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ECT for Withdrawal Symptoms

ECT akathisia brain zaps depression

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#1 Cdav

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 11:57 AM

Hello everyone! 

 

I was hesitant about posting this in here because I know many people here are against ECT, thinking it might cause brain damage or other bad symptoms, but still I wanted to share my experience, because it has helped me enormously! 

 

After a lot of research, asking other people who had also had it and just being sick of suffering for almost more than two years of protracted withdrawal, I decided to have ECT. My main goal was to eliminate akathisia through this therapy, so I had 10 treatments, starting last July 23. They were usually done 2 or 3 times a week. I was really scared and nervous before some of the treatments, but it has been a MIRACLE! No more akathisia, no more brain zaps, no more muscle twitches and many other things that made me suffer so much for so long. Also, as a bonus, my depression has lifted and I feel like I'm in a better mood and frame of mind than I have been in years. Anyway, what I mostly wanted to eliminate was akathisia, and I'm just overjoyed it's no longer bothering me. 

 

Yes, I did have (and still have) some short-term memory issues which have been resolving as the days go by (my last treatment was two days ago), but my pdoc thinks I will recover my memory much more quicker than his other patients because I have shown to have very good memory, memory of things patients usually don't remember. I still can't drive, but I think next week I will be able to drive again and return to my normal activities. Finally I will be able to continue with my life and all the things I had interrupted due to the horrible suffering of withdrawal symptoms. 

 

ECT is not an easy thing to do, it requires bravery and mostly a deep desperation to heal and feel better (but that's how probably everyone here in the forums feel like).

 

I know many will still see ECT as something dangerous or bad, but I do recommend it, it has saved me, I can finally continue with my life and my plans! 

 

Feel free to ask me any questions about this. :) I am really happy for the first time in a very very long time! In my opinion, at last psychiatry has done something right! At last! 

 

Claudia :)


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#2 LoveandLight

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 12:17 PM

Yay yay! Amazing!! Totally brilliant.

But you mean this July you started?
2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.


Nightmare that could have been avoided!

#3 peggy

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 12:54 PM

that's very interesting - i am very glad that this has worked for you..  i think that ECT has been refined a lot in the last few years and is much more targeted with lots less side effects.  


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg


#4 Laura1981

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 01:01 PM

This is very interesting. I'm very glad that you feel better. That's amazing. Keep us posted if the success keeps up! 

 

How did it feel afterwards? Did the symptoms go away immediately or gradually? Do you have a theory as to what has happened in your brain? I don't mean a scientific theory, just something like "it feels like things have been shaken to the right place again". Or "it feels like there were things misfiring that now stopped". 

 

Just in case anybody is considering ECT now. Be very aware of the risks. 

 

I have read some testimonies of people completely disabled by ECT. Some people forgot the memories of their childhood, some people forgot their professional education so they couldn't work anymore. So I guess it's another one of those treatments that can have very severe side effects, but not necessarily for everyone. 


Feb 2015 Took venlafaxine for 5 days only... experienced withdrawal that made me completely non-functional

Mar 2015 took under 1mg of Sertraline for 10 days in an attempt to combat Venlafaxine withdrawal. Got adverse reactions. 

After stopping Sertraline, withdrawal got much worse. New, horrific symptoms. 

June 2015 Still non-functional but slowly getting better. Still brain zaps, migraines, sweating, heart racing, depression, crying spells

September 2015: 24/7 brain zaps, twitches in the face, no concentration, bad memory, language skills deteriorating. 

 

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#5 stan

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 01:52 PM

Hi,

 

i read your blog intro, since 2001 you are taking heavy psychotropics, until 21 july this year, you say having severe symptomes and taking daily drugs...

 

you say you made 10 ect end july and a week after you are cured 

 

???????

 

has the ECT made you something in your brain???

