My Journey Through ECT- Treatment 3 July 10

Completion of Week 1 !!

The first of possibly 4 weeks have gone by.  Depending on how I react, next week could be my last of the “acute” phase of the treatment, or it could go for a full 4 weeks.  After that, I will taper down to 2 treatments in a week, and then only 1.  Some people have a need for “maintenance” visits ongoing.  Frequency is totally depending on how my brain reacts.  That part has yet to be seen.

What to do with this experience?

I have thought a lot about this recently.  Aside from the comments you have seen on my Facebook page and on this blog, I have gotten several messages sent via PM or text to my phone.  All the messages have been positive; some wishing me well and to get better soon, and some from more of a congratulatory place for coming out with something that most people would be ashamed of.  The truth is, this isn’t something that I really want to share with the world.  It is a taboo procedure that conjures so much misunderstanding in people’s minds.

My debate on whether to come forward and talk about this came to an end when I thought back to why I started The Faces of Depression.  Depression, and mental illness in general, has always been a scary thing for everyone.  For those that have it, it is scary for obvious reasons, and for those who don’t, it is not something that can be fully understood until you’ve been there, so that scares many and puts it into a taboo category.Common Misgivings

Nonetheless, I felt like I had to stay true to my original intent when I started The Faces of Depression, therefore I must talk about this; even if it made some people uncomfortable.  I hope to take this experience and use it to further my work here on tFoD.  I don’t know where it will take me yet, but I feel like it is trying to take me somewhere.  Hopefully, I am open enough to be able to hear its call and follow.

Some people told me that is has resonated with them, or someone they know.  I would like to be able to reach a wider audience leveraging this experience.  There are many people that won’t get help because they fear being looked down upon.  Plus, there is an added bonus of those for you that have never experienced anything like this (with yourself or within your family), to hear what’s it’s like to go through the whole process and see that it’s not that scary.  Well, anesthesia is always scary, but people don’t balk at that if they need a broken arm fixed or surgeries related to diabetes or cancer or something.  With depression comes the risk of suicide. Young people are especially susceptible to this.  Here’s a couple of alarming stats…

  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
  • -Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
  • -More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
  • -Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
  • -Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs

citation- The Jason Foundation

These stats are alarming, even when I saw them.  So, all I hope is that someone sees what I am going through and decides to fight on, reach out, and get the help necessary.  The alternative is not a good one.



3 thoughts on “My Journey Through ECT- Treatment 3 July 10

  1. James

    Lee, I think this is an amazing thing you are doing and it will surely help someone else as well as you. These often-blog posts oftentimes turn into great books. And yours seems to be on that track. Of course the most important thing is that you get the help you are looking fro from these treatments. A
    book may be secondary, but a reality.

    1. admin Post author

      Would love to write a book about all this. Especially since my first memories of depression were from about 10 years old. I would def need a ghost writer. I wouldn’t know where to start! But I appreciate the sentiment.

  2. dawn ferrara

    I had the same thought and seems the right path to take when you are ready. You write very well from that deep place that the good stuff comes from.

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