and I’ll generally answer.

I didn’t prod her for more details when she said it, although I probably should have. What I think she might have meant was that I was hard to get to know emotionally. I think what she was saying is that I wasn’t showing my emotions around her and that was the hard part to get to know. This girl, in particular, wore her emotions on her sleeve, so I can understand the disconnect. She was right. My emotions are hidden. But that’s because not even I want to know them and I can tell you right now, no one else really wants to know them either.

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Judging Those Who Get Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

→ October 15, 2012 - 86 Comments

Judging Those Who Get Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Saturday, after sharing the story of someone who had been through electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). someone named Michele Montour left me this series of tweets (shortened words lengthened to improve readability):

Nothing will ever convince me that this barbaric, antiquated butchery is proper treatment. We know almost nada about the brain. Scientists admit very little known about our brain – even diagnoses are guessed. But zapping it and not REALLY knowing and irreversible!? I think ECT treats us like animals. Repackaged to remove ITS stigma. Let’s just go to the ice-pick lobotomy again! #disgusted

To this, I, admittedly shortly, responded:

That’s a convenient perspective when you’re not dying.

Well, Michele Montour did not like this response and it led to a bit of a diatribe on her part wherein she, among other things, called me a stupid and ignorant bitch.

I thought, perhaps, this stupid bitch could take a moment to explain her opinion.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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How Does Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Work?

→ March 26, 2012 - 38 Comments

How Does Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Work?

In the book I’m writing on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) I’ve had to address the question as to how ECT works. However, in spite of the fact that ECT has been in use since the 1930s we really don’t know how ECT works.

But recently we may have gotten a bit closer to figuring it out.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Do Objective Diagnostic Criteria Matter in Psychiatry?

→ March 15, 2012 - 12 Comments

One of the criticisms antipsychiatry folks like to make of psychiatry is its lack of objective diagnostic criteria. In other words, there’s no blood test that says you have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

And this is true. While today we do have blood tests for biological markers indicative of mental illness diagnosis, there is no hard and fast test that can diagnose a psychiatric disorder (except Huntington’s, for which we have discovered a gene).

The fact of the matter is no matter what is written in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or what blood we draw or which scans we do nothing diagnoses a person properly except a trained psychiatric professional.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing objective or meaningful about it.

Blood Tests for Mental IllnessObjective Diagnostic Criteria and Psychiatric Illness

In fact, using the diagnostic criteria from the DSM or even from a clinician’s clinical experience allows two experienced clinicians to arrive at the same diagnosis for a patient. (Is this always true? No, of course not. But there are second opinions in all of medicine so this is hardly rare.)

Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment

However, even if two clinicians were to arrive at slightly different conclusions, for example, one says unipolar depressive and the other says bipolar not otherwise specified, I would argue that it hardly matters as alleviating suffering is the goal and the diagnosis is only a way of getting to that end.

As Dr. Joseph Pierre has brilliantly said,

. . . clinicians do not in general fret over what does or does not constitute a disease. . . . If, for example, a patient’s arm is broken in a car accident, a doctor doesn’t lose sleep pondering whether this represents ‘broken bone disorder’ or simply an expected response to an environmental stressor—the bone is set and the arm is casted . . . mental disorder or not, clinicians working in ‘mental health’ see it as their calling to try to improve the lives of whomever walks through their office door seeking help.

Similarly, it is objective as to whether a person is suffering or not and thus it is obvious the person needs help regardless as to what the ultimate diagnosis is.

Do Psychiatric Diagnoses Matter?

Yes, of course psychiatric diagnoses matter as they direct treatment, however, just because there is no hard and fast test governing that diagnosis doesn’t make it any less valid nor does it mean that psychiatry doesn’t have a place in its healing.

Have You Had ECT? Help Others and Tell Me Where

→ February 23, 2012 - 117 Comments

As many of you know I’m writing a book on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  This book will hopefully answer all the questions a person might have before undergoing ECT  treatment as well as share with them my personal experience and the experience of others.

And I’ve decided to include, at the back of the book a list of hospitals that offer ECT to help people who want the treatment with a starting point on how to get it.

There’s just one problem – there’s no central repository on who offers ECT treatment.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

ECT-Offering Facilities

Please Help Me with the List of Hospitals that Offer ECT

So I’m asking for your help. If you know of a facility that offers ECT, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list. You’ll be helping me and helping others as well. Please include hospitals in Canada and the US.

And, of course, if you have any questions about ECT, also feel free to comment on those and I’ll make sure the answers are here and in the book.

Thanks.

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