 

madre mia


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 7 years 2 months med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

muscles pain..fatigue...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#6 Vonnegutjunky

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 06:25 PM

What

Hi,
 
i read your blog intro, since 2001 you are taking heavy psychotropics, until 21 july this year, you say having severe symptomes and taking daily drugs...
 
you say you made 10 ect end july and a week after you are cured 
 
???????
 
has the ECT made you something in your brain???
 
madre mia


Hardly heavy psychotropics- she was using ssri's- none of those drugs she was on were considered heavy but psychiatric standards
She developed treatment resistant depression and got ect - I don't doubt for one second it didn't work- there is a lot of evidence that it intact does work, and even better now than it used to since it is much kore localized
Started 20mg Paxil 2006 due to postpartum depression- went to 10 mg no problem in 2008 -
May 2014 10 mg alternating days 7.25 mg- July 2014 7.25 every day
September 2014 7.25 alternating days 5 mg- November 2014 5 mg day
January 1 2015 back up to 10 mg - April 23, 2015 15mg
May 13, 2015 20mg - (tabs weight 25.0mg) February 26th 7.5mg off 25mg tablet
Sept 4th 2015 2.5 off 25mg tablet | March 18th. 8mg off 25mg tablet
October 30th. 3.5 off 25mg tablet. | April 11th. 9mg off 25mg tablet
November15th 4mg off 25mg tablet. | May 5th. 10mg off 25mg tablet
December 12th 5mg off 25 mg tablet | May 19th. 11mg off 25mg tablet
January 4 6mg off 25mg tablet |. June 7. 11.5 mg off 25mg tablet
January 25th. 6.5 off 25 mg tablet. July 11. 12 mg off 25 mg tablet
February 15th. 7mg off 25mg tablet. August 7 back down----October 13 2016 - omega 3 4800 mg per day - October 13, 2016--- vitamin d 4000mg per day

#7 Cdav

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 07:09 AM

LoveandLight, 

 

Yes, I started on July 23, 2015 and had 10 treatments. At some point I wanted to quit, because I had a lucid nightmare, I think around treatment 5, I had never had such a lucid nightmare. It scared the hell out of me. My parents didn't let me quit, and I'm glad they didn't, it was worth it even with the nightmare and feeling scared and everything, it was really worth it after so much time of prolonged withdrawal suffering. 

 

Peggy, 

Yes, it has been refined, they used general anaesthesia, a muscle relaxant and some other things. I did develop a problem twice which is why I got scared and got the nightmare. I think due to the same reason I developed prolonged withdrawal, I also metabolised the anaesthesia very quickly in two occassions and felt for a few seconds a sort of sleep paralysis, I could hear everything but felt like I couldn't breathe or move or say anything, this was just for some seconds, but was enough to scare the hell out of me. That was the only unfortunate event. Still, like I said before, I'd rather push through that scary moment than continue suffering what I was suffering with withdrawal for so long! 

 

Laura1981

 

The symptoms started dissappearing gradually. I felt really well the days I had the treatments but  I started to feel bad again on the days I didn't have the treatment. I think the gains from the therapy stuck with me by the 8th session (I had 10), and since then I have felt really good. 

 

About the theory on how it worked, mmmmh, it feels like things stopped misfiring inside. I used to feel a lot of misfiring from my head towards my body with the akathisia, the brain zaps and the muscle twitching, and now it feels like it's calm, normal, like it should be. I'm begging God for it to stay like that, I really hope so! 

 

Yes, there are risks, I also got scared with things that I read abut people losing very many important memories. I had my birthday on July 27 and I don't remember anything about it, except for pictures that were taken. However I don't mind, I will have many other birthdays to come, and my family told me I had a better time on this year's birthday than last's ones (because last one I was suffering WD symptoms). So, I think I was lucky I had such good results with ECT and that my memory loss was not too bad and is coming back. But yes, there are risks, one has to be really desperate and akathisia was making me beyond miserable and desperate (among other symptoms). 

