In the videos, the man, Dale Shankins, describes his illnesses and various treatments he has tried over the past eleven years to deal with his Bipolar disorder. Prior to this year, Dale says he has had about thirty ECT sessions over the course …

2 Comments to
Man with Bipolar uses YouTube to document ECT experiences

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  1. You might want to watch Liz Spikol’s youtube videos for some balance. ECT often fries your brain and it certainly did for one of my friends—not just Liz.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2bLbf4kBFE

    also see:

    http://www.ect.org/harold-sackeim-reverses-position-in-upcoming-study/

  2. I’m glad this man was helped, but it’s important that people know it isn’t always the case. I had a horrific experience with it, both in terms of side effects (memory loss, upon only 3 treatments, that lasted for more than a year; several years later it still may be affecting me to some extent) and in how the treatment was administered. Some facilities will take a group of people, put them all on gurneys, & ‘line them up’ for the machine, and they’re within hearing and sometimes sight of those being treated ahead of them. Gave me PTSD. A doctor other than the one who prescribed and administered my ECT, and who’s highly regarded in the field, said that though she uses ECT in extreme cases, with the patient’s permission, she would never administer it in that manner; she felt it was unethical. My feeling was that we were being treated like cattle. Some psychiatrists wisely are cautious in using ECT; for others it’s a quick and easy way of making money, and more than one shrink has described it that way to me. The lesson in this is: get a second opinion, find out what the doc’s/facility’s protocol is for administration of ECT, and speak with other docs in the field. It’s worth the time to do the research. If I had done that, or had a good support person who’d taken-on that task, I’d probably be in much better shape than I am today. Note: everyone should have either a detailed advance directive for medical care, including mental health care, or a similar document, a health care power of attorney. These are available online, and can outline your wishes and protect your rights, should you later be in a position where you’re not considered able to make your own decisions. Be your own health care advocate, as much as you can, and give a smart, reliable person who has your best interests at heart, documentation of your wishes.

  3. Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to introduce myself. This seems like a nice place and I look forward to hanging out here :)

    Pam
    http://sacredheartdietforreal.blogspot.com/

  4. I have had a total of 24 ECT treatments over the past 8 months. I feel it saved my life, literraly. I am bipolar and was in a major and severe depression for over 6 months. I tried every combination of meds there are. Either they didnt work, or the side effects were horrible. I was hospitalized several times, and waiting to die. I was hopeless, and lost all my will to live. My Dr. told me about ECT and he thought it would be my only option left. I have had better results with it than anything else. I felt better almost immediately after the first or second treatment. I was treated with dignity and respect. I have the side effect of short term memory loss pretty badly, but its getting better as my treatments are further apart. Considering the other options, the memory loss is tolerable. And some of the things from the past I dont care to remember anyways. I am now on 2 maintanence meds, and ECT once a month. I am not completely recovered, but I am doing much, much better and I believe I will continue. I agree that ECT’s benefits outweigh the risks/side effects.

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