My ECT Treatment Experience
by Cynthia

Here's a description of my treatment experience with ECT.

I spent the night before the treatment in the hospital, where I was awakened at 7AM and taken downstairs to a pre-operations holding area, filled with curtained-off areas. I was put in a bed and I believe that other ECT patients were in beds in some of the other curtained-off areas. I was feeling a bit nervous but relaxed substantially after being greeted by a smiling nurse who asked me if I would like a warm blanket, which felt wonderfully comforting around me. The psychiatrist performing the ECT stopped by my bed to see how I was and if I had any questions. The nurse placed three electrodes on me---one on my chest and one on each side of my head near my temples.  The anaesthesiologist started an IV and told me I would become sleepy, which I did. After I’d been asleep for a few minutes, the psychiatrist gave me a little electricity that induced a seizure that was only visible in my toes (of course, I didn’t see them, but I’m told they trembled).

When I woke up a few minutes after the procedure, I felt quite tired and had a headache. After an hour, I was transferred back to my hospital room and allowed to rest for as long as I wanted.  Within a couple of hours, I was feeling more energetic and less headachy.  By the next day, I was back to my pre-ECT treatment level. I had less severe headaches and exhaustion with subsequent treatments.  I felt some lifting of my mood and energy after three treatments.  I felt substantial improvements after seven of them and left the hospital.  At this point, I take prescription medications and have no further ECT treatments scheduled.


Play Frank Maroney's song, "A Light in the Darkness."