 

Stan, 

I don't say I am cured. Depression might come back or other symptoms, who knows. But it does feel like things have improved A LOT. Like Vonnegutjunky says, they were srri's, they did cause a lot of damage but it does feel like things have reset inside my brain. It feels good. I don't know what will happen later on, but for now I'm enjoying how good it feels to finally feel like my brain is balanced, however long it lasts. :)

 

I used to be unable to tolerate many meds and supplements after WD. Supposedly now I might be able to tolerate them again, like for example Fish oil or Magnesium. However, I don't want to push my luck, I'm going to wait for a while before trying supplements again. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#8 LoveandLight

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 12:40 PM

Just saw you online..I'm so happy for you :)
2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.


Nightmare that could have been avoided!

#9 peggy

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 12:53 PM

are you taking anything now?  Did the Dr who prescribed and administered it say it was for withdrawal related symptoms or was he treating depression?


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg


#10 Cdav

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:24 PM

Thank you Love&Light, I'm trying to catch up a little bit with everyone else here :)

 

 

Peggy, 

 

I'm not taking anything right now. The doctor says he's not giving me any medications right now for a while. I don't know if I'll need meds in the future, I hope not. I will probably try other natural things first before trying medications again. The Dr. who administered the therapy did it mainly for the akathisia but he knew the depression would also lift because he has seen it happen with other of his patients. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#11 LoveandLight

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:28 PM

Yay! :)
2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.


Nightmare that could have been avoided!

#12 bluebalu86

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 06:46 PM

Great news, I'm so happy you found something that helped. Now I'm considering ECT too. 


I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering


#13 brassmonkey

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 07:31 PM

Not to rain on Claudia's parade, I truly hope that the treatments have benefited her, but two days after her last treatment is not enough time to declare a success story.  Despite the advances in ECT treatment techniques the mechanism by which they work is still unknown and their effects on ADWD even less so.  Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, I suggest that we step back and watch what happens over the next weeks and months and then start asking questions.  Even with the new safeguards and refined techniques these are still highly dangerous treatments and not to be taken lightly.  Claudia did her research and sole searching and decided that in her case it was worth the risk.  I don't see this as a panacea and don't want to see anyone injured by making a "knee jerk me too" decision.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mg it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.008mg 03-17-2016

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking


#14 Fresh

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:43 AM

Good for you Claudia , and thankyou for being brave enough to share your experience.

:D


1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg
2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg
Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta
Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.
July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.
Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.
October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.
March 2016 , 21mg

#15 stan

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 03:46 AM

What

Hi,
 
i read your blog intro, since 2001 you are taking heavy psychotropics, until 21 july this year, you say having severe symptomes and taking daily drugs...
 
you say you made 10 ect end july and a week after you are cured 
 
???????
 
has the ECT made you something in your brain???
 
madre mia


Hardly heavy psychotropics- she was using ssri's- none of those drugs she was on were considered heavy but psychiatric standards
She developed treatment resistant depression and got ect - I don't doubt for one second it didn't work- there is a lot of evidence that it intact does work, and even better now than it used to since it is much kore localized

 

 

 

you speak as my doctor or my psychiatrist who put me on these heavy toxics 


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 7 years 2 months med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

muscles pain..fatigue...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#16 Cdav

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 07:04 AM

I knew there would be different opinions about this, that's why I was not so sure about sharing it. But I feel so good, that I don't really mind some people talking negatively about this. And though I know it has its risks, I think it might be nice if someone could also benefit from this therapy. 

 

Sorry if I repeat myself, I still sometimes forget what I have already said, still recovering my memory. 

 

 

bluebalu86 

I do recommend ECT a lot if you are desperate, suffering daily and almost all day long, when you have already tried EVERYTHING for a VERY LONG TIME, when you can't tolerate supplements and more meds, and when you wish you want to die both because of your physical and emotional symptoms. 

 

 

brassmonkey, 

Yes, I suppose you are right. My last treatmet was on Wednesday. I keep feeling very good, actually better as the days go by, I suppose because the memory thing is coming back and the side effects from the therapy are dissappearing and also the nightmare thing is staying behind. You're right, I did a lot of research for a very long time on this, and I was SO SO SO desperate and suffering so much that I finally decided to do this, not caring if I would be further damaged or not, that's how badly depressed and desperate with my akathisia and other symptoms I was. You're right it's too soon to declare it a success story, we will have to wait more time and see what happens in the future. But for now I'm enjoying the benefits I got from ECT. 

