Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support
34,874 members36,922 posts

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Caseopia
Caseopia
21 Replies

Hello. I'm new here and I'm scared to write a new post but I need to reach out. I saw an older forum on ECT and memory loss however there were no replies so I was hoping to start a new forum to see if anyone experienced the same or heard of this situation because I feel so alone. I had ECT about 5 years and the memory loss and current memory problems I've had since are terrifying and have affected every aspect of life: employment, self esteem, etc. It had wiped out about 5 years prior memories and also affects my short term memory. I am not able to work as I cannot remember the training and how to perform my job. I cannot remember prior conversations with other people. I forget appointments and important daily tasks that seem like would be common sense things. I do have some devices to assist with my daily tasks such as a smart pen, echo dot, automatic stove shut off device (as I forget I'm cooking sometimes) and a digital medicine box that sets alarms. They help to a certain point but my memory problems are so frustrating and at times embarrassing. I find myself putting myself down calling myself stupid because I'm also not as "smart" as I used to be. I feel like I'm a different person who lived a life with no recollection. I've taken amazing trips to places that I don't even remember going to. I don't recall ever getting engaged tho I know I was. Its frightening. I do number puzzles and memory games to work my brain. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I told my psychiatrist at the time what was going on and he said that can't happen from ECT. But he is wrong (he is no longer my doctor). I've talked to other doctors since and nurses and they have heard this type of situation. Just not to this severity. This is affecting my life severely which is why I wanted to reach out. I'm lost. Thank You for your time.

21 Replies
oldestnewest
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much. I would love to have someone to chat with. I don’t have many people to talk to.

1 like
Reply
NWGal

My mother had ECT way back in thge 70's and she did have memory loss - temporarily. I don't know how much the ECT process has changed over the years. Traumatic childhood events can cause memory loss as well. The memory loss I have is that I can't identify with myself or events of my childhood. I'm 64 now and have learned to exist outside of these issues. I rely on people to tell me about myself and events. It works pretty well. I play memory games as well. It seems to help "working memory" - that is being able to succeed at completing every tasks and processes. Good karma my friend!

1 like
Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to NWGal

Thank you for you response. I appreciate it.

Reply
tiredswedge

Hi, I had ect several years ago and feel similar. I often think that I am not as smart as I used to be due to poor memory. My issues are short term memory and small chunks of long term memory. Supposedly, my husband and I went to see Prince in concert. I only know this because he told me about it. Who forgets something like that, lol?! But you are right, it effects every part of your life and can actually make anxiety and depression worse. Ect did work for me, in that it curtailed my plans for suicide and I havent had those thoughts since then. I would not recommend ect for anyone unless they are in the lowest of lows, seriously thinking of suicide or harming someone else. Your memory issues do sound extremely severe. I would consider seeing a neurologist, just to make sure there is not something else going on. Just a thought.

1 like
Reply
Caseopia

Thank you. I took trips for example to Hawaii and only know because of pictures. So I understand. Thank you for your reply. I feel not so alone now.

Reply
56artist_

I do not know of the treatment you underwent but I had repressed 50 yrs of memories due to childhood abuse. I healed from anorexia of 40 yrs recently and remember all my past only staring 3 yrs ago been in treatment for Anorexia 7 yrs on Jan of 2020 so how can I help

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to 56artist_

I’m glad to hear you’re healed of anorexia. I used to make myself purge and still have thoughts of wanting to do it again. I remember my childhood and young adult life. I’m 40. What I don’t remember is all the 5-7 years prior to treatment I had in my 30s and now my current memory is affected. I do know my anxiety makes my memory worse but the ECT is the main thing that messed up my memory. I can accept losing the memories. That is ok. It’s my current situation that is hard. I can’t even hold a job because of my memory and anxiety.

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to Caseopia

There is a forum on here from someone who experienced similar but it’s a few months ago. And there was no response.

Reply
56artist_
56artist_
in reply to Caseopia

Thanks for reply so sorry of your current situation I had never known about this treatment until now wow so tell me if you don't mind why you decided to do this treatment to help PTSD or what I'm dumb when it comes to this sort of therapy you went through

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to 56artist_

It was to help ptsd and severe depression. They put you slightly under anesthesia and induce a seizure by zapping you’re brain. People I’ve met said it helped but not with everyone. I didn’t find any benefit in doing so. But everyone is different.

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to Caseopia

My doctor in the psychiatric hospital convinced me to do it.

Reply
56artist_
56artist_
in reply to Caseopia

R u on disability so young 40 my daughter 36 a lot of life ahead this is sad

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to 56artist_

I filed and got denied but have my hearing in November. I have a lot of issues beyond what you’ve read but I’ve survived this far. It’s just really hard. Thank you for chatting.

Reply
silver_kd

In 2005 I had 12 session of ECT as an outpatient. I don't remember much about that summer, but my long-term memory is intact. However, I no longer have the total recall I used to have. I can't remember books I've read. I forget things more easily.

I second the suggestion that you see a neurologist. Your memory loss sounds extreme. I wish you well.

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to silver_kd

Thank you

Reply
guitara69

Just wanted to say you’re brave and I’m sorry. I have ptsd & I don’t remember a few months of my life. It’s really messes me up & when I’m stressed too long I forget things in the day. Try not to stress about it. It’s possible things will come back the more you relax. I’ve had that experience. Try to feel safe and routines.

1 like
Reply
56artist_
56artist_
in reply to guitara69

I repressed childhood for 50 yrs plus only 3 yrs ago I recalled it all anorexia those 40 yrs destroyed all me recovered recently the treatment I received 7 yrs in Jan 2020 healed my mind process release each painful memory as they come therapy taught me it works for me not easy but I am learning to do it well to live and survive

2 likes
Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to 56artist_

I wish you well on your journey.

Reply
Kkimm

So sorry to hear what you are going through with memory loss and PTSD. I have read that sometimes ECT is the only thing that works for some people with severe depression.

It does sound very severe memory loss but getting over your depression if you have must be a huge positive.

Poor ST memory now must be very hard to deal with and possibly has more impact on day to day life that loosing parts of your past.

Is there are therapy or memory excercise which could help your ST memory?

Very best wishes

Kim

Reply
Caseopia
Caseopia
in reply to Kkimm

I’m ok with losing my past memories. It’s the ST memory issues that cause struggles with my day to day living. I’m trying to find some excercises as to what I can do to help my ST. Thank you for your response.

Reply

You may also like...