My Journey through ECT- Countdown Day minus 1-July 5th

It’s the day before my first ECT treatment, or ElectroConvulsive Therapy. It’s been long long journey to this point. Without going through my whole history and summary of treatments, let’s say that I have tried many medications, 5 or so different therapists,various forms of treatment like TMS, or Trancranial Magnetic Stimulation (a newer treatment using magnetic shocks much like a MRI), multiple forms of therapy, and now closing on the first day of ECT.

This whole webpage is dedicated to bringing attention to, and therefore, lessening the stigmas attached to mental illnesses.  I concentrate more on Depression and Anxiety since that is what I suffer from.  I have been extremely open to the public, through personal interactions and social networking, that depression and anxiety are things that I have to deal with.  I first used my Photography Facebook Page and my personal Facebook page to “come out”, and to let everyone know about The Faces of Depression, what it is, and how I plan to use it.

Over the past couple of months, some unexpected things have happened.  Even though, I thought I was totally comfortable with my problems and could break through the barrier of the stigmas, I have been ….enlightened let’s say.

After trying to get an evaluation done at Emory’s Treatment Resistant Depression Clinic, I ran smack into the stigma wall.  During the process, I was treated as if I was not able to make the best decisions for myself, and even talked about while being present, as if I weren’t even there.  I suppose I am not the normal case study that Emory sees.  I am not on the verge of insanity, or the loss of my faculties.  It’s actually the opposite.  I recognize and am very mindfull of my conditions, and have been my own advocate in researching what best suits me for treatment.

Nevertheless, here I am.  I am standing at the precibus of making a HUGE commitment to myself in order to further my recovery.  Once I start this process, among other restrictions, I will not be able to drive for a month and a half. That’s because of the dangers associated with possible short-term memory loss and have been purposefully induced into a seizure.

I am excited, nervous, and scared; all at the same time.  I’m excited about the prospect of being able to see past the fog of depression and gain a better perspective on my life and where I am going.  I am nervous because it is an actual medical procedure where you are put under, so there are always dangers associated with that. And lastly, I am scared.  I’m scared about the notion that it may not work, and therefore leave me with little options to move forward with my recovery.

I am also scared about it actually working.  What will happen if it works?  All of a sudden, I hold my destiny in my own hands.  There has always been a fear of failure present within me.  Don’t get me wrong, I very much want to control my own destiny, or at least not fight where the universe takes me.  I guess that depends on your view of how life works.  It is hard for me to see from that perspective right now, simply because I am not there yet.  I feel like I am walking out on a plank and going to jump and hope that a new perspective awaits.  One that will allow me to get out of my own way, and live in the present, instead of ruminating about the past and being anxious about the future.  That is my biggest hope for this treatment.  Depression traps you in the past and future, meanwhile, the present is never enjoyed, mourned, or felt in any way.  Your mind can not be in two places at once.  If something good is happening in your life, and all you can think about are all the possible ways it inevitably will go wrong, you have missed that moment to enjoy and cherish a moment.

Beauty made to experience
Beauty made to experience

Maybe that is why I love photography.  I can capture all the moments that I’m not able to enjoy or appreciate, for hope of being able to sometime in the future.

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