 

Fresh, 

Thank you so much! You were an angel and very supportive through all of this. :) 

 

Stan, 

I don't know if it's the ECT or what, but I find your comments very funny haha :) I decided to change my signature and instead of putting "cured" I wrote "took away my protracted withdrawal…." because you're right, we don't know if I'm cured, but at least I'm not having the symptoms right now and it feels like I won't have them for a long time.   :)


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#17 roadback1

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:18 AM

Cdav,

A close friend had ect many years ago for very severe depression that was treatment resistant. Before depression and ect, she was a very outgoing, beautiful and intelligent young lady.
After ect, she still is all of those. She has some memory gaps about her early childhood, but, that is all.
She is married, has a child, and recently retired from a career in healthcare. Hers is still a success story three decades later.

I totally admire her guts, and yours also, Cdav.
I wish the best for you !

😃RB
**I started taking Zoloft 100 mg. in 1996 for a panic disorder with agoraphobia and depression, which worsened after a car accident. I have had these symptoms since age 11 .
** In September 2009 , the Zoloft was upped to 150 mg and .5 mg Xanax was added as needed for extreme anxiety due to my Father's illness and death from cancer. Successfully tapered off the Xanax in November 2009.
** I started my Zoloft taper in September 2011,and,in July 2012, reached 75 mgs.(went to 68.5 mgs,but went back up to 75mgs due to withdrawal related depression /anxiety symptoms .
** I started tapering again in September 2014 ,and, as of December,2014, I was holding at 50 mgs. Zoloft until February,2015, when I tapered in two cuts to 37.5 mgs. Due to protracted withdrawal symptoms, have up dosed to 50 mgs. Zoloft on 5/18/2015 and holding there.
**Also started .25 mgs xanax at bedtime in September,2015, due to alerting/jolting awake/anxiety and not sleeping because of heart related issues,now resolved.I tapered completely off in Oct. 2015 (too fast ) had withdrawal symptoms and updosed to .12 mgs Xanax once a night.
** After dry cutting till I couldn't do it accurately, I have been on compounded doses. Am on 0.076 mgs compounded Xanax as of 8/31/16 ,once per night.

#18 Cdav

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 07:42 PM

What a nice message, thank you very much Road Back :) 

 

Hugs! 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#19 Purplestars22

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:12 PM

Cdav, I am ecstatic for you on the disappearing of the wd symptoms. I hope you continue feeling better and get the things you want to do.
Celexa 20mg 2008-2012 for Social Anxiety
Failed attempt to stop reinstated
1 year taper skipping doses
Celexa free 12/2013
1/2014-5/2014 took 5 htp every other day
Failed Reinstatement 5mg of Celexa on 12/2014 for 5 days only

#20 Cdav

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:52 AM

Purplestar22!

 

Me too! I'm crossing my fingers and I'm praying for things to stay the way they are right now! I still cannot believe I had all these improvements. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#21 Cdav

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

I wanted to share the links of the abstracts of the scientific articles I found about ECT helping akathisia and also tardive dystonia and tardive dykinesia… like I had mentioned before, it also helped with other withdrawal symptoms in my case plus depression, but perhaps these links might be of interest to some, so I'going to paste them here. 

 

http://journals.lww....ollowing.9.aspx

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC4086770/


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#22 stan

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 12:01 PM

thanks cdav, i think you know Breggin,

 

what do you think about

 

http://www.breggin.c...task=view&id=40


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 7 years 2 months med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

muscles pain..fatigue...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#23 Fresh

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 02:58 PM

Stan , I don't think it's reasonable to ask Cdav to comment on any of the millions of articles we can find about the problems with ECT.

She has provided some relevant information for people like you , who may think no-one has anything good to say about it.

 

I'm liking your new avatar Cdav.  Thanks for the info.


