I’ve had four courses of ECT over the past 2 years, each consisting of between 4 - 6 treatments. Ive tried countless antidepressants over the past 20 years with only 2 being of any benefit, and they too eventually failed. ECT was the only option available and after a great deal of research I decided to proceed.
The first course consisted of four treatments bi-weekly on an inpatient basis, resulting in a rapid improvement to a level where I felt consistently ‘normal’. If I had to describe the effect, it’s like a dark shroud being lifted off your mind. Short term side effects consisted of an easily treated headache immediately afterwards. The benefit seemed to last a few months with a gradual decline afterwards, prompting further courses. As I received more treatments it became apparent that it was having a not insignificant impact on my memory and more worryingly my cognitive abilities. These side effects are not unusual and have reached a degree where further treatments would be inadvisable. I’m currently exploring tDCS as an alternative as the first approved consumer unit has been released recently in the UK.