Q: I have been suicidal on and off for about 13 years now. I’ve been hospitalized multiple times, on all different types of meds, and in and out of therapy. I have heard of a new treatment called Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation. I have done some research on it and it appears to be a promising therapy. Will it help me? I’ve thought a lot about ECT, but I already have severe short term memory loss. I am scared to try ECT because of all of the things I have heard about it as well. What do you think of ECT? Do you think it would be a better treatment than the CES? I am reaching my wits end. I can’t stand to live like this much longer. I am doing my best to hang on because it upsets my husband to see me this way, but I NEED SOME ANSWERS! I want to know if I’m just chasing another dead end or if this CES has really been proven to work.

A: Unfortunately I probably know about as much on CES as you do. It’s a fairly new technique and will have to undergo long-term studies to truly understand its effectiveness. I would suggest doing more research and talking to the folks who are actually doing the procedure as well as the patients who have had it done. Many times if you are considering a certain surgery, the doctor or hospital will have a list of people who have agreed to talk to others about it. I can understand your concern about considering ECT as well – it certainly tends to affect memory. Have you considered other alternative techniques such as acupuncture, energy psychology (TFT, EFT, EMDR), biofeedback, herbal and natural remedies? If not, you may consider trying some of these before a drastic medical procedure. I wish you luck.