1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg
2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg
Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta
Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.
July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.
Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.
October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.
March 2016 , 21mg

#24 stan

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 03:57 PM

thanks for your opinion fresh, but i wanted cdav opinion, as some people may also be pushed to try, maybe myself, because i am still in withdrawal after 6,5 years off

 

as she has much studied the ECT thing, i think it is interesting to have her opinion, because you have not tried ECT, but she has...

 

and David HEALY is also for ECT...Healy is recognyzed for his work

 

until now i do never study it, i was against because electricity, it was not intelligent from me,  and in forums do not find much people who tried ECT, in paxilprogress i remember one old woman from canada but she had many diseases, i forget name

 

maybe i have to close my mouth, i do not know


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 7 years 2 months med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

muscles pain..fatigue...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#25 peggy

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 04:29 PM

there are many opponents to ECT; and then there are many who report seemingly miraculous results.  I read a book by called Struck by Living and thought that if I was ever in the throws of deep depression i might consider ECT.  Perhaps the success is more in the knowledge and skills of the administrator.  One would think there is a special art to deciding where to place electrodes and how much to administer.

 

ECT makes some sense to me; in as much that our brain activity IS electrical and perhaps a jolt 'resets' and helps the brain to go back to normal?  

 

I know a lady who had a lot of ECT about 35 years ago, bilateral and heavy - she is damaged from it and I am sure if she was my only example i would stay well away. I also watched a documentary on ECT a year or so ago, they had a panel consisting of a damaged person, a recovered person and for and against doctors.  Worthwhile noting that the damaged person was from ECT administered a long time ago - this person did say that despite the damage (memory loss) the depression was improved and that outweighed the damage.


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg


#26 Fresh

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 04:36 PM

Perhaps I jumped the gun , I didn't read the whole article , just the first few lines.  Sorry Stan.   There are other forms of electrical therapy

to consider that you can do at home , like Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES) therapy.  I've been doing that and it's my own little miracle.

There's a thread about different devices and people's experiences here http://survivinganti...imilar-devices/


1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg
2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg
Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta
Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.
July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.
Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.
October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.
March 2016 , 21mg

#27 Cdav

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:22 PM

Stan, 

 

Thank you for the link with the articles. however I'd rather not read them though, because I don't want to get scared or paranoid. I know there are risks with ECT, I know there are people who have been damaged by it, I know it's a last resort kind of therapy. Like Peggy says there are opponents and there are people who have found it miraculous like I did. But I'd rather stay with the benefits and consider myself lucky that I didn't have any damage and my memory is coming back rather fast. 

 

I do have to confess though, the only problem I experienced and it was not easy to deal with it, (I had already talked about this before) is  I think about around treatment 6 I started to get VERY scared of the treatments due to the problem I had with the anaesthesia and the vivid nightmare I had related to this. So, the problem with that right now are two things, 1) I still feel a little bit scared when I go to sleep, like some kind of PTSD, and second, if for some reason I need to have surgery in the future I might feel scared to have to go through general anesthesia again. Oh, but well… yes, the benefits outweigh these negative things COMPLETELY, in my opinion. But I wanted you to know it's not all perfect. 

 

I'm sure some people are quite unlucky and do get deeply damaged, but from what I've read (which is a lot) most people report very good results, side effects like memory loss don't last too long, and there is no real structural brain damage. 

 

Actually, I've also read that many people improve their scores in intelligence tests and concentration after ECT because the psychiatric illness impairs their attention and concentration. Today I was able to verify this fact myself first hand because I'm a musician, I usually play the piano and sing, but I've been trying for two years to improve my guitar skills, something that always was really hard for me due to my WD symptoms not letting me focus on learning new things. I often had to cancel my lessons with my guitar teacher due to my health issues. But now, in just two hours I was able to sit down, learn and practice what I would usually learn and practice during a whole month and with A LOT of effort. So I'm surprised. I'm also a singining teacher, I vocalize students with my keyboard, I was afraid I was going to forget my keyboard skills and the vocalizing exercises, but today I resumed activities with some of my students, and everything went perfect, I had no problems of any kind, actually I enjoyed myself more than before. 

 

So, yes, there have to be many risks of course, but if you are desperate, and you have tried everything, I think it is a good option. Like I said before, I didn't care about the risks, that's how depressed and desperate I was with my symptoms, and thankfully I was lucky enough to not have any damage. 

 

Now I just have to wait for my mind to get over the trauma that I experienced with the anaesthesia thing, that's the only thing, but still it doesn't compare with the suffering I had with WD.


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#28 Cdav

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:25 PM

But Stan, I just wanted to add, if you are focusing so much on the negative things ECT can cause and it scares you, then I don't think it's a good idea you do it. You have to be 100% convinced that it will be beneficial to you and you have to focus on the success stories, not the tragic ones. That's my opinion. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#29 Cdav

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:27 PM

Thank you on the compliment on my new avatar Fresh :)

 

Yes, like Fresh says, CES is a very good therapy too, it works very well for some, it didn't for me, but I think CES has to be tried before ECT. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#30 brassmonkey

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:56 PM

Okay folks, None of us here are experts on either ECT or CES.  We are all wanting to learn more about the possible benefits and dangers of both of these treatments.  But we need to do so in a civil manner.  This thread is bordering on the hostile and that is  unacceptable.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mg it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.008mg 03-17-2016

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking


#31 stan

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 05:10 AM

thank you very much CDAV, for explaining all this, 

 

i wish you to heal your fear from anesthesia, but look, i do not make ECT, and fear from anesthesia... 


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 7 years 2 months med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

muscles pain..fatigue...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#32 JanCarol

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 08:08 AM

Peggy: 

 

 i think that ECT has been refined a lot in the last few years and is much more targeted with lots less side effects.  

 

VonnegutJunky:

 

 

there is a lot of evidence that it intact does work, and even better now than it used to since it is much kore localized 

 

 

This is an illusion.  The sedation is better, but the juice is turned up higher.  As far as "more targeted," well, you can do unilateral or bilateral, but the efficacy of unilateral (one side of the brain) is questioned in some circles.  Was Cdav's treatment unilateral?  Or bilateral?

 

If "more localized" is more specific than "unilateral" (one side of the brain) I'd like to know about it.  Otherwise, it sounds like medical propaganda to me.  It's not like they are hooking up the frontal lobe to the amygdala, and giving a jolt to the occipitus and pineal glands…..  No.  Not particularly "localized." 

 

My take on this is yogic in nature.  There are 2 ways to feel bliss:  energy leaving you, and energy coming into you.  Any movement of energy is blissful.

 

In most cases - except for extreme ones - ECT relief of symptoms has a higher price than its benefit.  If it saves your life, I suppose.  Maybe it would've saved my ex-husband when he became "treatment resistant."   Saying that it "fixed" akathisia (especially in under 3 months, which is about the time the "numbness" from ECT lasts) is like saying that a general anaesthetic cured your headache.  Sure, you don't feel it anymore, but -

 

There is a remote possibility that by searing some neurons, you slowed or stopped neurogenesis, and achieved some remission of symptoms.  Sometimes we do have too many (or too sensitive) neurons, and this can cause symptoms (if I understand Alto correctly).

 

Believe me, I considered ECT at one point, and I've said soothing things to parents who were about to put their daughter through involuntary ECT….you know, that "it's better than it used to be, the old ways are gone."

 

But in my estimation, the old ways are disguised by anaesthetics and anti-emetics, and the damage is higher - stronger current because the drugs deaden the ECT response, so they turn up the juice.

 

Like with anything, there will always be fans of a technique, supplement, medicine, treatment.

 

But in my book, the improvement seen from ECT is more likely to be "bliss of energy depletion" rather than "bliss of energy evolution."

 

Brassmonkey is right - cdav has reported something that she believes has helped her.  And she must have been in a lot of pain to try something so difficult.  It is my hope that her window lasts a long, long, time - and I'm sorry that she had to go through all she did to get to this place.

 

But to hear Blue - as much as she's been suffering - to say, "OH I must try that!" scares the holy pants off of me.  It is not a decision to be taken lightly.  Not the same as say, trying a CES machine, which is non-invasive, or a supplement that you can quit.  It makes possibly permanent changes.  It is up to the individual to decide if those unknown changes are worth the risk in order to get benefit.


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

 

Currently Lithium Orotate 1.67 mg only.  I will re-evaluate this supplement in 2017.

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!


#33 Altostrata

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 10:26 AM

I wish Cdav all the best, I am happy she has found something that might have resolved her protracted withdrawal symptoms, particularly the akathisia. Thank you for posting links to those papers, Cdav. (Please note: One must read the entire paper, not just the abstract, to find out exactly what was discovered.)

 

As Brassmonkey and JanCarol said, the mechanism by which ECT "works" is unknown and the treatment method itself is inconsistently applied across hospitals. Some will deliver more current than others. Apparently calibrating the machines is a problem.

 

One can assume that the sedation and the shocks cause an uproar in the nervous system, like throwing all the cards up in the air. Sometimes, they will come up a good hand and sometimes not.

 

We have had many people here who have not experienced a benefit from ECT. This is a highly invasive treatment to consider at your own risk.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#34 Cdav

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:10 PM

Stan, 

Thank you! Yes, I didn't use to be afraid of anaesthesia, my first treatments went really smooth until I had the bad experience. Today I started dealing with this in talk therapy and it really helped, so I think I'm going to get over it soon :)  

 

 

Jancarol,

Mine was BILATERAL, it has more side effects like more memory loss, but supposedly also more therapeutic effect than the unilateral. You are right, deciding to have ECT is not a decision to be taken up lightly. I do believe in ECT now as something good, not only because of my own experience but also because before having it I talked to several people who had success with it for severe depression, including one person who also had akathisia from antidepressant withdrawal and like me got rid of her akathisia and also depression through ECT. But yes, it is not an easy thing to do. In my opinion only if you are on the the verge of suicide from your depression and/or your WD symptoms, then ECT is a good option.

 

I think Altostrata is right, it depends on the talent and knowledge of the doctor, mine is a very good and experienced one and I guess I also had luck like the comparison Alto makes with the cards. 

 

Yes, ECT IS SOMETHING TO BE TRIED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please do not forget that!!!


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 


#35 Altostrata

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:15 PM

Please keep your Intro topic updated, Cdav, so we may follow your progress.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#36 Cdav

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 09:02 PM

Yes, I was just going through my whole thread to remember all I went through, I can't believe how much I endured and pushed through and how much I have healed.  Going to bed right now, but tomorrow will update my intro topic. 


-Effexor 150 mgs (2001-2009). Severe withdrawal symptoms during and after tapering for 6 months.  

-Pristiq 50 mg (2009-2012) Tapered over a year. Worst year of my life. 

-Prozac 20 mg (2012) Tapered over 6 moths to ease withdrawal. Still had severe WD symptoms. 

- (2012-2014) Doctor tried more than 20 medications for depression and WD, leaving me hypersensitive, and in protracted withdrawal. 

- Most debilitating symptoms during protracted withdrawal have been deep depression, anxiety, brain zaps, fatigue, akathisia, twitching, headaches and terrible PMS. 

-January 2015: Started Lamictal 12.5 mg, increased to 25 mg.- Bad reaction when updosed to 50 mg. Stopped. 

-February 2015: Doctor tried new antidepressant Brintellix - Horrible reaction. Discontinued completely. Severe AKATHISIA started.

-March 2015:  Started TMS therapy (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) for severe depression. Didn't work. 

-July 23-August 12: Had 10 ECT sessions which took away my protracted withdrawal symptoms including: akathisia, brain zaps, muscle twitches, fatigue and depression. Stopped medications. 

-September 2015: Experiencing bouts of depression again and muscle twitching. 

-March 2016: Started 20 mg Nortryptiline for depression. It helped. 

-August 2016: Slowly tapering Nortryptiline. 






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